u
u
: angular velocity of aframe with respect to rframe, projected into the aframe, where aframe
and rframe are arbitrary frames (can be b,c, i, p,or t frame).
C
u
b
b
: gyrosensed angular velocity of bframe with respect to iframe, projected into the bframe.
e
b
: error of gyros in bframe.
2
Introduction
The combination of MicroElectroMechanical inertial sensors (MEMS) with Global Navigation
Satellite Systems (GNSS) can potentially result in an ideal navigation system characterized by
comparatively lowcost, lightweight and low power consumption, and longterm stable accuracy
compared with a standalone precise inertial navigation system (INS), which may be quite expensive
and heavy, and subject to accuracy drift. The psiangle error model is widely used in modern
INS/GNSS multisensor integrated navigation systems because the translatory error is isolated from
the psiangle error equation. However, as indicated in [1] investigators develop different equations for
psi, appropriate for their own coordinate systems and definition of the misalignment vector. Two
forms of the psiangle model have been proposed, for example:
= 
c
c
+ e
p
(1)
This is the psiangle model in [2, 3, 4], originally derived for gimballed INSs and also widely used in
strapdown INSs, and
= 
c
c
 e
p
(2)
This is the psiangle model referred to in [1, 5, 6] and originally derived for strapdown INSs.
The two forms of the psiangle model have opposite signs for the gyro error term, or equivalently the
two forms signify opposite sign of psi. However in both forms psi is denoted by the same symbol,
which can confuse readers and those implementing INS algorithms in software. The opposite signs of
psi will lead to opposite corrections of DCM C
b
p
in multisensor integrated systems.
In the literature, psi is usually defined as the angular misalignment between the pplatform and the c
platform. Few authors fully describe the misalignment  psi as a vector implies a direction and needs
to be projected into a certain coordinate system to facilitate computation. The following four vector
forms of psi are introduced:
(1)
pc
p
: angular difference of cframe with respect to the pframe, projected into the pframe.
(2)
pc
c
: angular difference of cframe with respect to the pframe, projected into the cframe.
(3)
cp
p
: angular difference of pframe with respect to the cframe, projected into the pframe.
(4)
cp
c
: angular difference of pframe with respect to the cframe, projected into the cframe.
The timederivative of psi is the relative angular velocity between the p and c frames. All four forms
of psi and their associated differential equations are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1. Vector forms of psi angle
Index definition
1
pc
p
=
pc
p
Angular difference of cframe with respect to
pframe, projected into pframe
2
pc
c
=
pc
c
Angular difference of cframe with respect to
pframe, projected into cframe
3
cp
p
=
cp
p
Angular difference of pframe with respect to
cframe, projected into pframe
4
cp
c
=
cp
c
Angular difference of pframe with respect to
cframe, projected into cframe
3
Derivation of the Psiangle Error Equation
The derivation of the psimodel in [2] refers to gimballed INSs. The author in [1] proved that this psi
model is also valid for strapdown INSs, apart from a sign change.
Figure 1. Geometry of psi and phi angles [1]
The inertial navigation systems basically solve Newtons force equations from measurements
(accelerometer outputs) of specific force (nongravitational accelerations) within a frame whose
orientation with respect to an inertial frame is controlled or known via gyroscopes [2]. The INS
angular errors are attributable to two sources: (1) translatory error caused by an error in the INS
position; and (2) angular error from the gyro errors.
Fig.1 shows the geometry of the psi and phi angles, which are the angular difference between the p
and c frames, and the angular difference between the p and t frames, respectively. As illustrated in
Fig. 1, the INSderived position error causes the tframe to vary to the cframe. Because of gyro errors,
the DCM or attitudeupdating calculation has an error which in turn results in the DCM transforming
a vector in the bframe into the pframe, instead of into the cframe. In principle, the t, c, and p
frames are the same frame (locallevel localnorth). The INS errors cause them to be different from
each other. For a gimballed INS, the bframe is always controlled to track the cframe. However,
because of the gyro drift and calculation error the bframe actually tracks the pframe.
Ideally, the DCM, in the errorfree case, transforms vectors in bframe to tframe, the differential
equation is:
C
b
t
= (
bt
t
)C
b
t
(3)
The angular velocity
bt
t
can be written as:
bt
t
=
t
t

b
t
(4)
Substituting Eq. (4) into (3) and noting that (
bt
t
) represents the vector crossproduct, one can
obtain:
C
b
t
= (
t
t

b
t
)C
b
t
= (
b
t
)C
b
t
 (
t
t
)C
b
t
(5)
Using the equation:
(
b
t
)C
b
t
= C
b
t
(
b
b
) (6)
Eq. (3) can be rewritten as:
C
b
t
= C
b
t
(
b
b
)(
t
t
)C
b
t
(7)
x
t
z
t
x
c
x
p
z
c
z
p
Where
b
b
is the angular velocity of the bframe with respect to the iframe, projected into the b
frame. It can be sensed by the gyros.
t
t
is the angular velocity of the tframe with respect to the i
frame, projected into the tframe.
