Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 84, Issue 1–4, pp 259–276 | Cite as

Autonomous Navigation of UAV in Foliage Environment

  • Jin Q. CuiEmail author
  • Shupeng Lai
  • Xiangxu Dong
  • Ben M. Chen


This paper presents a navigation system that enables small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles to navigate autonomously using a 2D laser range finder in foliage environment without GPS. The navigation framework consists of real-time dual layer control, navigation state estimation and online path planning. In particular, the inner loop of a quadrotor is stabilized using a commercial autopilot while the outer loop control is implemented using robust perfect tracking. The navigation state estimation consists of real-time onboard motion estimation and trajectory smoothing using the GraphSLAM technique. The onboard real-time motion estimation is achieved by a Kalman filter, fusing the planar velocity measurement from matching the consecutive scans of a laser range finder and the acceleration measurement of an inertial measurement unit. The trajectory histories from the real-time autonomous navigation together with the observed features are fed into a sliding-window based pose-graph optimization framework. The online path planning module finds an obstacle-free trajectory based the local measurement of the laser range finder. The performance of the proposed navigation system is demonstrated successfully on the autonomous navigation of a small-scale UAV in foliage environment.


Unmanned aerial vehicle Simultaneous localization and mapping Path planning GPS-less navigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Q. Cui
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shupeng Lai
    • 2
  • Xiangxu Dong
    • 1
  • Ben M. Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.Temasek LaboratoriesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences, EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Electrical, Computer EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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