The Navigation Potential of Ground Feature Tracking
Navigation System aiding using bearing measurements of stationary ground features is investigated. The objective is to quantify the navigation information obtained by tracking ground features over time. The answer is provided by an analysis of the attendant observability problem. The degree of Inertial Navigation System aiding action is determined by the degree of observability provided by the measurement arrangement. The latter is strongly influenced by the nature of the available measurements—in our case, bearing measurements of stationary ground objects—the trajectory of the aircraft, and the length of the measurement interval. It is shown that when one known ground object is tracked, the observability Grammian is rank deficient and thus full Inertial Navigation System aiding action is not available. However, if baro altitude is available and an additional vertical gyroscope is used to provide an independent measurement of the aircraft’s pitch angle, a data driven estimate of the complete navigation state can be obtained. If two ground features are simultaneously tracked the observability Grammian is full rank and all the components of the navigation state vector are positively impacted by the external measurements.
KeywordsKalman Filter Inertial Navigation System Ground Object Partial Observability Ground Feature
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