Autonomous navigation of micro-UAVs is typically based on the integration of low cost GNSS receivers and MEMS-based inertial and magnetic sensors to stabilize and control the flight. The resulting navigation performance in terms of position and attitude accuracy may not suffice for other mission needs such as fine sensor pointing. In this framework, this paper presents a cooperative UAV navigation algorithm that allows a chief vehicle, equipped with inertial and magnetic sensors, a GPS receiver, and a vision system, to improve its navigation performance exploiting formation flying deputy vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. The key concept is to exploit differential GPS among vehicles and vision-based tracking (DGPS/Vision) to build a virtual additional navigation sensor whose information is then integrated in a sensor fusion algorithm based on an Extended Kalman Filter. The developed concept and processing architecture are described. Performance assessment is carried out on the basis of numerical simulations and flight tests. In the latter ones, navigation estimates derived from the DGPS/Vision approach are compared with those provided by the onboard autopilot system of a customized quadrotor. The analysis shows the potential of the approach, deriving from the possibility to exploit magnetic- and inertial-independent accurate attitude information.

Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems

VETRELLA, AMEDEO RODI;FASANO, GIANCARMINE;ACCARDO, DOMENICO;MOCCIA, ANTONIO
2016

Abstract

Autonomous navigation of micro-UAVs is typically based on the integration of low cost GNSS receivers and MEMS-based inertial and magnetic sensors to stabilize and control the flight. The resulting navigation performance in terms of position and attitude accuracy may not suffice for other mission needs such as fine sensor pointing. In this framework, this paper presents a cooperative UAV navigation algorithm that allows a chief vehicle, equipped with inertial and magnetic sensors, a GPS receiver, and a vision system, to improve its navigation performance exploiting formation flying deputy vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. The key concept is to exploit differential GPS among vehicles and vision-based tracking (DGPS/Vision) to build a virtual additional navigation sensor whose information is then integrated in a sensor fusion algorithm based on an Extended Kalman Filter. The developed concept and processing architecture are described. Performance assessment is carried out on the basis of numerical simulations and flight tests. In the latter ones, navigation estimates derived from the DGPS/Vision approach are compared with those provided by the onboard autopilot system of a customized quadrotor. The analysis shows the potential of the approach, deriving from the possibility to exploit magnetic- and inertial-independent accurate attitude information.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/668208
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