Multi sensor boards contain multiple sensors that are suited for use in conjunction. Flying vehicles/robots need lots of sensor readings in different axes and they have limited space for electronics. For that reason, multiple sensor boards are frequently used in flying applications. The sensor types used in these boards are generally accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. Two or more of these sensors can be used in multi sensor boards.
Since they are used mainly in flying applications, multi sensor boards are also called IMU (inertial measurement unit). The most frequently used sensors in these boards are accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers. Accelerometers provide axial acceleration data, gyroscopes provide angular velocity and magnetometers provide direction data. These sensors generally work on 3 axes, so a multi sensor board which has these three sensors are said to have 9-DOF(degree of freedom). Besides these three sensors, some multi sensor boards have an extra DOF due to an extra pressure sensor to measure altitude. Multi sensor boards are mostly designed to have 9 or 10 DOF, but there are various boards that have different DOFs.
Due to the great number of readings in different axes, multi sensor boards transfer data digitally over a serial port. Although some of the sensors used in the board can have analog outputs when used single, analog outputs are not preferred in multi sensor board designs.