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Use of Distance-measuring Equipment (DME) for Correcting Errors in Position, Velocity, and Wind Measurements from Aircraft Inertial Navigation Systems

Alfred R. RodiUniversity of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

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James C. FankhauserNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Robin L. VaughanNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

Aircraft distance-measuring-equipment (DME) data are used to update position, velocity, and wind measurements from inertial navigation systems (INS) measurements. Data from conventional single-channel DME sets, suitably calibrated, are shown to be adequate to resolve the Schuler oscillation and correct INS positions to better than 1-km accuracy. The satellite-based NAVSTAR global position system (GPS) is rapidly superseding other systems for external position reference. However, DME is reliable and very accurate and has been recorded on many research datasets. The principal limitation of the DME is that it is restricted to land-based navigation. The regression technique used does not necessitate multiple DME receivers or station switching and involves few restrictions on the collection of the data. However, the results improve when more than one station is used. Comparisons with other navigation systems (interferometer and loran) demonstrate the method's skill in resolving INS errors. Intercomparisons among several research aircraft flying in close formation support the method's usefulness in correcting biases in INS data.

Abstract

Aircraft distance-measuring-equipment (DME) data are used to update position, velocity, and wind measurements from inertial navigation systems (INS) measurements. Data from conventional single-channel DME sets, suitably calibrated, are shown to be adequate to resolve the Schuler oscillation and correct INS positions to better than 1-km accuracy. The satellite-based NAVSTAR global position system (GPS) is rapidly superseding other systems for external position reference. However, DME is reliable and very accurate and has been recorded on many research datasets. The principal limitation of the DME is that it is restricted to land-based navigation. The regression technique used does not necessitate multiple DME receivers or station switching and involves few restrictions on the collection of the data. However, the results improve when more than one station is used. Comparisons with other navigation systems (interferometer and loran) demonstrate the method's skill in resolving INS errors. Intercomparisons among several research aircraft flying in close formation support the method's usefulness in correcting biases in INS data.

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