Preliminary Results of a GPS/INS Airborne Gravimetry Experiment Over the German Alps

  • Ch. GerlachEmail author
  • R. Dorobantu
  • Ch. Ackermann
  • N.S. Kjørsvik
  • G. Boedecker
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 135)


Airborne gravimetry using a combination of GPS and a strapdown inertial measurement unit (IMU) is a well known method. We will present preliminary results of a flight campaign that was carried out in a Cessna 172 with a navigation grade IMU (iNAV-RQH) over a \(20 \times 20\,\textrm{km}\) region in the German Alps. The experiment can be considered an extreme case with dense mapping of a very local area with rough gravity field in a very small aircraft. The recovered gravity disturbance along the trajectory is checked for internal consistency at crossover points. This indicates a precision of the solution in the range of 3 mgal for a spatial resolution for 2 km. Besides classical DGPS we also make use of absolute Precise Point Positioning (PPP), which is an useful alternative if it comes to post-processing solutions, especially for remote areas. The results indicate that the accuracy of the PPP solution is well suited for airborne gravimetry.

Key words

Airborne gravimetry Precise point positioning INS/GPS 



Precise ephemerides and SAPOS data were provided by IGS and Bayerisches Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation, respectively. Both are gratefully acknowledged. We are very grateful to our pilot Mr. Max Walch for the very pleasant and constructive cooperation and a perfect flight. The research was conducted under support from the Småforsk program of the Norwegian Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ch. Gerlach
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Dorobantu
    • 2
  • Ch. Ackermann
    • 2
  • N.S. Kjørsvik
    • 3
  • G. Boedecker
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical Sciences and TechnologyNorwegian University of Environmental and Life SciencesNorwegianNorway
  2. 2.Institute for Astronomical and Physical GeodesyTechnische Universität MünchenMünchenGermany
  3. 3.Terratec ASLysakerNorway
  4. 4.Bavarian Academy of Sciences and HumanityMunichGermany

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