Navigation of small UAVs operating in forests

Jack Langelaan, Steve Rock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

A method for navigation of a small UAV through an unsurveyed environment (e.g. a forest) is presented. In particular the problem of estimating the state of the aircraft and of obstacles in the environment given limited sensors (an inertial measurement unit and a monocular camera) is addressed. The combination of limited observability and the close proximity of the vehicle to the obstacles lead to significant nonlinearities which cause Extended Kaiman Filter (EKF) based approaches to fail. This paper presents an implementation of an Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) to estimate the locations of obstacles and the state of the UAV based on measurements from the IMU and camera. This solution is applicable to navigation of a 6DOF vehicle in a three dimensional environment and allows generic obstacle avoidance routines to be used. Simulation results are presented for a two-dimensional environment which demonstrate: (a) stability and consistency of the UKF implementation and a comparison with an EKF implementation; (b) fusion with a potential field obstacle avoidance algorithm to enable navigation in an unknown two-dimensional environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Pages2031-2041
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)1563476703, 9781563476709
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
EventCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference - Providence, RI, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2004Aug 19 2004

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
Volume3

Other

OtherCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
CountryUnited States
CityProvidence, RI
Period8/16/048/19/04

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Navigation of small UAVs operating in forests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this