In this AGARDograph, the potential of DGPS as a positioning datum for flight test applications is deeply discussed. Current technology status and future trends are investigated in order to identify optimal system architectures for both the on-board and ground station components, and to define optimal strategies for DGPS data gathering during various flight testing tasks. Limitations of DGPS techniques are deeply analyzed, and various possible integration schemes with other sensors are considered. Finally, the architecture of an integrated position reference system suitable for flight test applications is identified. The purpose of this AGARDograph is to provide comprehensive guidance on assessing the need for and determining the characteristics of DGPS based position reference systems for flight test activities. The specific goals are to make available to the NATO flight test community the best practices and advice for DGPS based systems architecture definition and equipment selection. A variety of flight test applications are examined and both real-time and post-mission DGPS data requirements are outlined. Particularly, DGPS accuracy, continuity and integrity issues are considered, and possible improvements achievable by means of signal augmentation strategies are identified. Possible architectures for integrating DGPS with other airborne sensors (e.g., INS, Radalt) are presented, with particular emphasis on current and likely future data fusion algorithms. Particular attention is devoted to simulation analysis in support of flight test activities with DGPS. Finally, an outline of current research perspectives in the field of DGPS technology is given.
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