Attitude and heading reference system
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An attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) consists of sensors on three axes that provide attitude information for aircraft, including roll, pitch and yaw. They are designed to replace traditional mechanical gyroscopic flight instruments and provide superior reliability and accuracy.
AHRS consist of either solid-state or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes, accelerometers and magnetometers on all three axes. The key difference between an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and an AHRS is the addition of an on-board processing system in an AHRS which provides attitude and heading information versus an IMU which just delivers sensor data to an additional device that computes attitude and heading. In addition to attitude determination an AHRS may also form part of an inertial navigation system.
AHRS have proven themselves to be highly reliable and are in common use in commercial and business aircraft. AHRS are typically integrated with electronic flight instrument systems (EFIS) which are the central part of so-called glass cockpits, to form the primary flight display. AHRS can be combined with air data computers to form an "air data, attitude and heading reference systems" (ADAHRS), which provide additional information such as airspeed, altitude and outside air temperature.