In Eq. (7), the true value of
t
t
is calculated from the true geoposition. However, because of the
translatory error, the computed
t
t
using the INSderived position becomes
c
c
. The locallevel local
north frame with the INSderived position is then the cframe. The DCM becomes C
b
c
and Eq. (7)
becomes:
C
b
c
= C
b
c
(
b
b
)(
c
c
)C
b
c
(8)
The real gyro outputs have errors:
b
b
=
b
b
+ e
b
(9)
where e
b
is the lumped error of the gyros.
As a result of the gyro errors, the locallevel localnorth frame is further perturbed to become the p
frame. Then Eq. (8) in the INS computation is actually:
C
b
p
= C
b
p
(
b
b
)(
c
c
)C
b
p
(10)
where the calculated DCM is C
b
p
instead of C
b
c
in Eq. (8), which means that the INScomputed DCM
transforms a vector in the bframe into the pframe instead of the cframe. In other words, the
difference between the pframe and the cframe is only contributed to by the gyro errors. The angular
difference between the pframe and the cframe is defined as the psiangle, which links the difference
of the two DCMs:
C = C
b
p
 C
b
c
(11)
Substituting Eqs. (9) and (11) into Eq. (8) yields:
C
b
c
= (C
b
p
 C)(
b
b
 e
b
)  (
c
c
)(C
b
p
 C) (12)
Now differentiating both sides of Eq. (11) and further substituting Eqs. (10) and (12) and neglecting
the 2
nd
order term of Ce
b
, one obtains:
C
= C
b
p
 C
b
c
= C
b
p
(e
b
) + C(
b
b
)  (
c
c
)C (13)
C can also be derived using another approach. In fact, assuming the psiangle is so small that the p
frame is very close to the cframe, the transformation matrix from the pframe to the cframe can be
written as:
C
p
c
= I  (
pc
p
) (14)
where
pc
p
is the angular difference of the cframe from the pframe, projected into the pframe.
Substituting Eq. (14) into (11), one obtains:
C = C
b
p
 I  (
pc
p
)]C
b
p
= (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(15)
5
Now differentiating both sides of Eq. (15) yields another form of the differential equation of C:
C
= (
pc
p
)C
b
p
+ (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(16)
Substituting Eq. (10) into (16) yields:
C
= (
pc
p
)C
b
p
+ (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(
b
b
)  (
c
c
)C
b
p
] (17)
Substituting Eq. (15) into (13), one obtains:
C
= C
b
p
(e
b
) + (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(
b
b
)  (
c
c
)(
pc
p
)C
b
p
(18)
Comparing Eqs. (17) and (18):
(
pc
p
)C
b
p
+ (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(
b
b
)  (
c
c
)C
b
p
] = C
b
p
(e
b
) + (
pc
p
)C
b
p
(
b
b
)  (
c
c
)(
pc
p
)C
b
p
(19)
Rightmultiplying C
p
b
on both sides, and moving the 2
nd
term on the lefthand side of the equation to
the righthand side, one obtains:
(
pc
p
) = C
b
p
(e
b
)C
p
b
+ (
pc
p
)(
c
c
)  (
c
c
)(
pc
p
)] (20)
Note that following two expressions:
(
c
c
pc
p
) = (
c
c
)(
pc
p
)  (
pc
p
)(
c
c
) (21)
and
(e
p
) = (C
b
p
e
b
) = C
b
p
(e
b
)C
p
b
(22)
Applying them to Eq. (20), one obtains:
(
pc
p
) = (e
p
)  (
c
c
pc
p
) = (e
p

c
c
pc
p
) (23)
Note that () is the crossproduct operator of the vector, thus its vector form can be written as:
pc
p
= 
c
c
pc
p
+e
p
(24)
This is the psiangle model, which is the same as in Eq. (13) in [2] and Eq. (38c) in [4].
Similarly, using
cp
p
= 
pc
p
in Eq. (24), one obtains:
cp
p
= 
c
c
cp
p
 e
p
(25)
This is the psiangle model represented by Eq. (28) in [1], Eq. (552a) in [5], and Eq. (33) in [6].
Using a similar derivation, the psiangle model for
pc
c
can be derived:
pc
c
= 
c
c
pc
c
+e
p
(26)
and the psiangle model for
cp
c
can be derived as:
cp
c
= 
c
c
cp
c
 e
p
(27)
6
It can be seen that the four forms given above can be categorized into two forms: Eqs. (24) and (26)
correspond to Eq. (1), and Eqs. (25) and (27) correspond to Eq. (2). Therefore one can conclude that
the current two forms of the psiangle model are theoretically identical. However explicit notation for
the vector psi is needed to accurately describe the psiangle model as presented in Eqs.(24)  (27).
