Using Triaxial Angular Rate Sensor and Accelerometer to Determine Spatial Orientation and Position in Impact Tests
A data processing algorithm is presented for determining the spatial orientation and position of a rigid body in impact tests based on an instrumentation scheme consisting of a triaxial angular rate sensor and a trialaxial linear accelerometer. The algorithm adopts the unit quaternion as the main parameterized representation of the spatial orientation, and calculates its time history by solving an ordinary differential equation with the angular rate sensor reading as the input. Two supplemental representations, the Euler angles and the direction cosine matrix, are also used in this work, which provide an intuitive description of the orientation, and convenience in transforming the linear accelerometer output in the instrumentation frame to the global frame. The algorithm has been implemented as a computer program, and a set of example impact tests are included to demonstrate its application.