Analytical and Empirical Navigation Safety Evaluation of a Tightly Integrated Lidar/IMU Using Return-Light Intensity

Ali Hassani and Mathieu Joerger

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This paper describes the design, analysis, and experimental evaluation of a new landmark-based localization method that integrates light detection and ranging (lidar) with an inertial measurement unit (IMU). We develop a tight IMU/lidar integration scheme that exploits the complementary properties of the two sensors to facilitate safety risk evaluation. Lidar localization updates limit the IMU error drift over time while IMU data improve lidar position and orientation (or pose) prediction, thereby reducing the risk of incorrectly associating perceived features with mapped landmarks. In addition, lidar return-light intensity measurements are incorporated to better distinguish landmarks and to further reduce the risk of incorrect associations. We analyze the integrity performance of the localization algorithm using an automated testbed that generates analytical and empirical pose estimation error distributions.
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