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Design and Performance Validation of Integrated Navigation System Based on Geometric Range Measurements and GIS Map for Urban Aerial Navigation


This article proposes an efficient integrated navigation algorithm to secure reliable navigation solutions in urban flight environments where satellite navigation is not available. Also, this study investigates a new sensor deployment and filter configuration that can perform real-time navigation onboard small drones by reducing the complexity and computational burden of the conventional point cloud-based pose estimation. The proposed method first derives the geometric relationship between the ranging vector and the known three-dimensional map, where the number of range sensors and deployment structure is refined. Then, we designed the inertial navigation filter structure combining the derived measurement model and evaluated the estimation performance in a realistic urban flight environment. The validity of the proposed algorithm is verified through both error analysis using a simulator with a high-fidelity model and real navigation error analysis from onboard flight test adjacent to urban buildings. In conclusion, this paper presents a distinctive navigation method from the existing point cloud-based approaches and the performance of real-time three-dimensional navigation with a position error of about 1–2 m in satellite unavailability environment.

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Correspondence to Sangkyung Sung.

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Recommended by Associate Editor Aldo Jonathan Munoz-Vazquez under the direction of Editor Chan Gook Park. This research was supported by Konkuk University’s research support program for its faculty on sabbatical leave in 2019, the National Research Foundation of Korea (2015M3C1B1034536, 2019R1A2B5B01069412) and the Information Technology Research Center support program(IITP-2020-2018-0-01423).

Gwangsoo Park received his B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, in 2014. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the Department of Aerospace Information Engineering, Konkuk University. His research interests include sensor fusion and integrated navigation system.

Byungjin Lee received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Aerospace Information Engineering, Konkuk University in 2017. Now, he is with the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, Korea. His research interests include the development of navigation and control system for unmanned vehicles.

Dong Gyun Kim received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from Konkuk University in 2014 and 2016, respectively. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the Department of Aerospace Information Engineering, Konkuk University. His research interests include robust control theory, unmanned intelligent system and path planning.

Young Jae Lee is a Professor at the Department of Aerospace Information Engineering, Konkuk University. His research interests include integrity monitoring of GNSS signal, GBAS, RTK, attitude determination, orbit determination, and integrated navigation-related engineering problems.

Sangkyung Sung is a Professor at the Department of Aerospace Information Engineering, Konkuk University. His research interests include inertial sensors, integrated and seamless navigation, and application to mechatronics and unmanned intelligent systems.

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Park, G., Lee, B., Kim, D.G. et al. Design and Performance Validation of Integrated Navigation System Based on Geometric Range Measurements and GIS Map for Urban Aerial Navigation. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 18, 2509–2521 (2020).

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  • Flight test
  • GIS map
  • integrated navigation
  • mode transition
  • range sensor
  • satellite unavailability
  • urban navigation