A Comparison of the Performance of Medium- and High-Quality Inertial Systems Grades for Strapdown Airborne Gravimetry
In 2010 and 2011 airborne field campaigns were carried out with the goal to assess and compare the performance of various GNSS/IMU systems for airborne gravimetry. These so-called strapdown gravimetry systems are less expensive, more compact and less power consuming, while being easier to install and operate, than spring gravimeters. Besides the quality of the IMU, the performance of a strapdown system depends on a number of factors, such as flight speed and flight altitude, as well as flight stability, among others. The results achieved showed that it is possible, with a simple set up based on only one GNSS antenna/receiver, and a medium cost IMU, to reach accuracies of a few miligal. This confirms the possibility to use medium cost strapdown systems for regional geoid improvement, in particular in areas lacking any other gravimetric data. The navigation grade IMUs, as expected, delivered better results. Comparison with the EGM2008 model showed an agreement better than 1 mGal over land and worst, of the order of a few mGal, in coastal areas. The paper also shows that with proper modelling and adequate filtering, good results can still be obatined even in more difficult/turbulent flight conditions.
KeywordsAirborne GNSS Gravity IMU Strapdown
The PITVANT project is funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Defence. The GEOMAD project was funded by EUFAR (European Facility for Airborne Research). We would like to thank Direcção Regional de Informação Geográfica e Ordenamento do Território for providing the GNSS data from stations on Madeira and Porto-Santo. During the write-up of this research, Machiel Bos was funded by national funds through FCT in the scope of the Project SFRH/BPD/89923/2012.
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