Gravity-based methods for heading computation in pedestrian dead reckoning

Adi Manos, Itzik Klein, Tamir Hazan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the common ways for solving indoor navigation is known as Pedestrian Dead Reckoning (PDR), which employs inertial and magnetic sensors typically embedded in a smartphone carried by a user. Estimation of the pedestrian’s heading is a crucial step in PDR algorithms, since it is a dominant factor in the positioning accuracy. In this paper, rather than assuming the device to be fixed in a certain orientation on the pedestrian, we focus on estimating the vertical direction in the sensor frame of an unconstrained smartphone. To that end, we establish a framework for gravity direction estimation and highlight the important role it has for solving the heading in the horizontal plane. Furthermore, we provide detailed derivation of several approaches for calculating the heading angle, based on either the gyroscope or the magnetic sensor, all of which employ the estimated vertical direction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1170
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Gravity direction
  • Heading estimation
  • Indoor navigation
  • Smartphone sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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