Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments
AbstractUnmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can navigate with low risk in obstacle-free environments using ground control stations that plan a series of GPS waypoints as a path to follow. This GPS waypoint navigation does however become dangerous in environments where the GPS signal is faulty or is only present in some places and when the airspace is filled with obstacles. UAV navigation then becomes challenging because the UAV uses other sensors, which in turn generate uncertainty about its localisation and motion systems, especially if the UAV is a low cost platform. Additional uncertainty affects the mission when the UAV goal location is only partially known and can only be discovered by exploring and detecting a target. This navigation problem is established in this research as a Partially-Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), so as to produce a policy that maps a set of motion commands to belief states and observations. The policy is calculated and updated on-line while flying with a newly-developed system for UAV Uncertainty-Based Navigation (UBNAV), to navigate in cluttered and GPS-denied environments using observations and executing motion commands instead of waypoints. Experimental results in both simulation and real flight tests show that the UAV finds a path on-line to a region where it can explore and detect a target without colliding with obstacles. UBNAV provides a new method and an enabling technology for scientists to implement and test UAV navigation missions with uncertainty where targets must be detected using on-line POMDP in real flight scenarios. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Vanegas, F.; Gonzalez, F. Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments. Sensors 2016, 16, 666.
Vanegas F, Gonzalez F. Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments. Sensors. 2016; 16(5):666.Chicago/Turabian Style
Vanegas, Fernando; Gonzalez, Felipe. 2016. "Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments." Sensors 16, no. 5: 666.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.