A new approach for airborne vector gravimetry using GPS/INS

J. H. Kwon, C. Jekeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


A new method for airborne vector gravimetry using GPS/INS has been developed and the results are presented. The new algorithm uses kinematic accelerations as updates instead of positions or velocities, and all calculations are performed in the inertial frame. Therefore, it is conceptually simpler, easier, more straightforward and computationally less expensive compared to the traditional approach in which the complex navigation equations should be integrated. Moreover, it is a unified approach for determining all three vector components, and no stochastic gravity modeling is required. This approach is based on analyzing the residuals from the Kalman filter of sensor errors, and further processing with wavenumber coefficient filterings is applied in case closely parallel tracks of data are available. An application to actual test-flight data is performed to test the validity of the new algorithm. The results yield an accuracy in the down component of about 3-4 mGal. Also, comparable results are obtained for the horizontal components with accuracies of about 6 mGal. The gravity modeling issue is discussed and alternative methods are presented, none of which improves on the original approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-700
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


  • Airborne vector gravimetry
  • GPS
  • INS
  • Kalman filter
  • Wavenumber coefficient filter


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