A Method of Airborne Gravimetry by Combining Strapdown Inertial and New Satellite Observations via Dynamic Networks

  • J. SkaloudEmail author
  • I. Colomina
  • M. E. Parés
  • M. Blázquez
  • J. Silva
  • M. Chersich
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 147)


We revisit the concept of scalar gravity anomaly determination by an airborne strapdown INS–GNSS system. We built on the previously investigated concepts (mainly within 1995–2005 period) while trying to decrease the error spectrum of the system caused by accelerometer biases at lower frequencies and GNSS-position/velocity noise at shorter wavelengths. We propose to determine the random long-term accelerometer bias through combination of −GRACE + GOCE data that provide an unbiased field with 80 km resolution while the decrease in velocity noise is expected by precise-point-positioning (PPP) method that merges satellite-phase observations from GPS and Galileo. In the absence of Galileo constellation we focus our practical demonstration on the gravity-anomaly determination via INS/GNSS data filtering. We present first the modeling of an extended Kalman filter/smoother that determines the gravity anomaly together with the trajectory, which is a preferred method over the cascade determination (i.e. separate estimation of trajectory and specific forces, GNSS acceleration and low-pass filtering of the merged signal). Second, we show how to incorporate the same modeling within the concept of dynamic networks. This approach allows imposing cross-over conditions on the state of gravity anomaly at trajectory intersections while estimating the sensor and trajectory errors at the same time. This is indeed rigorous formulation of the problem that is expected to surpass the conditioning via cross-over adjustment that in previous investigations followed the filtering-smoothing. Despite the remaining challenges of the method of dynamic network caused by large number of parameters (i.e. > 106), we present first assessment of such implementation that was obtained within European FP7 GAL project.


Airborne gravimetry Dynamic networks Gravity anomalies INS/GNSS integration 



The research reported in this article was conducted within the “Galileo for Gravity” (GAL) project funded by the European Commission (grant 287193), within the 7th European Programme for Research and Development (FP7), and managed by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA). GAL was realized by a consortium lead by the Italian company Galileian Plus.

The contribution of GeoNumerics to this article was partially funded by the Spanish project DINA (Ref. SPTQ120-1X005688XV0, Progama Torres y Quevedo, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad,Spain).

The first author thanks to Dr. Alex Bruton for providing a data set and programs for the purpose of comparison.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Skaloud
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. Colomina
    • 2
  • M. E. Parés
    • 3
  • M. Blázquez
    • 2
  • J. Silva
    • 4
  • M. Chersich
    • 5
  1. 1.Geodetic Engineering Laboratory (TOPO)LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.GeoNumericsCastelldefelsSpain
  3. 3.CTTCCastelldefelsSpain
  4. 4.DEIMOS EngenhariaLisboaPortugal
  5. 5.ESRI Italia c/o EUCENTREPaviaItaly

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