Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Low-Cost Cooperative UAV Localization Network Prototype

Goel, S, Kealy, A and Lohani, B 2018, 'Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Low-Cost Cooperative UAV Localization Network Prototype', Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks, vol. 7, no. 4, 42, pp. 1-33.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Low-Cost Cooperative UAV Localization Network Prototype
Author(s) Goel, S
Kealy, A
Lohani, B
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
Volume number 7
Issue number 4
Article Number 42
Start page 1
End page 33
Total pages 33
Publisher M D P I AG
Abstract Precise localization is one of the key requirements in the deployment of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for any application including precision mapping, surveillance, assisted navigation, search and rescue. The need for precise positioning is even more relevant with the increasing automation in UAVs and growing interest in commercial UAV applications such as transport and delivery. In the near future, the airspace is expected to be occupied with a large number of unmanned as well as manned aircraft, a majority of which are expected to be operating autonomously. This paper develops a new cooperative localization prototype that utilizes information sharing among UAVs and static anchor nodes for precise positioning of the UAVs. The UAVs are retrofitted with low-cost sensors including a camera, GPS receiver, UWB (Ultra Wide Band) radio and low-cost inertial sensors. The performance of the low-cost prototype is evaluated in real-world conditions in partially and obscured GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) environments. The performance is analyzed for both centralized and distributed cooperative network designs. It is demonstrated that the developed system is capable of achieving navigation grade (2-4 m) accuracy in partially GNSS denied environments, provided a consistent communication in the cooperative network is available. Furthermore, this paper provides experimental validation that information sharing is beneficial to improve positioning performance even in ideal GNSS environments. The experiments demonstrate that the major challenges for low-cost cooperative networks are consistent connectivity among UAV platforms and sensor synchronization.
Subject Navigation and Position Fixing
Keyword(s) Cooperative localization
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Ultra wide band
Extended Kalman filter
Centralized network
Distributed network
DOI - identifier 10.3390/jsan7040042
Copyright notice © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license
ISSN 2224-2708
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