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Sensors 2011, 11(7), 6991-7003; doi:10.3390/s110706991

A Celestial Assisted INS Initialization Method for Lunar Explorers

* ,
School of Instrumentation Science & Opto-electronics Engineering, BeiHang University (BUAA), Beijing 100191, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2011 / Revised: 24 June 2011 / Accepted: 26 June 2011 / Published: 4 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering 2011)
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The second and third phases of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) are planning to achieve Moon landing, surface exploration and automated sample return. In these missions, the inertial navigation system (INS) and celestial navigation system (CNS) are two indispensable autonomous navigation systems which can compensate for limitations in the ground based navigation system. The accurate initialization of the INS and the precise calibration of the CNS are needed in order to achieve high navigation accuracy. Neither the INS nor the CNS can solve the above problems using the ground controllers or by themselves on the lunar surface. However, since they are complementary to each other, these problems can be solved by combining them together. A new celestial assisted INS initialization method is presented, in which the initial position and attitude of the explorer as well as the inertial sensors’ biases are estimated by aiding the INS with celestial measurements. Furthermore, the systematic error of the CNS is also corrected by the help of INS measurements. Simulations show that the maximum error in position is 300 m and in attitude 40″, which demonstrates this method is a promising and attractive scheme for explorers on the lunar surface.
Keywords: lunar exploration; autonomous initialization; inertial navigation; celestial navigation lunar exploration; autonomous initialization; inertial navigation; celestial navigation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ning, X.; Wang, L.; Wu, W.; Fang, J. A Celestial Assisted INS Initialization Method for Lunar Explorers. Sensors 2011, 11, 6991-7003.

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