A development procedure for a low-cost attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) with a self-developed three-axis rotating platform has been proposed. The AHRS consists of one 3-axis accelerometer, three single-axis gyroscopes, and one 3-axis digital compass. Both the accelerometer and gyroscope triads are based on micro electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology, and the digital compass is based on anisotropic-magnetoresistive (AMR) technology. The calibrations for each sensor triad are readily accomplished by using the scalar calibration and the least squares methods. The platform is suitable for the calibration and validation of the low-cost AHRS and it is affordable for most laboratories. With the calibrated parameters and data fusion algorithm for the orientation estimation, the self-developed AHRS demonstrates the capabilities of compensating for the sensor errors and outputting the estimated orientation in real-time. The validation results show that the estimated orientations of the developed AHRS are within the acceptable region. This verifies the practicability of the proposed development procedure.
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