Path Planning for Cooperative Navigation with Inter-Agent Range Measurements

Adam J. Rutkowski, Brian K. Taylor, Martin J. Eilders, Kevin M. Brink, Clark N. Taylor, Jamie E. Barnes

Abstract: In this paper, we consider the problem of guiding a pair of autonomous vehicles from known initial locations to desired goal locations. The objective is to plan trajectories so that the vehicles reach their goals as accurately as possible when access to external navigation aids such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) is not available. In many navigation scenarios, it is known that navigation accuracy depends on the path traveled by the vehicle. For the scenario considered in this study, each vehicle has an onboard odometer for measuring relative changes in position and heading. The vehicles also have sensors for measuring range between vehicles. In order to find a set of paths that result in good navigation performance, and to avoid the curse of dimensionality associated with searching an infinite dimensional space of possible trajectories, the trajectories were restricted to a class described as pseudozigzagging. An exhaustive search of all possible trajectory pairs revealed that, in the best case, the estimated final position standard deviation can be reduced by a factor of 5 when compared with the worst cases. Those trajectories that excite the range measurement tend to have better position estimation accuracy than trajectories that maintain a constant inter-vehicle range. However, range excitation alone is not enough to guarantee good performance, since less than 0.1% of the trajectory sets with non-constant range had final estimated standard deviation within 10% of the best case. This suggests that appropriate path selection is critical to achieving good navigation performance.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2015 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 20 - 23, 2015
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 344 - 349
Cite this article: Rutkowski, Adam J., Taylor, Brian K., Eilders, Martin J., Brink, Kevin M., Taylor, Clark N., Barnes, Jamie E., "Path Planning for Cooperative Navigation with Inter-Agent Range Measurements," Proceedings of the ION 2015 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2015, pp. 344-349.
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