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Sensors 2019, 19(2), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020408

Infrared-Inertial Navigation for Commercial Aircraft Precision Landing in Low Visibility and GPS-Denied Environments

1
School of Computer Science and Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Dongda Road, Changan District, Xi’an 710072, China
2
Xi’an Aeronautics Computing Technique Research Institute, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Jinyeer Road, Yanta District, Xi’an 710065, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerospace Sensors and Multisensor Systems)
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Abstract

This paper proposes a novel infrared-inertial navigation method for the precise landing of commercial aircraft in low visibility and Global Position System (GPS)-denied environments. Within a Square-root Unscented Kalman Filter (SR_UKF), inertial measurement unit (IMU) data, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) images and airport geo-information are integrated to estimate the position, velocity and attitude of the aircraft during landing. Homography between the synthetic image and the real image which implicates the camera pose deviations is created as vision measurement. To accurately extract real runway features, the current results of runway detection are used as the prior knowledge for the next frame detection. To avoid possible homography decomposition solutions, it is directly converted to a vector and fed to the SR_UKF. Moreover, the proposed navigation system is proven to be observable by nonlinear observability analysis. Last but not least, a general aircraft was elaborately equipped with vision and inertial sensors to collect flight data for algorithm verification. The experimental results have demonstrated that the proposed method could be used for the precise landing of commercial aircraft in low visibility and GPS-denied environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrared-inertial navigation; homography; runway detection; observability analysis; precise landing; low visibility; GPS-denied infrared-inertial navigation; homography; runway detection; observability analysis; precise landing; low visibility; GPS-denied
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhang, L.; Zhai, Z.; He, L.; Wen, P.; Niu, W. Infrared-Inertial Navigation for Commercial Aircraft Precision Landing in Low Visibility and GPS-Denied Environments. Sensors 2019, 19, 408.

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