Journal article Open Access

Navigation and Guidance System Architectures for Small Unmanned Aircraft Applications

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

JSON Export

  "files": [
      "links": {
        "self": ""
      "checksum": "md5:cd419844f379e7b5436ca15cc809adc0", 
      "bucket": "975c48b8-1ae4-4690-977a-4a6f7be6b09c", 
      "key": "9998114.pdf", 
      "type": "pdf", 
      "size": 2159453
  "owners": [
  "doi": "10.5281/zenodo.1092255", 
  "stats": {
    "version_unique_downloads": 6.0, 
    "unique_views": 12.0, 
    "views": 12.0, 
    "downloads": 7.0, 
    "unique_downloads": 6.0, 
    "version_unique_views": 12.0, 
    "volume": 15116171.0, 
    "version_downloads": 7.0, 
    "version_views": 12.0, 
    "version_volume": 15116171.0
  "links": {
    "doi": "", 
    "conceptdoi": "", 
    "bucket": "", 
    "conceptbadge": "", 
    "html": "", 
    "latest_html": "", 
    "badge": "", 
    "latest": ""
  "conceptdoi": "10.5281/zenodo.1092254", 
  "created": "2018-01-16T19:31:23.110024+00:00", 
  "updated": "2018-12-06T10:51:02.670392+00:00", 
  "conceptrecid": "1092254", 
  "revision": 3, 
  "id": 1092255, 
  "metadata": {
    "access_right_category": "success", 
    "doi": "10.5281/zenodo.1092255", 
    "description": "<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>", 
    "license": {
      "id": "CC-BY-4.0"
    "title": "Navigation and Guidance System Architectures for Small Unmanned Aircraft Applications", 
    "language": "eng", 
    "relations": {
      "version": [
          "count": 1, 
          "index": 0, 
          "parent": {
            "pid_type": "recid", 
            "pid_value": "1092254"
          "is_last": true, 
          "last_child": {
            "pid_type": "recid", 
            "pid_value": "1092255"
    "communities": [
        "id": "waset"
    "version": "9998114", 
    "references": [
      "B. Sinopoli, M. Micheli, G. Donato, and T. J. Koo, \"Vision based\nnavigation for unmanned aerial vehicles,\" in Proc. International Conf. of\nRobotics & Automation, vol. 2, 2001, pp. 1757 \u2013 1764.", 
      "S. Se, D. G. Lowe, and J. J. Little, \"Vision based global localisation and\nmapping,\" IEEE Trans. on Robotics, vol. 21, no.3, pp. 364-375, June\n2005.", 
      "P. Cui and F. Yue, \"Stereo vision-based autonomous navigation for\nlunar rovers,\" Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An\nInternational Journal, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 398-405, 2007.", 
      "Y. Matsumoto, K. Sakai, M. Inaba, and H. Inoue, \"View-based approach\nto robot navigation,\" in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Conf. on Intelligent Robots and\nSystems, vol. 3, Japan, Nov. 2000, pp. 1702-1708.", 
      "J. Courbon, Y. Mezouar, N. Guenard, and P. Martinet, \"Visual\nnavigation of a quadrotor aerial vehicle,\" in Proc. IEEE/RSJ Conf. on\nIntelligent Robots and Systems, Oct. 2009, pp. 5315-5320.", 
      "J. Courbon, Y. Mezouar, N. Guenard, and P. Martinet, \"Vision-based\nnavigation of unmanned aerial vehicles,\" Control Engineering Practice,\nvol. 18, no. 7, pp. 789-799, July 2010.", 
      "Z. Chen and S. T. Birchfield, \"Qualitative vision-based path following,\"\nIEEE Trans. on Robotics, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 749-754, June 2009.", 
      "A. Remazeilles, and F. Chaumette, \"Image-based robot navigation from\nan image memory,\" Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol.\n55, no. 4, 2007.", 
