Attitude errors in a strapdown inertial navigation system due to gravity disturbances and system noises can be relatively large, although they are bound within the Schuler and the Earth rotation period. The principal objective of the investigation is to determine to what extent accurate gravity data can improve the attitude accuracy. The way the gravity disturbances affect the attitude were analyzed and compared with system noises by the analytic solution and simulation. The gravity disturbances affect the attitude accuracy by introducing the initial attitude error and the equivalent accelerometer bias. With the development of the high precision inertial devices and the application of the rotation modulation technology, the gravity disturbance cannot be neglected anymore. The gravity compensation was performed using the EGM2008 and simulations with and without accurate gravity compensation under varying navigation conditions were carried out. The results show that the gravity compensation improves the horizontal components of attitude accuracy evidently while the yaw angle is badly affected by the uncompensated gyro bias in vertical channel.
Former studies have proved that the attitude error in a single-axis rotation INS/GPS integrated system tracks the high frequency component of the deflections of the vertical (DOV) with a fixed delay and tracking error. This paper analyses the influence of the nominal process noise covariance matrix Q on the tracking error as well as the response delay, and proposed a Q-adjusting technique to obtain the attitude error which can track the DOV better. Simulation results show that different settings of Q lead to different response delay and tracking error; there exists optimal Q which leads to a minimum tracking error and a comparatively short response delay; for systems with different accuracy, different Q-adjusting strategy should be adopted. In this way, the DOV estimation accuracy of using the attitude error as the observation can be improved. According to the simulation results, the DOV estimation accuracy after using the Q-adjusting technique is improved by approximate 23% and 33% respectively compared to that of the Earth Model EGM2008 and the direct attitude difference method.