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Session B2: Autonomous Navigation

Cooperative Navigation for GPS-Denied Environments via Simultaneous Online Localization Exchange
Denis Garagic, Fang Liu, Frank Stolle, BAE Systems; Maarten Uijt de Haag, Ohio University; Bradley J. Rhodes, BAE Systems
Location: Grand Ballroom F

Teams of coordinating autonomous low-cost air platforms have potential to fill in critical gaps in national defense capabilities in heavily contested environments, day or night, under GPS-compromised conditions (e.g., sporadically available GPS). Accurate relative localization, i.e., estimating the position and orientation (pose) of each platform in the team, is a key prerequisite for successfully accomplishing these tasks. One approach for localizing a platform in GPS-denied environments is to utilize onboard sensors that measure the vehicle’s motion with respect to the surrounding environment to track its pose. Since each platform typically carries its own sensors, one potential strategy is to have each team member localize independently. However, if the platforms cooperate, they will be more effective in accomplishing their required tasks because of their improved collective localization accuracy. In heterogeneous teams, this is particularly effective since the vehicle with the least accurate sensors can gain localization accuracy comparable to the vehicle with the highest quality sensors. Our CoOperative Navigation via Simultaneous Online Localization Exchange (CONSOLE) approach is one method for realizing this strategy. CONSOLE is a new adaptive all-source cooperative navigation approach that exploits information received by each platform equipped with a low-cost strapdown IMU, GPS unit, and an inter-agent ranging sensor to resolve each platform’s relative position and orientation to enhance GPS-free navigation. CONSOLE provides a distributed cooperative airborne navigation approach for estimating 3-D pose (position and orientation) of multiple cooperating platforms. CONSOLE leverages noisy, intermittently available inter-agent measurements (e.g., noisy measurements of the relative pose between pairs of platforms) during prolonged, or complete, loss of GPS and without other georeferenced measurements (e.g., not relying on the use of any maps, or the ability to recognize landmarks in the environment). CONSOLE provides platform agnostic cooperative navigation based on nonlinear pose-graph optimization solved as an iterative nonlinear optimization on an underlying Riemannian manifold without requiring a suitable linear parameterization of the manifold.



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