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GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 8632

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Components and Systems (COSYS), University Gustave Eiffel, Lille Campus, 59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Interests: GNSS; transport applications; integrity; multipath; NLOS detection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon 999077, Hong Kong
Interests: GNSS; navigation; autonomous systems; sensor fusion; multipath; NLOS
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute of Communications and Navigation, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen-Wessling, Germany
Interests: GNSS; integrity monitoring; inertial navigation; error modelling; Kalman filtering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is a sequel of a previous Special Issue entitled “GNSS for Urban Transport Applications”. I would like to thank all authors and coauthors of the previous edition who supported the first volume in becoming a grand success.

GNSS positioning and timing solutions are now part of our everyday life, with most of their uses linked to transport applications, particularly in urban areas where GNSS availability and accuracy tend to be degraded due to signal obstructions, multipath, NLOS (non-line-of-sight) signal reception and interferences. Solutions are embedded in cars, autonomous vehicles or fleets of vehicles, drones, public transport systems (buses and trams), as well as smartphone-based solutions.

However, future uses of GNSS localization solutions are predicted to require novel levels of performance in terms of accuracy, availability, robustness and integrity.

In order to reach novel performance levels in urban environments, innovative approaches and solutions still have to be investigated and developed. Real-time kinematic (RTK) and precise point positioning (PPP) solutions are capable of providing more accurate positioning through the exploitation of carrier phases. As the availability of ground RTK stations increases, and with the new high-accuracy service (HAS) of Galileo, these alternatives can be more accessible, and should be investigated for applications in urban environments. However, many challenges remain in regard to ensuring their robustness, assess their integrity and ensure availability with shorter convergence times. Special attention should also be paid to innovative algorithms covering GNSS local effect characterization, detection and exclusion or mitigation as the basis to increase trust in GNSS in challenging scenarios. Multisensor or hybrid solutions aim to complement or compensate for the degradation of the GNSS. Among novel algorithms, one can mention context detection approaches, multiagent collaboration and the use of environment knowledge based on 3D models, map-matching and other external sensors, such as cameras or LiDAR.

Novel integrity concepts need to consider these novel algorithms and local errors to properly bound the residual errors. This must be extended to multisensor solutions for many ground transportation applications. An integrity assessment is essential for future safety-related applications, such as autonomous driving, railway signalling and urban air mobility (UAM).

Lastly, another important issue is also the development of methodologies and tools capable of evaluating performance in such areas.

Dr. Juliette Marais
Dr. Li-Ta Hsu
Dr. Omar García Crespillo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • GNSS
  • urban applications
  • multipath
  • NLOS
  • hybridization
  • multisensor fusion
  • detection techniques (statistical tests, machine learning, etc.)
  • performance analysis and enhancement
  • integrity concepts

