Gravity requirements for compensation of ultra-precise inertial navigation

Jay Hyoun Kwon, Christopher Jekeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Precision inertial navigation depends not only on the quality of the inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyros), but also on the accuracy of the gravity compensation. With a view toward the next-generation inertial navigation systems, based on sensors whose errors contribute as little as a few metres per hour to the navigation error budget, we have analyzed the required quality of gravity compensation to the navigation solution. The investigation considered a standard compensation method using ground data to predict the gravity vector at altitude for aircraft free-inertial navigation. The navigation effects of the compensation errors were examined using gravity data in two gravimetrically distinct areas and a navigation simulator with parameters such as data noise and resolution, supplemental global gravity model noise, and on-track interpolation method. For a typical flight trajectory at 5 km altitude and 300 km/hr aircraft speed, the error in gravity compensation contributes less than 5 m to the position error after one hour of free-inertial navigation if the ground data are gridded with 2 arcmin resolution and are accurate to better than 5 mGal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-492
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Navigation
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • Gravity compensation
  • Inertial navigation
  • Precision navigation

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