Collaborative Navigation with Warfighters Transitioning to and from Mounted Platforms
Jordan Britt and Kevin Betts, Leidos
Date/Time: Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2:10 p.m.
For dismounted navigation systems to be of practical benefit to the warfighter (WF), they must be capable of seamlessly transitioning from a dismounted to mounted solution and vice versa all while operating in a GPS challenged environment. Because pedestrian navigation is typically pedometer based, and therefore does not use the traditional strap-down equations, this naturally requires two distinct hurdles to be cleared. The first being how to detect when the WF is transitioning from mounted to dismounted and vice versa, and the second, is how to share navigation information between the vehicle and the WF if available. Finally, because the mounted platform will likely have a more accurate navigation solution, this provides a unique opportunity to leverage collaborative navigation to improve overall squad accuracy.
Objectives. Working with the CCDC NVESD and MTEQ, Leidos has extended their GPS-denied collaborative navigation solution, Georegistation and Ranging for Accurate Intra-Squad localization (GRAIL), developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Squad-X Core Technologies Program Phase II effort, to now include the ability of the WF to seamlessly transition from mounted to dismounted all while maintaining a 3D RMSE less than 10m. Additionally Leidos’s Multi-Agent Non-Gaussian Optimizer (MANGO) is leveraged to refine the solution of all WF on the network through sharing of range and position information.
Methodology and Key Innovations: The vehicle under test is heavy duty commercial truck to emulate a military vehicle. The Vehicle sensor suit includes a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) GPS, mems IMU, ranging radio, and a tactical radio. All vehicle navigation and processing tasks are being performed on a DRS MFoCS. Additionally, a COTS Wi-Fi router is mounted to the MFoCS which is used to pass the vehicle navigation solution to the WF when mounted. The WF sensor suite includes standard pedestrian navigation hardware (COTS GPS, MEMS IMU, Camera), in addition to a ranging radio and tactical radio. The determination of whether the WF is mounted or dismounted is made by thresholding the Wi-Fi signal strength. Once the WF is determined that they are mounted, they begin using vehicle’s navigation solution as part of their own. When dismounting, the WF re-initializes its position using the vehicle’s position information. Simultaneously, the ranging radios and tactical radio network are used to collaboratively refine the WF’s position whenever it is within range of the vehicle by passing range and position information. This collaborative solution aids in both refining the WF solution as well as reducing the need for an especially accurate heading when dismounting. Finally, whenever the WF is out of range of the vehicle, they still pass ranging and position amongst themselves to reduce drift as a squad over time.
Results: Currently testing has been performed using three WF where multiple mounts and dismounts occur separated by short drives all while the WF is GPS denied. Initial results show all WF have the ability to consistently remain less than 10m 3D RMSE for 30min tests.
Conclusion and Significance: Leidos has demonstrated the ability to leverage collaborative navigation to provide a seamless transition between mounted and dismounted platforms while minimizing overall position error.