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 3928 KiB  
Article
On the Use of Ultra-WideBand-Based Augmentation for Precision Maneuvering
by Paul Zabalegui, Gorka De Miguel, Nerea Fernández-Berrueta, Joanes Aizpuru, Jaizki Mendizabal and Iñigo Adín
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(5), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16050911 - 4 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
The limitations of the existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) integrated with Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) have presented significant challenges in meeting the stringent demands of precision maneuvering. The identified constraints in terms of accuracy and availability have required the development of an [...] Read more.
The limitations of the existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) integrated with Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) have presented significant challenges in meeting the stringent demands of precision maneuvering. The identified constraints in terms of accuracy and availability have required the development of an alternative solution to enhance the performance of navigation systems in dynamic and diverse environments. This paper summarizes the research regarding the integration of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology as an augmentation of the conventional GNSS+IMU system; it proposes an approach that aims to overcome the limitations of conventional navigation systems. By making use of UWB technology, the proposed low-cost UWB-augmented GNSS+IMU system not only fulfils the required performance standards but also offers the unique capability to navigate seamlessly across indoor and outdoor environments. The developed system was validated through comprehensive testing and analysis in both the automotive and maritime sectors. The obtained results highlight the system’s capacity as a dependable and resilient solution for precise navigation, and they promote its use within the domain of accurate maneuvering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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23 pages, 8041 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study of Factor Graph Optimization-Based and Extended Kalman Filter-Based PPP-B2b/INS Integrated Navigation
by Shiji Xin, Xiaoming Wang, Jinglei Zhang, Kai Zhou and Yufei Chen
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(21), 5144; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15215144 - 27 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Recently, factor graph optimization (FGO)-based GNSS/INS integrated navigation has garnered widespread attention for its ability to provide more robust positioning performance in challenging environments like urban canyons, compared to traditional extended Kalman filter (EKF)-based methods. In existing GNSS/INS integrated navigation methods based on [...] Read more.
Recently, factor graph optimization (FGO)-based GNSS/INS integrated navigation has garnered widespread attention for its ability to provide more robust positioning performance in challenging environments like urban canyons, compared to traditional extended Kalman filter (EKF)-based methods. In existing GNSS/INS integrated navigation methods based on FGO, the primary approach involves combining single point positioning (SPP) or real-time kinematic (RTK) with INS by constructing factors between consecutive epochs to resist outliers and achieve robust positioning. However, the potential of a high-precision positioning system based on the FGO algorithm, combining INS and PPP-B2b and that does not rely on reference stations and network connections, has not been fully explored. In this study, we developed a loosely coupled PPP-B2b/INS model based on the EKF and FGO algorithms. Experiments in different urban road and overpass scenarios were conducted to investigate the positioning performance of the two different integration navigation algorithms using different degrades of inertial measurement units (IMUs). The results indicate that the FGO algorithm outperforms the EKF algorithm in terms of positioning with the combination of GNSS and different degrades of IMUs under various conditions. Compared to the EKF method, the application of the FGO algorithm leads to improvements in the positioning accuracy of approximately 15.8%~45.9% and 19%~41.3% in horizontal and vertical directions, respectively, for different experimental conditions. In scenarios with long and frequent signal obstructions, the advantages of the FGO algorithm become more evident, especially in the horizontal direction. An obvious improvement in positioning results is observed when the tactical-grade IMU is used instead of the microelectron-mechanical system (MEMS) IMU in the GNSS/INS combination, which is more evident for the FGO algorithm than for the EKF algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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22 pages, 14088 KiB  
Article
Predicting C/N0 as a Key Parameter for Network RTK Integrity Prediction in Urban Environments
by Ali Karimidoona and Steffen Schön
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4850; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194850 - 7 Oct 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Autonomuous transportation systems require navigation performance with a high level of integrity. As Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) real-time kinematic (RTK) solutions are needed to ensure lane level accuracy of the whole system, these solutions should be trustworthy, which is often not the [...] Read more.
Autonomuous transportation systems require navigation performance with a high level of integrity. As Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) real-time kinematic (RTK) solutions are needed to ensure lane level accuracy of the whole system, these solutions should be trustworthy, which is often not the case in urban environments. Thus, the prediction of integrity for specific routes or trajectories is of interest. The carrier-to-noise density ratio (C/N0) reported by the GNSS receiver offers important insights into the signal quality, the carrier phase availability and subsequently the RTK solution integrity. The ultimate goal of this research is to investigate the predictability of the GNSS signal strength. Using a ray-tracing algorithm together with known satellite positions and 3D building models, not only the satellite visibility but also the GNSS signal propagation conditions at waypoints along an intended route are computed. Including antenna gain, free-space propagation as well as reflection and diffraction at surfaces and vegetation, the predicted C/N0 is compared to that recorded by an Septentrio Altus receiver during an experiment in an urban environment in Hannover. Although the actual gain pattern of the receiving antenna was unknown, good agreements were found with small offsets between measured and predicted C/N0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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30 pages, 11526 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Correlation Peak Phase Deblurring Algorithm for BeiDou B1C Signals in Urban Environments
