Integrated Attitude and Navigation System for Small Airplane

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Abstract

Navigation system is one of the most important aircraft systems. Accuracy and precision of position and attitude is extremely important for safe aircraft operations. The integrated INS/GNSS systems are commonly used as autonomous on-board devices for fulfilling this task. The INS sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes are mainly affected by drift. The GNSS encounter stochastic disturbances with no tendency to grow in time but as each radio navigation system may be jammed or its signal can just be not available. These base properties of errors make these two systems well suited for integration. These were the main motivations for development of integrated navigation and attitude determination system, presented in this article. In the developed system, data is integrated from all available sensors, particularly INS, GPS, and air data computer. Navigation information from these sensors is combined using Kalman filtering algorithms to obtain robust solution, effective also in a case of failure/inaccessibility of GPS. Position calculated using the accelerations from INS is corrected by position from GPS and optionally by position calculated using the true airspeed (TAS) from ADC. Navigation system is modelled and programmed in MATLAB environment. The system was tested using the data from real experiments, proving efficiency of the method.

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