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Implementation of nortfinding techniques

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2006
Oğuz, Pınar
The fundamental problem of navigation is to find the initial north angle of the body with respect to the reference frame. Determination of the north angle of the body frame is required in spacecraft, aircraft, sea-craft, land-craft and missile control and guidance. This thesis discusses implementation and comparison of four northfinding techniques. These are GPS (Global Positioning System) based with integer search, GPS based with Kalman filter, accelerometer based and IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) based techniques. The north angle is determined by the processing of difference measurements of the GPS carrier phase between two antennas at GPS based northfinding techniques. Carrier phase ambiguity resolution is the main problem in GPS based techniques. Since, GPS receiver measures only the fractional part of the carrier phase. Therefore, integer part remains unknown. Two distinct ideas are applied to solve carrier phase ambiguities in two techniques. One of them is integer search on single phase difference. Suitable integer sets are checked on the cost function which is constructed from the single phase difference between two antennas. The other technique uses integer estimator and attitude estimator with Kalman filter rely on double difference phase measurements which are obtained from carrier phase differences of two antennas and two satellites at one instant. To test the GPS based techniques, a realistic GPS emulator is implemented. GPS emulator provides typical GPS raw navigation data including satellite positions, pseudoranges and carrier phases. Accelerometer based northfinding technique is composed of a vertically placed linear accelerometer on a rotating platform. The north angle is found by Coriolis acceleration due to Earth and platform rotation. Implementation problems of this technique in practice are discussed. IMU based northfinding technique has inertial sensor components such as gyroscopes and accelerometers to sense the Earth rotation rate and gravitational force respectively. The north angle is found by the processing of these inertial sensors output. Real set-up is established to test the IMU based technique.