Title: An Examination of the Relative Merits of Various Sensors for Vehicle Navigation
Author(s): Eric Abbott and David Powell
Published in: Proceedings of the 8th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1995)
September 12 - 15, 1995
Palm Springs, CA
Pages: 1269 - 1284
Cite this article: Abbott, Eric, Powell, David, "An Examination of the Relative Merits of Various Sensors for Vehicle Navigation," Proceedings of the 8th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1995), Palm Springs, CA, September 1995, pp. 1269-1284.
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Abstract: The research described in this paper is aimed at providing a quantitative measure and a qualitative understanding of the contribution that each sensor in a land-vehicle navigation system makes to the system’s overall performance. This includes a quantitative evaluation of the relative merits of various sensors typically used in existing land-vehicle navigation systems. The results presented in this paper are based on data obtained from analytical studies and simulations. An analytical error model was derived for each sensor that was examined. These error models were subsequently used in a Kalman filter whose purpose was to generate an estimate of the vehicle’s position. The Kalman filter was used in several Monte Carlo simulation studies of various system architectures. In addition, experimental data has been obtained from a prototype navigation system that has been installed in a test vehicle. These experimental data have been used to verify the analytical error models for several sensors. Results show that the accurate calibration of a navigation system’s heading and heading rate sensors to be of prime importance. It has been found that a rate gyro’s scale factor exhibits poor observability characteristics, and the use of differential GPS fixes do not substantially improve the estimate of this quantity. In addition, it has been found that a rate gyro’s bias error contributes more to positioning error than other rate gyro errors. Finally, we have found that, in the absence of absolute position measurements, the presence of a compass in the navigation system plays a significant role in reducing positioning errors.