+
+
= = (2)
Fig. 2 Biaxial accelerometer attached to a segment under static conditions
Karol J ODonovan, Ph.D. Thesis University of Limerick, 2007
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Fig. 2 shows a biaxial accelerometer attached to a segment, under static conditions. Under
static conditions there is no inertial acceleration component and the measured acceleration
vector for a biaxial accelerometer is given by Eq. (3).
( )
( ) 

sin
cos
g
g
a
a
a
y
x
= = (3)
Under static conditions a biaxial accelerometer can thus be used to determine the inclination
of a segment with respect to the gravity vector using Eq. (4).


.

\

=
x
y
a
a
1
tan  (4)
A triaxial accelerometer is formed by three orthogonal uniaxial accelerometers. A 3
dimensional acceleration vector is obtained from a triaxial accelerometer. The acceleration
measured by a triaxial accelerometer written in array format is given by Eq. (5).
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
z z I
y y I
x x I
z
y
x
g a
g a
g a
a
a
a
a
 u
 u
 u
cos cos
cos cos
cos cos
+
+
+
= = (5)
2 The Rate Gyroscope
A rate gyroscope measures angular velocity. A uniaxial rate gyroscope measures the angular
velocity acting along its measuring axis. Fig. 3 shows a uniaxial gyroscope attached to a
rotating plate, rotating with angular velocity e .
Karol J ODonovan, Ph.D. Thesis University of Limerick, 2007
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Fig. 3 Uniaxial rate gyroscope attached to a rotating plate
Eq. (6) is a mathematical model which relates the measured angular velocity of the single axis
rate gyroscope to the angular velocity acting on the device.
( )  e e cos =
x
(6)
where
x
e is the magnitude of the angular velocity vector component along the measuring axis of
the rate gyroscope
 is the inclination of the measuring axis with respect to the angular velocity vector
e is the magnitude of the angular velocity acting on the sensor
A triaxial rate gyroscope is formed by three orthogonal uniaxial rate gyroscopes. A 3
dimensional angular velocity vector is obtained from a triaxial rate gyroscope. The angular
velocity measured by a triaxial rate gyroscope written in array format is given by Eq. (7).
( )
( )
( )
z
y
x
z
y
x
 e
 e
 e
e
e
e
e
cos
cos
cos
= = (7)
Karol J ODonovan, Ph.D. Thesis University of Limerick, 2007
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3 The Magnetometer
A magnetometer is a sensor which is used to measure the direction and/or the strength of a
magnetic field. A uniaxial magnetometer measures the magnetic field vector acting along its
measuring axis. Fig. 4 shows a uniaxial magnetometer attached to a body segment.
Fig. 4 Uniaxial magnetometer attached to a body segment
Eq. 8 is a mathematical model which relates the measured angular velocity of the single axis
rate gyroscope to the angular velocity acting on the device.
( ) o cos m m
x
= (8)
where
x
m is the magnitude of the magnetic field vector component along the measuring axis of
the magnetometer
o is the inclination of the magnetometer measuring axis with respect to the magnetic
field vector
Karol J ODonovan, Ph.D. Thesis University of Limerick, 2007
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A triaxial rate magnetometer is formed by three orthogonal uniaxial magnetometers. A 3
dimensional magnetic field vector is obtained from a triaxial magnetometer. The magnetic
field measured by a triaxial magnetometer written in array format is given by Eq. (9).
( )
( )
( )
z
y
x
z
y
x
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
o
o
o
cos
cos
cos
= = (9)
4 The Kinematic Sensor Signal
A standard definition for the description of a uniaxial kinematic sensor output y, as a function
of the vector component x directed along the sensor sensitivity axis is given by Eq. (10).
b kx y + = (10)
where
k is the sensor scale factor
b is the sensor offset bias
Ideal threeaxis kinematic sensors are composed of three mutually orthogonal uniaxial
sensors. Misalignment may occur due to sensor axes not being exactly mutually orthogonal
and also the fact that the actual sensitivity axis of each sensor may not match exactly the
assumed sensitivity axis when the sensor unit is placed in casing. The presence of
misalignment makes it necessary to describe the actual orientation of the sensitivity axis of
each sensor with respect to the assumed orientation of the sensitivity axis in the form of a
misalignment matrix R. A standard definition for the description of a triaxial kinematic
sensor output vector y , as a function of the measured component vector x is given by Eq.
(11) [1].
Karol J ODonovan, Ph.D. Thesis University of Limerick, 2007
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b x R K y
+ = (11)
where
(
(
(
=
z
y
x
y
y
y
y is the triaxial sensor output vector
(
(
(
=
z
y
x
x
x
x
x is the triaxial measured component vector
(
(
(
=
z
y
x
g
b
b
b
b
=
z
y
x
k
k
k
K
0 0
0 0
0 0
is the diagonal matrix of the scale factors of the three sensor axes
(
(
(
=
z z y z x z
z y y y x y
z x y x x x
r r r
r r r
r r r
R
' ' '
' ' '
' ' '
is the misalignment matrix describing the actual sensitivity axis
with respect to the assumed sensitivity axis
References
[1] Ferraris F, Grimaldi U, and Parvis M. Procedure for effortless infield calibration of
threeaxis rate gyros and accelerometers. Sensors and Materials 1995; 7: 31130.