Title: Aircraft Applications of GPS-Based Attitude Determination
Author(s): Clark E. Cohen and Bradford W. Parkinson
Published in: Proceedings of the 5th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1992)
September 16 - 18, 1992
Albuquerque, NM
Pages: 775 - 782
Cite this article: Cohen, Clark E., Parkinson, Bradford W., "Aircraft Applications of GPS-Based Attitude Determination," Proceedings of the 5th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1992), Albuquerque, NM, September 1992, pp. 775-782.
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Abstract: Extensive flight testing has been conducted on a single- engine Piper Dakota to explore new applications of attitude determination using GPS for aircraft. Combined with the navigation function of GPS, real time heading and attitude sensing at 10 Hz to better than 0.1 deg RMS using GPS offers an attractive supplement to existing cockpit instrumentation. An exciting new application of attitude sensing using GPS is the estimation of the aircraft dynamic model in flight. Dynamic response data obtained through GPS can be used to estimate aircraft stability derivatives, design optimal autopilots, and augment RAIM. Real time estimation of wing flex using GPS to measure instantaneous wing loading is an added benefit. Cycle ambiguities are resolved through the natural aircraft attitude motion, consisting of banks, turns, or small attitude motion. Attitude motion modulates the measurements of GPS carrier phase with a signature that is used to identify the cycle ambiguities within seconds. Unlike search techniques, the motion-based approach is not vulnerable to false solutions, even for arbitrarily long baselines. The paper presents and analyzes flight data showing the short-period, phugoid, and Dutch roll modes resulting from impulsive inputs to the controls.