Covariance Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Effects of Collaborative Navigation

Chun Yang and Andrey Soloviev

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Collaborative navigation allows a group of mobile networked users to improve their navigation performance. Each node in the network has a means of its own to navigate (e.g. INS/GPS). However, individual navigation performance is limited due to, for instance, inertial sensor drifts when GPS signal is lost. By exchanging navigation states and in particular obtaining relative measurements (range, range rate or angular) via radio communications, the distributed nodes collaborate and serve as anchors for one another. In this paper, we investigate spatial and temporal effects of collaborative navigation. The improvement in navigation performance is affected by the number of collaborating nodes and inter-node measurement quality in relation to the uncertainty of individual navigation states (spatial effect). Navigation errors after inter-node measurement exchanges become correlated, which limits further reduction in errors by subsequent measurements (temporal effect). Understanding of such fundamental effects provides practical guidelines for optimal design of communication protocols and estimation algorithms.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 61, Number 3
Pages: 213 - 225
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