Skip to Main Content
An observability analysis of a GPS/INS system during manoeuvers is presented based upon a perturbation model with respect to the Earth-centered-Earth-fixed (ECEF) coordinate system. Analysis is performed on two types of manoeuvers, linear acceleration and steady turn. These manoeuvers could be used for in-flight INS alignment using GPS. During the constant linear acceleration without rotation relative to the Earth, the linear system model is shown to be time-invariant. The observability analysis for the time invariant linear system model shows that linear acceleration does not change the number of observable modes but rather the structure of the observable space. For a nonconstant linear acceleration or a steady turn, the perturbation linear system becomes time varying. For this time-varying system, three types of observability are considered, complete, differential, and instantaneous observability. Instantaneous observability is the strongest properties and means that the state of the system at any time may be determined instantaneously from observation of the output and its derivatives. Instantaneous observability is important for fast in-flight INS alignment. It is shown that the number of instantaneously observable moded is increased by at least 2 during a maneuver. Hence, some linear combinations of the attitude angles become instantaneously observable.