Tutorial: Advances in Productivity Enhancement Techniques for Inertial Sensors Calibration and Testing



MEMS-based inertial sensors are ubiquitous in many applications primarily due to their size and cost benefits. It is important to note that even when the inertial sensors are calibrated individually prior to being assembled in higher level assemblies, such as inertial measurement units (IMU), the packaging process may induce other issues such as misalignments or errors caused by temperature gradients inside the case.

Two main factors elevate the importance of parallel calibration and testing: cost per unit and throughput. This tutorial covers a number of topics that are encountered in parallel calibration and testing of MEMS-based inertial sensors and is supported with real-life examples from a system design to parallel calibrate and test 30 IMUs.

Given the ever-expanding range of applications for MEMS-based inertial sensors in the recent years, parallel calibration and testing is expected to play an even bigger role going forward by matching affordability and performance.

The tutorial covers a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from theoretical to practical and from systems design to mechanical, electrical and software design.

Notwithstanding the focus on MEMS-based inertial sensors, the concepts presented in this tutorial apply directly or through extension to the calibration and testing of tactical grade and navigation grade IMUs and inertial sensors.

This tutorial was presented in full format at the I2MTC 2017 conference and, in abbreviated format, at the AUTOTESTCON 2017 conference, the Arizona Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) 2016 summit & expo, and is featured on IEEE TV.


The main objectives of this tutorial are:

  1. Provide take-away nuggets that attendees can use in their projects or research programs. Inertial sensor R&D scientists and engineers can glean ideas on how to better design for testability, production and test engineers will get tips on productivity enhancement, software engineers will learn techniques associated with parallel data acquisition and processing etc.
  2. Build a bridge between academia and industry. The tutorial will illustrate how abstract concepts and practical considerations mesh up in real-life application. Stir the interest of student attendees and, perhaps, help them make career choices whether in inertial sensor development or test engineering.
  3. Stimulate discussions among the attendees and with the instructors on industry best practices.


The tutorial will be presented as a lecture and be supported with a Power Point presentation. The lecture and discussions will fit in the 90-minute time slot.

The outline is shown below:

  1. Part I, 50 min, presented by Marius Gheorghe
    1. Introduction
    2. Equipment Selection
    3. Mechanical Mounting
    4. Wiring Management
    5. IMU Orientations
    6. Error Models
    7. Temperature Modeling and Compensation
    8. Calibration Profile Design
    9. Verification Profile Design
  2. Part II, 30 min, presented by Rodrigo Barajas
    1. Software Design Challenges
    2. Parallel Data Acquisition
    3. Performance Logging
    4. Parallel Data Processing
    5. Third-Party Software Automation
    6. Productivity Enhancement Techniques
    7. Robust Design for Production Environments
  3. Part III, 10 min, Questions and Answers


Speaker Bios

Marius Gheorghe has earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Romania in 1986.

A great deal of his professional career was dedicated to designing test equipment used in a variety of applications ranging from the semiconductor industry to military jet aircraft, nuclear submarines and space programs. Prior to joining Ideal Aerosmith Inc., where he holds the position of Engineering Manager, he has worked for over 14 years with a world leader in ATE manufacturing in Ontario, Canada. His portfolio includes substantial hardware and software

design, award-winning ATE and technical leadership. In addition to his industry experience, he has authored papers on inertial sensor calibration techniques, has taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and the Advanced Computer Training for Engineers, Toronto, and is a contributor to IEEE standards on inertial sensors and systems.

Mr. Gheorghe is a senior member of IEEE and licensed as Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada. He has been awarded the Distinguished Committee Service Award for his contribution to the development of the IPC/WHMA-A- 620A standard in 2007 and his Horizon 1500 wiring analyzer design was awarded The Best in Test by Test and Measurement World in 1996.

Rodrigo Barajas was born in Mexico in 1977. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in the city of Queretaro, Mexico in 1999.

After graduation, he began a career in the design and development of test equipment and has been working in this field for over 15 years. He is currently a Sr. Design Engineer with Ideal Aerosmith Inc. in Phoenix, AZ. Since joining Ideal Aerosmith in 2006, he has been involved in the hardware and software design of test systems for programs as diverse as military vehicles proving, extra wide body aircraft avionics development and space launch vehicles. His involvement in the inertial field includes the development of calibration systems for IMUs and directional drilling sensors. In addition to his technical contributions, Mr. Barajas has also fulfilled the role of technical lead on major projects.