Journal article Open Access

Navigation and Guidance System Architectures for Small Unmanned Aircraft Applications

Roberto Sabatini; Celia Bartel; Anish Kaharkar; Tesheen Shaid; Subramanian Ramasamy

Citation Style Language JSON Export

  "publisher": "Zenodo", 
  "DOI": "10.5281/zenodo.1092255", 
  "language": "eng", 
  "title": "Navigation and Guidance System Architectures for Small Unmanned Aircraft Applications", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
  "abstract": "<p>Two multisensor system architectures for navigation<br>\nand guidance of small Unmanned Aircraft (UA) are presented and<br>\ncompared. The main objective of our research is to design a compact,<br>\nlight and relatively inexpensive system capable of providing the<br>\nrequired navigation performance in all phases of flight of small UA,<br>\nwith a special focus on precision approach and landing, where Vision<br>\nBased Navigation (VBN) techniques can be fully exploited in a<br>\nmultisensor integrated architecture. Various existing techniques for<br>\nVBN are compared and the Appearance-Based Navigation (ABN)<br>\napproach is selected for implementation. Feature extraction and<br>\noptical flow techniques are employed to estimate flight parameters<br>\nsuch as roll angle, pitch angle, deviation from the runway centreline<br>\nand body rates. Additionally, we address the possible synergies of<br>\nVBN, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and MEMS-IMU<br>\n(Micro-Electromechanical System Inertial Measurement Unit)<br>\nsensors, and the use of Aircraft Dynamics Model (ADM) to provide<br>\nadditional information suitable to compensate for the shortcomings of<br>\nVBN and MEMS-IMU sensors in high-dynamics attitude<br>\ndetermination tasks. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is developed<br>\nto fuse the information provided by the different sensors and to<br>\nprovide estimates of position, velocity and attitude of the UA<br>\nplatform in real-time. The key mathematical models describing the<br>\ntwo architectures i.e., VBN-IMU-GNSS (VIG) system and VIGADM<br>\n(VIGA) system are introduced. The first architecture uses VBN<br>\nand GNSS to augment the MEMS-IMU. The second mode also<br>\nincludes the ADM to provide augmentation of the attitude channel.<br>\nSimulation of these two modes is carried out and the performances of<br>\nthe two schemes are compared in a small UA integration scheme (i.e.,<br>\nAEROSONDE UA platform) exploring a representative cross-section<br>\nof this UA operational flight envelope, including high dynamics<br>\nmanoeuvres and CAT-I to CAT-III precision approach tasks.<br>\nSimulation of the first system architecture (i.e., VIG system) shows<br>\nthat the integrated system can reach position, velocity and attitude<br>\naccuracies compatible with the Required Navigation Performance<br>\n(RNP) requirements. Simulation of the VIGA system also shows<br>\npromising results since the achieved attitude accuracy is higher using<br>\nthe VBN-IMU-ADM than using VBN-IMU only. A comparison of<br>\nVIG and VIGA system is also performed and it shows that the<br>\nposition and attitude accuracy of the proposed VIG and VIGA<br>\nsystems are both compatible with the RNP specified in the various<br>\nUA flight phases, including precision approach down to CAT-II.</p>", 
  "author": [
      "family": "Roberto Sabatini"
      "family": "Celia Bartel"
      "family": "Anish Kaharkar"
      "family": "Tesheen Shaid"
      "family": "Subramanian Ramasamy"
  "version": "9998114", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "id": "1092255"
All versions This version
Views 1818
Downloads 2121
Data volume 45.3 MB45.3 MB
Unique views 1818
Unique downloads 2020


Cite as