The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-1
26 Sep 2018
 | 26 Sep 2018


S. Zahran, M. M. Mostafa, A. Masiero, A. M. Moussa, A. Vettore, and N. El-Sheimy

Keywords: Micro-Radar, Ultra-Wideband, Multi-Sensor Fusion, Extended Kalman Filter, Global Navigation Satellite System, Inertial Measurement Unit

Abstract. During the last decade, the number of applications of UAVs has continuously increased, making the global UAV market one of those with the highest rate of growth. The worldwide increasing usage of UAVs is causing an ever-growing demand for efficient solutions in order to make them usable in every kind of working condition. In fact, nowadays the main restriction to the usage of UAVs is probably the need of reliable position estimates provided by using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): since UAVs mostly rely on the integration of GNSS/Inertial Navigation System (INS) to properly fulfil their tasks, they face a major challenge while navigating in GNSS denied environments. The goal of this paper is that of investigating possible strategies to reduce such main restriction to UAV usage, i.e. enabling flights in GNSS denied environment by providing position estimates with accuracy quite comparable to that of standard GNSS receivers currently mounted on commercialized drones. To be more specific, this paper proposes the combined use of a novel Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Radar, a set of Ultra-Wideband (UWB) devices, and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) measurements in order to compensate for the unavailability of the GNSS signal units. A 24-GHz micro FMCW radar and a UWB device have been attached to a quadcopter during the flight. The radar receives the reflections from ground scatterers, whereas the UWB system provides range measurements between a UWB rover mounted on the UAV and a set of UWB anchors distributed along the flying area.