Inertial navigation systems and gravimeters are now routinely used to map the regional gravitational quantities from an aircraft with mGal accuracy and a spatial resolution of a few kilometers. However, airborne gravimeter of this kind is limited by the inaccuracy of the inertial sensor performance, the integrated navigation technique and the kinematic acceleration determination. As the GPS technique developed, the vehicle acceleration determination is no longer the limiting factor in airborne gravity due to the cancellation of the common mode acceleration in differential mode. A new airborne gravimeter taking full advantage of the inertial navigation system is described with improved mechanical design, high precision time synchronization, better thermal control and optimized sensor modeling. Apart from the general usage, the Global Positioning System (GPS) after differentiation is integrated to the inertial navigation system which provides not only more precise altitude information along with the navigation aiding, but also an effective way to calculate the vehicle acceleration. Design description and test results on the performance of the gyroscopes and accelerations will be emphasized. Analysis and discussion of the airborne field test results are also given.
- Technology and Engineering