Chapter 13

Three-Dimensional Localization 1

Since 1961, inertial navigation and the Kalman filter have formed a successful alliance [MCG 85], when these technologies were applied for the first time in Apollo’s program. Moreover, the same scientific and technological advances were applied to aeronautics in 1972 with great success. Thus, these have been the de facto technology for aeronautic navigation for more than 30 years. However, in spite of the maturity and proving of existent navigation techniques, new obstacles and challenges arise when mini UAVs applications are attempted. For example, a restriction such as limited payload makes it virtually impossible to do mini UAV practical applications because sensor, computer and software quality are adversely affected. Also, these vehicles might need to move through indoor or outdoor environments where some sensors could fail due to obstacles such as trees, buildings and other structures.

The former argument shows that the localization task applied to mini UAVs is a scientific and technological challenge with unique characteristics. The definitive solution for this problem has not yet been developed, and there are many open topics to research. A typical inertial navigation system (INS) is built on three accelerometers and three gyroscopes for the purpose of obtaining the vehicle accelerations and calculating velocities and positions. In order to build a 3D localization system applied to mini UAVs, it is necessary to face the inherent ...

Get Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Embedded Control now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.