      "L. Xinhua and Y. Cao, \"Research on the application of the vision-based\nautonomous navigation to the landing of the UAV,\" in Proc. Fifth\nInternational Symposium on Instrumentation and Control Technology,\nvol. 5253, 2003, pp. 385-388.\n[10] D. Dusha, L. Mejias, and R. Walker, \"Fixed-wing attitude estimation\nusing temporal tracking of the horizon and optical flow,\" Journal of\nField Robotics, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 355-372, 2011.\n[11] M. A. Olivares-Mendez, I. F. Mondragon, P. Campoy, and C. Martinez,\n\"Fuzzy controller for UAV-landing task using 3D position visual\nestimation,\" in Proc. IEEE International Conf. on Fuzzy Systems, 2010.\n[12] S. I. Roumeliotis, A. E. Johnson, and J. F. Montgomery, \"Augmenting\nInertial Navigation with image-basedestimation,\" in Proc. International\nConf. of Robotics & Automation, 2002, pp. 4326-4333.\n[13] G. N. Desouza and A. C. Kak, \"Vision for mobile robot navigation: a\nsurvey,\" IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol.\n24, no. 2, pp. 237 \u2013 267, Feb. 2002.\n[14] D. Santosh, S. Achar, and C. V. Jawahar, \"Autonomous image-based\nexploration for mobile robot navigation,\" in Proc. International Conf. of\nRobotics & Automation, 2008, pp. 2717 \u2013 2722.\n[15] P. Rives and J. R. Azinheira, \"Visual auto-landing of an autonomous\naircraft,\" INRIA, no. 4606, 2002.\n[16] G. Blanc, Y. Mezouar, and P. Martinet, \"Indoor navigation of a wheeled\nmobile robot along visual routes,\" in Proc. International Conf. of\nRobotics & Automation, 2005, pp. 3354-3359.\n[17] G. Rangasamy, \"Image sensor fusion algorithms for obstacle detection,\nlocation and avoidance for autonomous navigation of UAVs,\" M.Sc.\nThesis, School of Engineering, Cranfield University, 2010.\n[18] E. H. Shin, \"Estimation technics for low-cost inertial navigation,\" PhD\nThesis, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2005.\n[19] A. Angrisano, \"GNSS/INS Integration Methods,\" PhD Thesis,\nDepartment of Applied Sciences, Parthenope University of Naples, Italy,\n2010.\n[20] C. Tiberius, Standard positioning service, \"Handheld GPS receiver\naccuracy,\" GPS World, 2003.\n[21] W. Ding and J. Wang, \"Precise Velocity Estimation with a Stand-Alone\nGPS receiver,\" The Journal of Navigation, vol. 69, no. 2, pp. 311-325,\n2011.\n[22] D. Titterton and J. Weston, \"Strap down Inertial Navigation\nTechnology,\" (2nd Edition), The Institution of Electrical Engineers,\n2004.\n[23] S. Troy, \"Investigation of MEMS Inertial Sensors and Aircraft Dynamic\nModels in Global Positioning System Integrity Monitoring for\nApproaches with Vertical Guidance,\" PhD thesis, Queensland\nUniversity of Technology, School of Engineering, 2009.\n[24] S. Godha, \"Performance Evaluation of Low Cost MEMS-Based IMU\nIntegrated With GPS for Land Vehicle Navigation Application,\" UCGE\nReport No. 20239, University of Calgary, Department of Geomatics\nEngineering, Alberta, Canada, 2006.\n[25] R. Sabatini, C. Bartel, A. Kaharkar, T. Shaid, H. Jia, and D. Zammit-\nMangion , \"Design and Integration of Vision-based Navigation Sensors\nfor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Navigation and Guidance,\" in Proc. SPIE\nPhotonics Europe Conf., Brussels, Belgium, 2012.\n[26] R. Sabatini, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, and T. Shaid,\n\"GNSS Data Processing for Attitude Determination and Control of\nUnmanned Aerial and Space Vehicles,\" in Proc. European Navigation\nConf., Gdansk (Poland), April 2012.\n[27] R. Sabatini, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, and T. Shaid,\n\"Low-Cost Vision Sensors and Integrated Systems for Unmanned Aerial\nVehicle Navigation and Guidance,\" ARPN Journal of Systems and\nSoftware, ISSN: 2222-9833, vol. 2, no. 11, pp. 323-349, 2013.\n[28] R. Sabatini, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, T. Shaid, D.\nZammit-Mangion, and H. Jia, \"Low-Cost Navigation and Guidance\nSystems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles \u2013 Part 1: Vision-Based and\nIntegrated Sensors,\" Annual of Navigation Journal, vol. 19, pp. 71-98,\n2012.\n[29] R. Sabatini, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, and T. Shaid,\n\"Carrier-Phase GNSS Attitude Determination and Control System for\nUnmanned Aerial Vehicle Applications,\"ARPN Journal of Systems and\nSoftware, ISSN: 2222-9833, vol. 2, no. 11, pp.297-322, 2012.