This paper presents the design of an experimental platform for rapid prototyping, testing, evaluation, and validation of different sensor types and configurations for Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) applications. Two example IMU designs are rapidly prototyped and tested on this experimental platform. The first design was based on a triad of gyroscopes, three dual-axis accelerometers and a triad of magnetometers to provide information on the Earth’s magnetic field for the purpose of bounding the attitude drift. The second system was based on twelve accelerometers and again a triad of magnetometers. An Unscented Kalman Filtering technique is used to fuse the IMU and magnetometer data in both cases for an Inertial Navigation System (INS). Test results are presented comparing the two IMU designs to each other and to ground truth with minimal magnetic interference and with introduction of deliberate magnetic interference. The results indicate that the two systems have excellent performance for high-speed applications, while at lower speeds the first design outperforms the second design. It is also shown that external magnetic disturbance degrades the performance of both designs.

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