Because of the harsh polar environment, the master strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) has low accuracy and the system model information becomes abnormal. In this case, existing polar transfer alignment (TA) algorithms which use the measurement information provided by master SINS would lose their effectiveness. In this paper, a new polar TA algorithm with the aid of a star sensor and based on an adaptive unscented Kalman filter (AUKF) is proposed to deal with the problems. Since the measurement information provided by master SINS is inaccurate, the accurate information provided by the star sensor is chosen as the measurement. With the compensation of lever-arm effect and the model of star sensor, the nonlinear navigation equations are derived. Combined with the attitude matching method, the filter models for polar TA are designed. An AUKF is introduced to solve the abnormal information of system model. Then, the AUKF is used to estimate the states of TA. Results have demonstrated that the performance of the new polar TA algorithm is better than the state-of-the-art polar TA algorithms. Therefore, the new polar TA algorithm proposed in this paper is effectively to ensure and improve the accuracy of TA in the harsh polar environment.
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