\n[30] R. Sabatini, C. Bartel, A. Kaharkar, T. Shaid, D. Zammit-Mangion, and\nH. Jia, \"Vision Based Sensors and Multisensor Systems for Unmanned\nAerial Vehicles Navigation and Guidance,\" in Proc. European\nNavigation Conf., Gdansk, Poland, 2012.\n[31] R. Sabatini, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, and T. Shaid,\n\"Satellite Navigation Data Processing for Attitude Determination and\nControl of Unmanned Air Vehicles,\" in Proc. European Navigation\nConf., Gdansk, Poland, 2012.\n[32] R. Sabatini, C. Bartel, A. Kaharkar, T. Shaid, L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, and\nD. Zammit-Mangion, \"Low-Cost Navigation and Guidance Systems for\nUnmanned Aerial Vehicles \u2013 Part 2: Attitude Determination and\nControl,\" Annual of Navigation, vol. 20, pp. 97-126, 2013.\n[33] R. Sabatini, S. Ramasamy, A. Gardi, and L. Rodr\u00edguezSalazar, \"Lowcost\nSensors Data Fusion for Small Size Unmanned Aerial Vehicles\nNavigation and Guidance,\"International Journal of Unmanned Systems\nEngineering, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 16-47, 2013.\n[34] R. Sabatini, A. Kaharkar, C. Bartel, and T. Shaid, \"Carrier-phase GNSS\nAttitude Determination and Control for Small UA Applications,\"Journal\nof Aeronautics and Aerospace Engineering, vol. 2, no. 4, 2013.\n[35] R. Sabatini, C. Bartel, A. Kaharkar, T. Shaid, and S. Ramasamy, \"A\nNovel Low-cost Navigation and Guidance System for Small Unmanned\nAircraft Applications,\" in Proc. WASET International Conf. on\nAeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (ICAAE 2013), Melbourne,\nAustralia, 2013.\n[36] ICAO - Annex 10 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation,\n\"Aeronautical Telecommunications - Volume 1: Radio Navigation\nAids,\" Edition 6, July 2006.\n[37] CAA Safety Regulation Group Paper 2003/09, \"GPS Integrity and\nPotential Impact on Aviation Safety,\" 2003.\n[38] RMIT University, \"Sky's the limit,\"2013, Available online at:\n;ID=wcga2pa6sovqz. [Accessed 9th April,\n2014].\n[39] R. Sabatini, T. Moore, and C. Hill, \"A Novel GNSS Integrity\nAugmentation System for Civil and Military Aircraft,\" International\nJournal of Mechanical, Industrial Science and Engineering, vol. 7, no.\n12, pp. 1433-1449. International Science Index 84, 2013.\n[40] R. Sabatini, T. Moore, and C. Hill, \"A New Avionics Based GNSS\nIntegrity Augmentation System: Part 2 \u2013 Integrity Flags,\" Journal of\nNavigation, vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 511-522, 2013.\n[41] R. Sabatini, T. Moore, and C. Hill, \"A New Avionics Based GNSS\nIntegrity Augmentation System: Part 1 \u2013 Fundamentals,\" Journal of\nNavigation, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 363-383, 2013.\n[42] R. Sabatini, T. Moore, and C. Hill, \"Avionics Based GNSS Integrity\nAugmentation for Mission- and Safety-Critical Applications,\" in Proc.\n25th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of the\nInstitute of Navigation: ION GNSS-2012, Nashville, Tennessee,\nSeptember 2012."
    "keywords": [
      "Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)", 
      "Lowcost\nNavigation Sensors", 
      "MEMS Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)", 
      "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle", 
      "Vision Based Navigation."
    "publication_date": "2014-04-01", 
    "creators": [
        "name": "Roberto Sabatini"
        "name": "Celia Bartel"
        "name": "Anish Kaharkar"
        "name": "Tesheen Shaid"
        "name": "Subramanian Ramasamy"
    "access_right": "open", 
    "resource_type": {
      "subtype": "article", 
      "type": "publication", 
      "title": "Journal article"
    "related_identifiers": [
        "scheme": "doi", 
        "relation": "isVersionOf", 
        "identifier": "10.5281/zenodo.1092254"
All versions This version
Views 1212
Downloads 77
Data volume 15.1 MB15.1 MB
Unique views 1212
Unique downloads 66


Cite as