Survey on Recent Advances in Integrated GNSSs Towards Seamless Navigation Using Multi-Sensor Fusion Technology

Mahmoud Elsanhoury, Janne Koljonen, Petri Välisuo, Mohammed Elmusrati, Heidi Kuusniemi

Abstract: During the past few decades, the presence of global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) such as GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo has facilitated positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) for various outdoor applications. With the rapid increase in the number of orbiting satellites per GNSS, enhancements in the satellite-based augmentation systems (SBASs) such as EGNOS and WAAS, as well as commissioning new GNSS constellations, the PNT capabilities are maximized to reach new frontiers. Additionally, the recent developments in precise point positioning (PPP) and real time kinematic (RTK) algorithms have provided more feasibility to carrier-phase precision positioning solutions up to the third-dimensional localization. With the rapid growth of internet of things (IoT) applications, seamless navigation becomes very crucial for numerous PNT dependent applications especially in sensitive fields such as safety and industrial applications. Throughout the years, GNSSs have maintained sufficiently acceptable performance in PNT, in RTK and PPP applications however GNSS experienced major challenges in some complicated signal environments. In many scenarios, GNSS signal suffers deterioration due to multipath fading and attenuation in densely obscured environments that comprise stout obstructions. Recently, there has been a growing demand e.g. in the autonomous-things domain in adopting reliable systems that accurately estimate position, velocity and time (PVT) observables. Such demand in many applications also facilitates the retrieval of information about the six degrees of freedom (6-DOF - x, y, z, roll, pitch, and heading) movements of the target anchors. Numerous modern applications are regarded as beneficiaries of precise PNT solutions such as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the automatic guided vehicles (AGV) and the intelligent transportation system (ITS). Hence, multi-sensor fusion technology has become very vital in seamless navigation systems owing to its complementary capabilities to GNSSs. Fusion-based positioning in multi-sensor technology comprises the use of multiple sensors measurements for further refinement in addition to the primary GNSS, which results in high precision and less erroneous localization. Inertial navigation systems (INSs) and their inertial measurement units (IMUs) are the most commonly used technologies for augmenting GNSS in multi-sensor integrated systems. In this article, we survey the most recent literature on multi-sensor GNSS technology for seamless navigation. We provide an overall perspective for the advantages, the challenges and the recent developments of the fusion-based GNSS navigation realm as well as analyze the gap between scientific advances and commercial offerings. INS/GNSS and IMU/GNSS systems have proven to be very reliable in GNSS-denied environments where satellite signal degradation is at its peak, that is why both integrated systems are very abundant in the relevant literature. In addition, the light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems are widely adopted in the literature for its capability to provide 6-DOF to mobile vehicles and autonomous robots. LiDARs are very accurate systems however they are not suitable for low-cost positioning due to the expensive initial costs. Moreover, several other techniques from the radio frequency (RF) spectrum are utilized as multi-sensor systems such as cellular networks, WiFi, ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth. The cellular-based systems are very suitable for outdoor navigation applications while WiFi-based, UWB-based and Bluetooth-based systems are efficient in indoor positioning systems (IPS). However, to achieve reliable PVT estimations in multi-sensor GNSS navigation, optimal algorithms should be developed to mitigate the estimation errors resulting from non-line-of-sight (NLOS) GNSS situations. Examples of the most commonly used algorithms for trilateration-based positioning are Kalman filters, weighted least square (WLS), particle filters (PF) and many other hybrid algorithms by mixing one or more algorithms together. In this paper, the reviewed articles under study and comparison are presented by highlighting their motivation, the methodology of implementation, the modelling utilized and the performed experiments. Then they are assessed with respect to the published results focusing on achieved accuracy, robustness and overall implementation cost-benefits as performance metrics. Our summarizing survey assesses the most promising, highly ranked and recent articles that comprise insights into the future of GNSS technology with multi-sensor fusion technique.
Published in: Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021)
September 20 - 24, 2021
Union Station Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Pages: 2754 - 2765
Cite this article: Elsanhoury, Mahmoud, Koljonen, Janne, Välisuo, Petri, Elmusrati, Mohammed, Kuusniemi, Heidi, "Survey on Recent Advances in Integrated GNSSs Towards Seamless Navigation Using Multi-Sensor Fusion Technology," Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021), St. Louis, Missouri, September 2021, pp. 2754-2765.
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