GPS based speedometer and IMU for use in land speed racing applications

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Eric Booth


Vehicle speed is often measured with magnetic pick-up sensors mounted on the wheel. This setup is not only susceptible to mechanical and environmental elements but can potentially become inaccurate as the tire diameter expands at high speeds attained in land speed racing. This senior design project focuses on the development and implementation of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which provides accurate velocity & acceleration data. The vehicle’s velocity is derived by taking its change of position over time, using a fast updating GPS receiver. A 3-axis accelerometer measures vibration and acceleration of the vehicle. An FPGA is used to implement both custom HDL and an embedded processor to post process the sensor data. The IMU offers both CAN and RS232 connectivity and provides a digital pulse output for use with conventional electric speedometer gauges.

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