Localization in GPS-denied environments has become a bottleneck problem for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Smartphones equipped with multi-sensors and multi-core processors provide a choice advantage for small UAVs for their high integration and light weight. However, the built-in phone sensor has low accuracy and the phone storage and computing resources are limited, which make the traditional localization methods unable to be readily converted to smartphone-based ones. The paper aims at exploring the feasibility of the phone sensors, and presenting a real-time, less memory autonomous localization method based on the phone sensors, so that the combination of “small UAV+smartphone” can operate in GPS-denied areas regardless of the overload problem. Indoor and outdoor flight experiments are carried out, respectively, based on an off-the-shelf smartphone and a XAircraft 650 quad-rotor platform. The results show that the precision performance of the phone sensors and real-time accurate localization in indoor environment is possible.
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