# What are wheel ticks and wheel impulses?

I'm tracking the position of a vehicle along a certain trajectory using the Kalman filter and we have odometry data provided to us which gives the x-position of the vehicle, y-position of the vehicle and orientation of the vehicle. This is calculated based on the wheelticks and is relative to the inertial origin of coordinates. We also have data which tells us about the number of received wheel impulses from each of the wheels.

1. What exactly are the differences between wheel ticks and wheel impulses? Does wheel impulse mean the wheel speed (rpm)?
2. If steering angle data (Averaged steering wheel angle) is additionally available, can this also be used to calculate velocity and position?
• when you were a child, did you ever attach a piece of cardboard to the front fork of your bicycle so that the wheel spokes would make a clicking sound when the front wheel turned? ... that is very similar to the tick sensor Sep 12, 2019 at 2:45
• Nicely explained. So the tick sensor basically counts the notches on a toothed ring on the wheel as it rotates and gives this as some pulsed data to the ECU (Higher the speed, larger the number of notches counted), where it calculates velocity from this data. Is this understanding correct? Sep 12, 2019 at 9:38
• @jsotola - Nice answer! Could you please copy your comment into an answer, so OP can accept it? Sep 12, 2019 at 12:44
• @surajr - I haven't heard of "wheel impulses" as a term before. Could you please link the datasheet for the sensor you have that is providing you with this information? Sep 12, 2019 at 12:46
• @Chuck - Unfortunately, we received only a data file (HDF5 format) and a signal list description at the uni from an external supplier. And some of this data contained values termed Wheel Impulses and Wheel Pulses for each of the wheels in it. If it helps, I can attach the link to the data file and the Python Code for reading it Sep 12, 2019 at 13:18

• @surajr - I mean you've got to convert steering angle to a radius of curvature (which is based on steering angle and the vehicle's wheel base), and then calculate your change in heading based on the arc length that is traversed ($s = r\theta$, so you're looking at $\Delta \theta = \Delta s/r$). You have to do this incrementally at each time step and sum the increments as opposed to, e.g., taking the average steering angle and applying the average vehicle speed. Sep 12, 2019 at 15:36
• @surajr - Yes, sorry I corrected it. Yeah, at each step you'd count your wheel encoder ticks and figure how far you've traveled ($\Delta s$) based on ticks per revolution and wheel radius, figure the radius of curvature $r$, and get the incremental heading change and add that to your running total. Sep 12, 2019 at 16:14