Upon using different forms of vector psi, corresponding correction of C
b
p
should be applied in the
multisensor integrated system, as summarized in Table 2. After correction, the DCM transforms the
vectors from the bframe into the cframe, such as:
C
b
c
= C
b
p
C
p
c
(28)
Table 2. Different forms of the psiangle model and corresponding corrections of C
p
c
Form C
p
c
1
pc
p
= 
c
c
pc
p
+ e
p
C
p
c
= I  (
pc
p
)
2
pc
c
= 
c
c
pc
c
+ e
p
C
p
c
= I  (
pc
c
)
3
cp
p
= 
c
c
cp
p
e
p
C
p
c
= I + (
cp
p
)
4
cp
c
= 
c
c
cp
c
e
p
C
p
c
= I + (
cp
c
)
Note that coordinates mismatching occurs in all forms of the psiangle model, such as the term
c
c
pc
p
in forms 1 and 3, and the term e
p
with
pc
c
in form 2 and a similar one in form 4. This mis
matching results in higher order errors that can be neglected.
Although the psiangle in [1] is defined as the angular difference between the cframe and the pframe
pc
p
(corresponding the angular vector from cframe to bframe), upon which the psiangle model
should have the form of Eq. (1) as proven above, [1] derived the psiangle model of the form of Eq.
(2). It has been found that this mistake is caused by wrongly applying Eq.(8) in [1]. According to Eq.
(8) in [1], the psiangle in [1] should be the angular difference between the pframe and the cframe
cp
p
or
cp
c
(corresponding the angular vector from bframe to cframe), upon whichso that the psi
angle model in [1] is consistent with the results of this paper.
The widelyused velocity error equation in the psiangle model is with
pc
c
[2][3]:
o:
c
= (
c
c
+
c
c
) o:
c
+ v
c

pc
c
c
+ og
c
(29)
It should be the same for
pc
p
, with which the velocity errors are resolved in the pframe. For
cp
c
it
should be:
o:
c
= (
c
c
+
c
c
) o:
c
+ v
c
+
cp
c
c
+ og
c
(30)
It should be the same for
cp
p
, with which the velocity errors are resolved in the pframe. Note that the
term has an opposite sign as that in Eq. (29).
The position error model has no difference for all the forms of vector psi [2][3]:
or
c
= 
cc
c
or
c
+ o:
c
(31)
Concluding Remarks
Through the use of explicit notations of the vector psi, this paper has theoretically defined all four
forms of the psiangle model, which can be categorized into the two forms currently found in the
7
literature. Using this approach it is relatively easy to identify the two forms of the psiangle model
because they can be derived from one to another. The analysis has demonstrated that the sign change
problem is caused by application of the psi vectors of opposite directions, which is either the angular
difference from the cplatform to the pplatform, or visa versa. All forms of the psiangle model can
be equivalently used in INS/GNSS multisensor integrated systems, and the corresponding psiangle
corrections are given in Table 2. The widelyused velocity error equation in psiangle model is upon
pc
p
or
pc
c
. For
cp
p
or
cp
c
, the term in the velocity error equation of the psiangle model
should have an opposite sign. The position error model has no difference for all the forms of vector
psi.
Finally, the psiangle in [1] should be the angular difference from the pframe to the cframe, ensuring
that the psiangle model in [1] is then consistent with the result of this paper.
References
[1]. A. Weinred and I.Y. BarItzhack, Psiangle error equation in strapdown inertial navigation
systems, IEEE Trans. Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. AES14, No. 3, 539542, May
1978.
[2]. D.O. Benson, A comparison of two approaches to pureinertial and Dopplerinertial error
analysis, IEEE Trans. Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. AES11, No. 4, 447455, July
1975.
[3]. I.Y. BarItzhack and N. Berman, Control technical approach to inertial navigation systems,
Journal of Guidance, Vol. 11, No. 3, 237245, MayJuly 1988.
[4]. D.G. Meskin and I.Y. BarItzhack, Unified approach to inertial navigation system error
modeling, Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, Vol. 15, No. 3, 648653, MayJune
1992.
[5]. G. Arshal, Error equations of inertial navigation, Journal of Guidance, Vol. 10, No. 4, 351358,
JulyAugust 1987.
[6]. X. Kong, E.M. Nebot, and H. DurrantWhyte, Development of a nonlinear psiangle model for
large misalignment errors and its application in INS alignment and calibration, Proceedings of
the IEEE Inernational Conference on Robotics & Automation, Detroit, Michigan, May 1999,
14301435.
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