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International Journal of Navigation and Observation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 397686, 13 pages
Research Article

Navigation Facility for High Accuracy Offline Trajectory and Attitude Estimation in Airborne Applications

1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
2Department for Technologies, Centro Direzionale, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Isola C4, 80143 Naples, Italy

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 26 July 2013

Academic Editor: Nicolas Sifakis

Copyright © 2013 A. Renga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper focuses on a navigation facility, relying on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, developed to generate high-accuracy attitude and trajectory measurements in postprocessing. Target performance is cm-level positioning with tenth of degree attitude accuracy. The facility is based on the concept of GPS-aided inertial navigation but comprises carrier-phase differential GPS (CDGPS) processing and attitude estimation based on multiantenna GPS configurations. Expected applications of the system include: (a) performance assessment of integrated navigation systems, developed for general aviation aircraft and medium size unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); (b) generation of reference measurements to evaluate the flight performance of airborne sensors (e.g., radar or laser); and (c) generation of reference trajectory and attitude for improving imaging quality of airborne remote sensing data. The paper describes system architecture, selected algorithms for data processing and integration, and theoretical performance evaluation. Experimental results are also presented confirming the effectiveness of the implemented approach.