Modern railway track health monitoring requires high accuracy measurements to ensure comfort and safety. Although Global Navigation Satellite System/Inertial Navigation System (GNSS/INS) integration has been extended to track geometry measurements to improve the work efficiency, it has been questioned due to its positioning accuracy at the centimeter or millimeter level. We propose the relative spatial accuracy based on the accuracy requirement of track health monitoring. A requirement assessment of the spatial relative accuracy is conducted for shortwave track irregularity measurements based on evaluation indicators and relative accuracy calculations. The threshold values of the relative spatial accuracy that satisfy the constraints of shortwave track irregularity measurements are derived. Motion-constrained GNSS/INS integration is performed to improve the navigation accuracy considering the dynamic characteristics of the track geometry measurement trolley. The results of field tests show that the mean square error and the Allan deviation of the relative position errors of motion-constrained GNSS/INS integration are smaller than 0.67 mm and 0.16 mm, respectively, which indicates that this approach meets the accuracy requirements of shortwave track irregularities, especially vertical irregularities. This work can provide support for the application of GNSS/INS systems in track irregularity measurement.
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