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Open-File Report 2004–1391

Airborne Digital Sensor System and GPS-aided Inertial Technology for Direct Geopositioning in Rough Terrain

By Richard D. Sanchez

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (563 KB)Abstract

High-resolution airborne digital cameras with onboard data collection based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) and inertial navigation systems (INS) technology may offer a real-time means to gather accurate topographic map information by reducing ground control and eliminating aerial triangulation. Past evaluations of this integrated system over relatively flat terrain have proven successful. The author uses Emerge Digital Sensor System (DSS) combined with Applanix Corporation’s Position and Orientation Solutions for Direct Georeferencing to examine the positional mapping accuracy in rough terrain. The positional accuracy documented in this study did not meet large-scale mapping requirements owing to an apparent system mechanical failure. Nonetheless, the findings yield important information on a new approach for mapping in Antarctica and other remote or inaccessible areas of the world.

First posted 2004

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Suggested citation:

Sanchez, R.D., 2004, Airborne Digital Sensor System and GPS-aided inertial technology for direct geopositioning in rough terrain: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004–1391, 10 p., available only online at

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