At a glance


Sensor fusion means using algorithms to combine data from one or several tracking systems with the purpose of achieving continuous and accurate state estimation. Sensing technologies based on time of flight, received signal strength indication, angle of arrival or inertial measurements all have fundamentally different characteristics, which complement each other in terms of range, precision and sampling rate. When these diverse technologies are all incorporated into one application and integrated on a single platform, sensor fusion ensures that their respective strengths are exploited and their weaknesses compensated for.

Technical Description

Provided that the sensors used are orthogonally arranged, sensor fusion can increase the accuracy of state estimates. For instance, GPS data can be fused with data from inertial measurement units. While a GPS system provides absolute position data, it captures relative motion less precisely. This latter task can be performed by integrated IMUs. Combining GPS position data with high-resolution motion data from IMUs thus improves the overall quality of the system.

Another purpose of sensor fusion is to enable seamless transitions between tracking systems. If several systems are used simultaneously so that their cells overlap, sensor fusion involves estimating values for some of the cells, depending on which and how many sensors are available. The accuracy of these estimates is then a function of the quality of the sensors used and of how far they overlap.

Sensor fusion is useful wherever several tracking systems and sensors are used. Safety-critical applications such as monitoring of large infrastructures or emergency responders particularly stand to benefit from the integration of several parameters.


Fraunhofer IIS's Nuremberg laboratories are constantly developing and enhancing tracking technologies. The solutions created range from inertial sensing to angle-of-arrival, time-of-flight and satellite navigation technology. More than ten different tracking technologies can be adapted, evolved and combined to produce custom prototypes and systems for the benefit of our partners.

Drawing on our experience of integrating various technologies, we are able to provide you with the ideal solution.

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