Global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) are commonly used for navigation and mapping applications. However, in GNSS-hostile environments, where the GNSS signal is noisy or blocked, the navigation information provided by a GNSS is inaccurate or unavailable. To overcome these issues, this study proposed a real-time visual odometry (VO)/GNSS integrated navigation system. An on-line smoothing method based on the extended Kalman filter (EKF) and the Rauch-Tung-Striebel (RTS) smoother was proposed. VO error modelling was also proposed to estimate the VO error and compensate the incoming measurements. Field tests were performed in various GNSS-hostile environments, including under a tree canopy and an urban area. An analysis of the test results indicates that with the EKF used for data fusion, the root-mean-square error (RMSE) of the three-dimensional position is about 80 times lower than that of the VO-only solution. The on-line smoothing and error modelling made the results more accurate, allowing seamless on-line navigation information. The efficiency of the proposed methods in terms of cost and accuracy compared to the conventional inertial navigation system (INS)/GNSS integrated system was demonstrated.
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