Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems
AbstractAutonomous navigation of micro-UAVs is typically based on the integration of low cost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (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 the ones relevant to 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 Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a vision system, to improve its navigation performance (in real time or in the post processing phase) exploiting formation flying deputy vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. The focus is set on outdoor environments and 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, with a focus on DGPS/Vision attitude determination algorithm. Performance assessment is carried out on the basis of both 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 developed approach, mainly deriving from the possibility to exploit magnetic- and inertial-independent accurate attitude information. View Full-Text
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Share & Cite This Article
Vetrella, A.R.; Fasano, G.; Accardo, D.; Moccia, A. Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems. Sensors 2016, 16, 2164.
Vetrella AR, Fasano G, Accardo D, Moccia A. Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems. Sensors. 2016; 16(12):2164.Chicago/Turabian Style
Vetrella, Amedeo R.; Fasano, Giancarmine; Accardo, Domenico; Moccia, Antonio. 2016. "Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems." Sensors 16, no. 12: 2164.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.