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Autonomous Navigation and Surveillance


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Naturally, there are very high demands on the safety and performance of all types of aerial vehicles. The onboard navigation system is a critical component and the accuracy and reliability of this system is integral in most applications. A common solution is to combine measurements from both on-board inertial sensors and from a satellite navigation system in order to achieve the required navigation accuracy. However, there is a need for support and backup systems in case the satellite navigation system is unavailable. In particular, such backup systems are needed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which typically have less accurate on-board sensors. Hence, different methods for autonomous navigation are studied within this subproject, e.g., approaches based on fusion with data from geographical information systems or from various types of imaging systems.

Another critical feature of an aerial vehicle is its system for surveillance of the surrounding environment. This is important both for avoiding collisions with other aircraft and for the completion of various types of missions. In order to address some of these needs, tracking of multiple moving targets using different sensors on one or several aerial vehicles is investigated in this subproject. One application that is studied is wildlife protection using
UAVs.

The potential commercial impact of this subproject involves new functionalities for autonomous and robust navigation and for
autonomous surveillance and tracking of moving ground or air objects.

Key topics:

  • Sensor fusion based on combinations of inertial navigation systems, geographical information and various types of image sensors, e.g., visible and infrared electro-optical sensors and synthetic aperture radar systems.
  • Multi-sensor target tracking involving topics such as data association, computational aspects and heterogenous sensors.
  • Simultaneous localization and mapping.
  • One application: Wildlife protection using UAV systems.