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This paper aims to improve shearer positioning accuracy. Shearer positioning using an inertial navigation system (INS) is a highly useful technology; however, positioning accuracy is seriously hindered by INS attitude error, particularly heading drift.
A shearer positioning model with double-INS based on extended Kalman filter was proposed. The constant distance between two INSs (INS 1 and INS 2) was selected as the observation vector. Allan variance was used to identify the noise type of the vertical-axis gyroscope, and the stochastic process of heading drift for two INSs was obtained and divided into incongruous drift and concurrent drift.
Simulation was then carried out to determine the optimal arrangement of the two INSs. For incongruous drift, the optimal arrangement satisfied the condition that the line connecting INS 1 and INS 2 was perpendicular to the shearer lateral axis (in the shearer coordinate frame) and parallel to the east-north plane (in the east-north-up coordinate frame). Under optimal arrangement, the positioning accuracy increased against the distance between INS 1 and INS 2. For concurrent drift, the double-INS positioning model had no effect. Under the circumstances, the number of INSs should be increased so that the uncertainty of INS drift was reflected as much as possible.
A new double-INS positioning model was proposed with the constant distance between the two INSs. The optimal arrangement for double-INS was obtained.