Real-time integration of a tactical-grade IMU and GPS for high-accuracy positioning and navigation

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The integration of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation Systems (INSs) is often used to provide accurate positioning and navigation information. For applications requiring the highest accuracy, the quality of the inertial sensors required is usually assumed to be very high. This dissertation investigates the integration of GPS with a tactical-grade Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for centimetre-level navigation in real-time. Different GPS/INS integration strategies are investigated to assess their relative performance in terms of position and velocity accuracy during partial and complete data outages, carrier phase ambiguity resolution after such data outages, and the overall statistical reliability of the system. In terms of statistical reliability, the traditional equations used in dynamic systems are redeveloped in light of some practical considerations, including centralized and decentralized filter architectures, and sequential versus simultaneous measurement updating. Results show that the integrated solution outperforms the GPS-only approach in all areas. The difference between loose and tight integration strategies was most significant for ambiguity resolution and system reliability. The integrated solution is capable of providing decimetre-level accuracy or better for durations of about five or ten seconds when a complete or partial GPS outage is simulated. This level of accuracy, extended over longer time intervals, is shown to reduce the time required to resolve the 11 ambiguities by an average of about 50% or more for data outages as long as 30 seconds when using a tight integration strategy. More importantly, the reliability of the ambiguity resolution process is improved with the integrated system. Statistical reliability parameters are also dramatically better when using the integrated system with the ability of detecting a single-cycle cycle slip being better and more consistent, relative to GPS-only. The effect of undetected blunders on the final system is also significantly reduced. Two real-time tests are analyzed and results show that directly resolving the 11 ambiguities is still unreliable in suburban environments, even with the integrated system. However, using the widelane phase observable, sub-decimetre navigation is demonstrated in suburban and pseudo-urban environments, despite the relatively adverse operational conditions encountered.
Bibliography: p. 197-208
Petovello, M. G. (2003). Real-time integration of a tactical-grade IMU and GPS for high-accuracy positioning and navigation (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/23031