An Estimator for Attitude and Heading Reference Systems Based on Virtual Horizontal Reference

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The output of the attitude determination systems suffers from large errors in case of accelerometer malfunctions. In this paper, an attitude estimator, based on Virtual Horizontal Reference (VHR), is designed for an Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS) to cope with this problem. The VHR makes it possible to correct the output of roll and pitch of the attitude estimator in the situations without accelerometer measurements, which cannot be achieved by the conventional nonlinear attitude estimator. The performance of VHR is tested both in simulation and hardware environment to validate their estimation performance. Moreover, the hardware test results are compared with that of a high-precision commercial AHRS to verify the estimation results. The implemented algorithm has shown high accuracy of attitude estimation that makes the system suitable for many applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2016 American Control Conference
Number of pages7
PublisherAmerican Automatic Control Council
Publication dateJul 2016
Pages5504 - 5510
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-8682-1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Event 2016 American Control Conference - Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


Conference 2016 American Control Conference
Location Boston Marriott Copley Place
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA
Internet address



  • Quaternions
  • Accelerometers
  • Micromechanical devices
  • Estimation
  • Magnetometers
  • Sensors
  • Hardware

Cite this

Wang, Y., Soltani, M., & Hussain, D. M. A. (2016). An Estimator for Attitude and Heading Reference Systems Based on Virtual Horizontal Reference. In Proceedings of 2016 American Control Conference (pp. 5504 - 5510). American Automatic Control Council.