Title: Flight Tests of Attitude Determination Using GPS Compared Against an Inertial Measurement Unit
Author(s): Clark E. Cohen, Bradford W. Parkinson, B. David McNally
Published in: Proceedings of the 1993 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 20 - 22, 1993
Parc 55 Hotel
San Francisco, CA
Pages: 579 - 587
Cite this article: Cohen, Clark E., Parkinson, Bradford W., McNally, B. David, "Flight Tests of Attitude Determination Using GPS Compared Against an Inertial Measurement Unit," Proceedings of the 1993 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, San Francisco, CA, January 1993, pp. 579-587.
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Abstract: Attitude determination using GPS has been applied successfully to aircraft in experiments by a number of researchers. In an effort to formally characterize its accuracy and bandwidth performance, a GPS attitude determination system was flight tested against an inertial navigation unit (lNU). Based on completely separate physical principles, this testing provides an independent means of evaluating overall performance. The sub-centimeter relative ranging precision offered by measurements of carrier phase serves as the foundation of attitude determination using GPS. Real-time attitude capability has been demonstrated with an accuracy better than 0.1 deg at an output rate of 10 Hz. Such performance opens the door to new applications in aviation, including heading and attitude sensing to augment traditional cockpit sensors and on-line aircraft system identification to enhance flight safety. For the flight experiments, a King Air 200 twin turbo- prop transport aircraft (NASA 701) was outfitted with a Trimble TANS Vector attitude determination receiver. A Litton LN-93 strap-down ring laser gyro INU was operated in the main cabin as the independent reference. For system evaluation, a number of test maneuvers were executed, including pitch angles to f30 deg and bank angles to +60 deg. Performance in moderate turbulence was measured. The impact of structural flexure during aircraft maneuvering was evaluated.