GNSS/GPS Robustness for UAS

Joshua Stubbs, Dennis Akos

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) caused by close proximity of electronics to the GNSS/GPS (Global Navigation Satellite System/Global Positioning System) antenna on a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) has the potential to degrade GNSS signals by raising the noise floor level. Many common electronics are unintentional radiators, and leak a certain degree of RFI into the surrounding area. An experiment to determine the presence of RFI on a UAS with some common UAS components was performed and is described in this paper. RTK (Real Time Kinematics) can be used to improve the accuracy of the UAS GNSS engine, and could potentially give position measurements that are accurate to within a few centimeters. However, RTK positioning is more complex than traditional code-based GNSS, and requires additional hardware. If RTK is to be used for navigational purposes on a UAS it is vital that performance can be guaranteed. A case study was performed to give an insight into what type of performance can be expected of an airborne RTK system, and to build upon and validate previous work. The ultimate goal of the work described in this paper was to provide a link between the two areas described above, and to examine how onboard RFI affects RTK on UAS. It is likely that RFI will have a significant impact on RTK measurements since RTK relies on the relatively frail carrier phase measurements. However, this link was never made due to time constraints, and so it remains unresolved.
Published in: Proceedings of the 2016 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 25 - 28, 2016
Hyatt Regency Monterey
Monterey, California
Pages: 485 - 493
Cite this article: Stubbs, Joshua, Akos, Dennis, "GNSS/GPS Robustness for UAS," Proceedings of the 2016 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Monterey, California, January 2016, pp. 485-493.
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