The Use of Gravity Reductions in the Indirect Strapdown Airborne Gravimetry Processing

Abstract

Strapdown airborne gravimetry (SAG) is one of the most efficient techniques used in geodesy and geophysics for acquiring gravity data on relatively large regions in a faster and cost-effective way or to fill in the gravity data gaps on areas where it is neither practical nor possible to make terrestrial measurements. Recent studies have shown that accuracies of 1 mGal and precision of sub-mGal levels are possible with the strapdown inertial systems modified for gravimetry (e.g., temperature stabilization). Besides the advancements in the instrumentation, data processing and integration algorithms are evolving consistently. This study investigates the contribution of long- and short-wavelength gravity reductions following the remove–restore procedure in the indirect SAG processing, where the gravity disturbance at flight altitude is modeled stochastically as an additional system state in the Kalman filter sense. The proposed method is implemented to the airborne data collected in central Turkey in 2018 with a thermally stabilized strapdown inertial measurement unit of navigation-grade type. The inclusion of the long- and short-wavelength gravity reductions in the SAG processing limits the in-run bias variations of the Z-accelerometer and changes the parameters of the third-order Gauss–Markov gravity state model significantly. Utilization of the reduced gravity disturbance in the processing provides better long-wavelength stability in the solution by reducing the mean bias of about 2.60 to 0.65 mGal between the airborne gravity estimates and a high-resolution global gravity model. Moreover, a remarkable improvement in the internal precision is achieved when the gravity reductions are introduced into the SAG solution. Comparisons at the crossover points demonstrate that the application of gravity reductions yields considerably lower crossover residuals than the standard solution without reductions. The non-adjusted crossover differences of the long- and short-wavelength removed and restored SAG solution result in an RMSE value of 0.79 mGal, that is, 40% better precision than the standard solution.

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Availability of Data and Material

The data that support the findings of this study are owned by the Ministry of National Defense, General Directorate of Mapping, Turkey. The author is not authorized to share the data with third parties. To access the data, contact the General Directorate of Mapping at gdm@harita.gov.tr.

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Acknowledgements

This work is a part of the Turkish Height System Modernization and Gravity Recovery Project supported by the Presidency of Turkey, Directorate of Strategy and Budget, and coordinated by the Turkish General Directorate of Mapping.

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This research received no external funding.

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The author has done the whole work by himself.

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Correspondence to Mehmet Simav.

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The SAG processing software used in the study is owned by the Ministry of National Defense, General Directorate of Mapping, Turkey. The author is not authorized to share it with third parties.

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Simav, M. The Use of Gravity Reductions in the Indirect Strapdown Airborne Gravimetry Processing. Surv Geophys (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10712-020-09596-3

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Keywords

  • Strapdown airborne gravimetry
  • Indirect approach
  • Gravity reductions
  • Global geopotential model
  • Residual terrain modeling
  • Remove–restore