The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) usually navigate through the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) associated with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). However, GNSS can have its accuracy degraded at any time or even turn off the signal of GNSS. In addition, there is the possibility of malicious interferences, known as jamming. Therefore, the image navigation system can solve the autonomy problem, because if the GNSS is disabled or degraded, the image navigation system would continue to provide coordinate information for the INS, allowing the autonomy of the system. This work aims to evaluate the accuracy of the positioning though photogrammetry concepts. The methodology uses orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSM) as a reference to represent the object space and photograph obtained during the flight to represent the image space. For the calculation of the coordinates of the perspective center and camera attitudes, it is necessary to know the coordinates of homologous points in the object space (orthophoto coordinates and DSM altitude) and image space (column and line of the photograph). So if it is possible to automatically identify in real time the homologous points the coordinates and attitudes can be calculated whit their respective accuracies. With the methodology applied in this work, it is possible to verify maximum errors in the order of 0.5 m in the positioning and 0.6º in the attitude of the camera, so the navigation through the image can reach values equal to or higher than the GNSS receivers without differential correction. Therefore, navigating through the image is a good alternative to enable autonomous navigation.
Vehicle tracking and accident recognizing are considered by many industries like insurance and vehicle rental companies. The main goal of this paper is to detect the location of a car accident by combining different methods. The methods, which are considered in this paper, are Global Navigation Satellite Systems/Inertial Measurement Units (GNSS/IMU)-based navigation and vehicle accident detection algorithms. They are expressed by a set of raw measurements, which are obtained from a designed integrator black box using GNSS and inertial sensors. Another concern of this paper is the definition of accident detection algorithm based on its jerk to identify the position of that accident. In fact, the results convinced us that, even in GNSS blockage areas, the position of the accident could be detected by GNSS/INS integration with 50% improvement compared to GNSS stand alone.
This study is purposed to develop an efficient fault detection method for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) applications based on adaptive noise covariance estimation. Due to the dependence on radio frequency signals, GNSS measurements are dominated by systematic errors in receiver’s operating environment. In the proposed method, the pseudorange and carrier-phase measurement noise covariances are obtained at time propagations and measurement updates in process of Carrier-Smoothed Code (CSC) filtering, respectively. The test statistics for fault detection are generated by the estimated measurement noise covariances. To evaluate the fault detection capability, intentional faults were added to the filed-collected measurements. The experiment result shows that the proposed method is efficient in detecting unhealthy measurements and improves GNSS positioning accuracy against fault occurrences.
Two multisensor system architectures for navigation and guidance of small Unmanned Aircraft (UA) are presented and compared. The main objective of our research is to design a compact, light and relatively inexpensive system capable of providing the required navigation performance in all phases of flight of small UA, with a special focus on precision approach and landing, where Vision Based Navigation (VBN) techniques can be fully exploited in a multisensor integrated architecture. Various existing techniques for VBN are compared and the Appearance-Based Navigation (ABN) approach is selected for implementation. Feature extraction and optical flow techniques are employed to estimate flight parameters such as roll angle, pitch angle, deviation from the runway centreline and body rates. Additionally, we address the possible synergies of VBN, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and MEMS-IMU (Micro-Electromechanical System Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors, and the use of Aircraft Dynamics Model (ADM) to provide additional information suitable to compensate for the shortcomings of VBN and MEMS-IMU sensors in high-dynamics attitude determination tasks. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is developed to fuse the information provided by the different sensors and to provide estimates of position, velocity and attitude of the UA platform in real-time. The key mathematical models describing the two architectures i.e., VBN-IMU-GNSS (VIG) system and VIGADM (VIGA) system are introduced. The first architecture uses VBN and GNSS to augment the MEMS-IMU. The second mode also includes the ADM to provide augmentation of the attitude channel. Simulation of these two modes is carried out and the performances of the two schemes are compared in a small UA integration scheme (i.e., AEROSONDE UA platform) exploring a representative cross-section of this UA operational flight envelope, including high dynamics manoeuvres and CAT-I to CAT-III precision approach tasks. Simulation of the first system architecture (i.e., VIG system) shows that the integrated system can reach position, velocity and attitude accuracies compatible with the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) requirements. Simulation of the VIGA system also shows promising results since the achieved attitude accuracy is higher using the VBN-IMU-ADM than using VBN-IMU only. A comparison of VIG and VIGA system is also performed and it shows that the position and attitude accuracy of the proposed VIG and VIGA systems are both compatible with the RNP specified in the various UA flight phases, including precision approach down to CAT-II.
This paper presents a novel Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Avionics Based Integrity Augmentation (ABIA) system architecture suitable for civil and military air platforms, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Taking the move from previous research on high-accuracy Differential GNSS (DGNSS) systems design, integration and experimental flight test activities conducted at the Italian Air Force Flight Test Centre (CSV-RSV), our research focused on the development of a novel approach to the problem of GNSS ABIA for mission- and safety-critical air vehicle applications and for multi-sensor avionics architectures based on GNSS. Detailed mathematical models were developed to describe the main causes of GNSS signal outages and degradation in flight, namely: antenna obscuration, multipath, fading due to adverse geometry and Doppler shift. Adopting these models in association with suitable integrity thresholds and guidance algorithms, the ABIA system is able to generate integrity cautions (predictive flags) and warnings (reactive flags), as well as providing steering information to the pilot and electronic commands to the aircraft/UAS flight control systems. These features allow real-time avoidance of safety-critical flight conditions and fast recovery of the required navigation performance in case of GNSS data losses. In other words, this novel ABIA system addresses all three cornerstones of GNSS integrity augmentation in mission- and safety-critical applications: prediction (caution flags), reaction (warning flags) and correction (alternate flight path computation).
Attitude Determination (AD) of a spacecraft using the phase measurements of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is an active area of research. Various attitude determination algorithms have been developed in yester years for spacecrafts using different sensors but the last two decades have witnessed a phenomenal increase in research related with GPS receivers as a stand-alone sensor for determining the attitude of satellite using the phase measurements of the signals from GNSS. The GNSS-based Attitude determination algorithms have been experimented in many real missions. The problem of AD algorithms using GNSS phase measurements has two important parts; the ambiguity resolution and the determining of attitude. Ambiguity resolution is the widely addressed topic in literature for implementing the AD algorithm using GNSS phase measurements for achieving the accuracy of millimeter level. This paper broadly overviews the different techniques for resolving the integer ambiguities encountered in AD using GNSS phase measurements.
The morphological short-term evolution of Ponta do Tubarão Island (PTI) was investigated through high accurate surveys based on post-processed kinematic (PPK) relative positioning on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). PTI is part of a barrier island system on a high energy northeast Brazilian coastal environment and also an area of high environmental sensitivity. Surveys were carried out quarterly over a two years period from May 2010 to May 2012. This paper assesses statically the performance of digital elevation models (DEM) derived from different interpolation methods to represent morphologic features and to quantify volumetric changes and TIN models shown the best results to that purposes. The MDE allowed quantifying surfaces and volumes in detail as well as identifying the most vulnerable segments of the PTI to erosion and/or accumulation of sediments and relate the alterations to climate conditions. The coastal setting and geometry of PTI protects a significant mangrove ecosystem and some oil and gas facilities installed in the vicinities from damaging effects of strong oceanwaves and currents. Thus, the maintenance of PTI is extremely required but the prediction of its longevity is uncertain because results indicate an irregularity of sedimentary balance and a substantial decline in sediment supply to this coastal area.