LeapFrogging: A Technique for Accurate Long-Distance Ground Navigation and Positioning Without GPS

John P. McIntire, Frederick C. Webber, Duy K. Nguyen, Yaohui Li, ShaoHui Foong, Kelseylee Schafer, Wai Yong Chue, Kevin Ang, Eric T. Vinande, Mikel M. Miller

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: We present a dead-reckoning navigation system that combines elements of traditional map and compass orienteering techniques with concepts from collaborative positioning and field surveying. Using two or more people, and with various technologies to perform ranging and/or directional measurements, the users take turns moving from a known starting position. The LeapFrogging system tracks the measurements and is able to reconstruct the estimated path and provide a current position estimate to the users. Various technologies and movement schemes that can be utilized for LeapFrogging are explained and discussed. Test results from several field data collections are provided and demonstrate that positional errors are usually on the order of 1–3 percent positional error per distance traveled, and sometimes reach as low as 0.5 to 1.0 percent error. A man-portable LeapFrogging system could be useful for teams of soldiers, search-and-rescue, and hikers in regions where GPS may be degraded, denied, or temporarily unavailable.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 65, Number 1
Pages: 35 - 47
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