An inertial measurement unit (IMU) typically has three accelerometers and three gyroscopes. The output of those inertial sensors is used by the inertial navigation system to calculate the navigation solution. Since the sensor measurements contain noise, the navigation solution drifts over time.
When considering low cost sensors, multiple IMUs can be used to improve the performance of a single unit. In this paper, we describe our designed 32 multi-IMU (MIMU) architecture and present experimental results of this system. To analyze the sensory data, a dedicated software tool, capable of addressing MIMUs inputs, was developed. Using our MIMU hardware and software tool we examined the possibility of using MIMUs instead of a single IMU for: 1) navigation solution 2) outlier rejection 3) calibration performance 4) coarse alignment accuracy and 5) the effect of different MIMUs locations in the architecture.
Our results show that 32 IMUs obtained better performance than a single IMU for all testcases examined. In addition, we show that performance was improved gradually as the number of IMUs was increased in the architecture.