The Pololu AltIMU-10 v5 is a compact (1.0″ × 0.5″) board that combines ST's LSM6DS33 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer, LIS3MDL 3-axis magnetometer, and LPS25H digital barometer to form an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and altimeter.
These sensors are great ICs, but their small packages make them difficult for the typical student or hobbyist to use. They also operate at voltages below 3.6 V, which can make interfacing difficult for microcontrollers operating at 5 V. The AltIMU-10 v5 addresses these issues by incorporating additional electronics, including a voltage regulator and a level-shifting circuit, while keeping the overall size as compact as possible. The board ships fully populated with its SMD components, including the LSM6DS33, LIS3MDL, and LPS25H, as shown in the product picture.
The AltIMU-10 v5 features a newer pressure sensor than its predecessor, the AltIMU-10 v4, enabling pressure and altitude measurements with higher accuracy and lower noise. The AltIMU-10 v5 is pin-compatible with the AltIMU-10 v4, but because it uses different sensor chips, software written for older IMU versions will need to be changed to work with the v5.
The AltIMU-10 v5 is also pin-compatible with the MinIMU-9 v5 and offers the same functionality augmented by a digital barometer that can be used to obtain pressure and altitude measurements. It includes a second mounting hole and is only 0.2″ longer than the MinIMU-9 v5. Any code written for the MinIMU-9 v5 should also work with the AltIMU-10 v5.
The LSM6DS33, LIS3MDL, and LPS25H have many configurable options, including dynamically selectable sensitivities for the gyro, accelerometer, and magnetometer and selectable resolutions for the barometer. Each sensor also has a choice of output data rates. The three ICs can be accessed through a shared I²C/TWI interface, allowing the sensors to be addressed individually via a single clock line and a single data line. Additionally, a slave address configuration pin allows users to change the sensors' I²C addresses and have two AltIMUs connected on the same I²C bus. (For additional information, see the I²C Communication section below.)
The nine independent rotation, acceleration, and magnetic readings provide all the data needed to make an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), and readings from the absolute pressure sensor can be easily converted to altitudes, giving you a total of ten independent measurements (sometimes called 10DOF). With an appropriate algorithm, a microcontroller or computer can use the data to calculate the orientation and height of the AltIMU board. The gyro can be used to very accurately track rotation on a short timescale, while the accelerometer and compass can help compensate for gyro drift over time by providing an absolute frame of reference. The respective axes of the two chips are aligned on the board to facilitate these sensor fusion calculations.
The carrier board includes a low-dropout linear voltage regulator that provides the 3.3 V required by the LSM6DS33, LIS3MDL, and LPS25H, allowing the module to be powered from a single 2.5 V to 5.5 V supply. The regulator output is available on the VDD pin and can supply almost 150 mA to external devices. The breakout board also includes a circuit that shifts the I²C clock and data lines to the same logic voltage level as the supplied VIN, making it simple to interface the board with 5 V systems. The board's 0.1″ pin spacing makes it easy to use with standard solderless breadboards and 0.1″ perfboards.
- Dimensions: 1.0″ × 0.5″ × 0.1″ (25 mm × 13 mm × 3 mm)
- Weight without header pins: 0.8 g (0.03 oz)
- Operating voltage: 2.5 V to 5.5 V
- Supply current: 5 mA
- Output format (I²C):
- Gyro: one 16-bit reading per axis
- Accelerometer: one 16-bit reading per axis
- Magnetometer: one 16-bit reading per axis
- Barometer: 24-bit pressure reading (4096 LSb/mbar)
- Sensitivity range:
- Gyro: ±125, ±245, ±500, ±1000, or ±2000°/s
- Accelerometer: ±2, ±4, ±8, or ±16 g
- Magnetometer: ±4, ±8, ±12, or ±16 gauss
- Barometer: 260 mbar to 1260 mbar (26 kPa to 126 kPa)