Deriving Acceleration from DGPS: Toward Higher Resolution Applications of Airborne Gravimetry
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Although airborne gravimetry is now considered a fully operational technique, errors due to motion compensation using differential GPS (DGPS) continue to influence both its accuracy and the range of applications in which it can be used. In typical medium-resolution applications such as airborne geoid mapping, errors due to DGPS contribute considerably to the error budget of an airborne gravity system. At the same time, efforts to increase the resolution of such systems for demanding applications such as resource exploration remain impedded by errors in DGPS.
This article has three objectives. The first one is to compare eight industrially relevant DGPS software packages for the determination of aircraft acceleration. The second objective is to analyze and quantify the effect that each relevant portion of the DGPS error budget has on the determination of acceleration. Using data sets that represent a wide range of operational conditions, this is done in the frequency domain over a range of frequencies corresponding to spatial resolution as high as 450 m. The third objective is to use that information to recommend and demonstrate approaches that optimize the estimation of aircraft acceleration for determining the geoid and for resource exploration.
It is shown, for example, that the time of day in which the survey is carried out and the dynamic characteristics of the aircraft being used are two of the most crucial parameters for very high-resolution gravity field estimation. It is demonstrated that when following the above-mentioned recommendations, agreements with ground daa of better than 1.5 and 2.5 mGal can be achieved for spatial resolutions (half-wavelengths) of 2.0 and 1.4 km, respectively. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
KeywordsGravity Field Gravimetry Motion Compensation Field Estimation Crucial Parameter
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