, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 49–57 | Cite as

Quantification and Mitigation of Errors in the Inertial Measurements of Distance

Original paper


The accurate measurement of the distance travelled, velocity and acceleration at low velocities to supersonic speeds is an active area of research. The captive flight at Rail Track Rocket Sled (RTRS) facility provides a unique environment for kinematic testing at supersonic speeds. Using RTRS facility, an accurate distance measurement method is developed, tested and experimentally verified. Three accelerometers, with different noise density, identically moving, have been chosen for sensing forward motion. A number of measures such as different mountings, bias correction, capping, digital filtering and position fix have been tried in a practical implementation. To keep the measurement error within tolerable limits a novel method of obtaining position fix is proposed by using a pair of magneto-inductive sensors. The bias correction is applied in the position to derive corrected velocity and acceleration. To know the truthfulness of results and to validate the proposed methods, a system has been developed to generate reference values for computation of error. This reference system has an error of 0.046 % which is much better than reported in previous study. After mitigation of various errors using proposed methods, an error within 1.5 % was attained with one of the sensors used in trials. The proposed work identifies the elements which contribute in errors and quantify the mitigated errors in some cases and highlights the measures which bring about significant improvement in error. It also suggests how to obtain more accurate results using economical MEMS accelerometers.


Distance Velocity Acceleration Rocket sled Sled motion MEMS accelerometer Inertial acceleration Rail measurements 


  1. [1]
    J. Jerosch and J. Heisel, Management der Arthrose: Innovative Therapiekonzepte (in German), Deutscher Ärzteverlag. ISBN 978-3-7691-0599-5, Retrieved (2011) 107.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Y.K. Thong, M.S. Woolfson, J.A. Crowe, B.R. Hayes-Gill and R.E. Challis, Dependence of inertial measurements of distance on accelerometer noise, Meas. Sci. Technol., 13 (2002) 1163–1172.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Y.K. Thong, M.S. Woolfson, J.A. Crowe, B.R. Hayes-Gill and D.A. Jones, Numerical double integration of acceleration measurements in noise, Measurement, 36 (2004) 73–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    L. Hoff, O.J. Elle , M. Grimnes, S. Halvorsen, H.J. Alker and E. Fosse, Measurements of heart motion using accelerometers, IEEE Proc. Sensors, 3 (October 2004) 1353–1354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    S. Nikbakht, M. Mazlom and A. Khayatian, Evaluation of solid state accelerometer sensor for position estimation, IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, Hong Kong (2005) pp. 729–723.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    C. Verplaetse, Inertial proprioceptive devices, self-motion sensing toys and tools, IBM Syst. J., 35 (3&4) (1996) 639–650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Y. Hirao, S. Kunimatsu and T. Hamamoto, Wireless measurement system for ground-borne vibration and vibration amplifications in buildings, MAPAN-J. Metrol. Soc India, 27 (4) (2012) 231–239.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    C.W. Tan and S. Park, Design of accelerometer-based inertial navigation systems, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., 54 (6) (2005) 2520–2530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    P. Neto, J.N. Pires and A.P. Moreira, 3-D position estimation from inertial sensing: minimizing the error from the process of double integration of accelerations, Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON Vienna, Austria (2013) pp. 4024–4029.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    G.A. Aydemir and A. Saranli, Characterization and calibration of MEMS inertial sensors for state and parameter estimation applications, Meas. J., 45 (5) (2012) 1210–1225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    H. Liu and G. Pang, Evaluation of a low cost solid-state accelerometer as a distance measuring sensor for vehicle positioning system, IEEE Proceedings of International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Tokyo (1999) pp. 435–439.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    K.N. Suryanarayana Rao, GAGAN—The Indian satellite based augmentation system, Indian J. Radio Space Phys., 36 (2007) 293–302.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Indian Space Projects,, January 2014.
  14. [14]
    News Paper “The Hindu”, GAGAN will be put in place by end of 2014: Defence Secretary, Statement of Defence Secretary and Director General DRDO, 14 Dec (2013).Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    T.H. Whitte and A.M. Wilson, Accuracy of WAAS-enabled GPS for the determination of position and speed over ground, J. Biomech., 38 (8) (2005) 1717–1722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    P.K. Khosla, R. Khanna and S.P. Sood, Analysis of magneto-inductive system for rocket sled velocity measurement beyond mach 1.5, Def. Sci. J., 64 (2) (2014) 143–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    V.N. Ojha, K. Sudhir, S.K. Sharma, S. Singhal and G.S. Lamba, Insulation resistance measurement of high impedance accelerometer cables, MAPAN-J. Metrol. Soc. India, 19 (1–2) (2004) 117–120.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Metrology Society of India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Terminal Ballistics Research LabDRDOChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Thapar UniversityPatialaIndia
  3. 3.CDACMohaliIndia

Personalised recommendations