by Xu Yang, Wenquan Feng, Chen Zhuang, Qiang Wang, Xu Yang and Zhe Yang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(17), 4300; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15174300 - 31 Aug 2023
Viewed by 991
Abstract
With the widespread global application of BeiDou navigation, BeiDou B1C signaling based on Quadrature Multiplexed Binary Offset Carrier (QMBOC) modulation is expected to be extensively used in urban environments due to its wider signal bandwidth, smaller code pseudorange measurement errors, and stronger multipath [...] Read more.
With the widespread global application of BeiDou navigation, BeiDou B1C signaling based on Quadrature Multiplexed Binary Offset Carrier (QMBOC) modulation is expected to be extensively used in urban environments due to its wider signal bandwidth, smaller code pseudorange measurement errors, and stronger multipath capabilities. Despite offering higher positioning accuracy and secondary modulation characteristics of the BeiDou, B1C signals introduce the challenge of multiple peaks in the autocorrelation function. This leads to phase ambiguity during signal acquisition and tracking, resulting in positioning deviations of tens or even hundreds of meters. In urban environments, such deviations give rise to significant practical application issues. To address this problem, we have designed a multi-loop structure for the synchronous tracking of B1C signals and proposed a multi-peak phase-deblurring algorithm specifically tailored for the BeiDou B1C signal in urban environments. This algorithm considers the coupling relationship between the code and the carrier loops, and by matching the structural design of multiple loops, it achieves a precise and unambiguous phase estimation of the pseudocode, enabling the stable tracking of the entire loop for the BeiDou B1C signal. Simulation and actual testing demonstrate that the algorithm exhibits an error less than 0.03 for chip intervals when the signal-to-noise ratio is greater than −20 dB. Additionally, the accuracy can be improved by adjusting the set conditions, making it suitable for urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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29 pages, 23352 KiB  
Article
GNSS-Based Driver Assistance for Charging Electric City Buses: Implementation and Lessons Learned from Field Testing
by Iman Esfandiyar, Krzysztof Ćwian, Michał R. Nowicki and Piotr Skrzypczyński
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(11), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15112938 - 5 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Modern public transportation in urban areas increasingly relies on high-capacity buses. At the same time, the share of electric vehicles is increasing to meet environmental standards. This introduces problems when charging these vehicles from chargers at bus stops, as untrained drivers often find [...] Read more.
Modern public transportation in urban areas increasingly relies on high-capacity buses. At the same time, the share of electric vehicles is increasing to meet environmental standards. This introduces problems when charging these vehicles from chargers at bus stops, as untrained drivers often find it difficult to execute docking manoeuvres on the charger. A practical solution to this problem requires a suitable advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS), which is a system used to automatise and make safer some of the tasks involved in driving a vehicle. In the considered case, ADAS supports docking to the electric charging station, and thus, it must solve two issues: precise positioning of the bus relative to the charger and motion planning in a constrained space. This paper addresses these issues by employing GNSS-based positioning and optimisation-based planning, resulting in an affordable solution to the ADAS for the docking of electric buses while recharging. We focus on the practical side of the system, showing how the necessary features were attained at a limited hardware and installation cost, also demonstrating an extensive evaluation of the fielded ADAS for an operator of public transportation in the city of Poznań in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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27 pages, 5349 KiB  
Article
High-Accuracy Absolute-Position-Aided Code Phase Tracking Based on RTK/INS Deep Integration in Challenging Static Scenarios
by Yiran Luo, Li-Ta Hsu, Yang Jiang, Baoyu Liu, Zhetao Zhang, Yan Xiang and Naser El-Sheimy
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(4), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15041114 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Many multi-sensor navigation systems urgently demand accurate positioning initialization from global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) in challenging static scenarios. However, ground blockages against line-of-sight (LOS) signal reception make it difficult for GNSS users. Steering local codes in GNSS basebands is a desirable way [...] Read more.
Many multi-sensor navigation systems urgently demand accurate positioning initialization from global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) in challenging static scenarios. However, ground blockages against line-of-sight (LOS) signal reception make it difficult for GNSS users. Steering local codes in GNSS basebands is a desirable way to correct instantaneous signal phase misalignment, efficiently gathering useful signal power and increasing positioning accuracy. Inertial navigation systems (INSs) have been used as effective complementary dead reckoning (DR) sensors for GNSS receivers in kinematic scenarios, resisting various forms of interference. However, little work has focused on whether INSs can improve GNSS receivers in static scenarios. Thus, this paper proposes an enhanced navigation system deeply integrated with low-cost INS solutions and GNSS high-accuracy carrier-based positioning. First, an absolute code phase is predicted from base station information and integrated solutions of the INS DR and real-time kinematic (RTK) results through an extended Kalman filter (EKF). Then, a numerically controlled oscillator (NCO) leverages the predicted code phase to improve the alignment between instantaneous local code phases and received ones. The proposed algorithm is realized in a vector-tracking GNSS software-defined radio (SDR). Results of the time-of-arrival (TOA) and positioning based on real-world experiments demonstrated the proposed SDR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS for Urban Transport Applications II)
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