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Research Papers

Measurement-Level Integration of Carrier-Phase GPS and Laser-Scanner for Outdoor Ground Vehicle Navigation

[+] Author and Article Information
Mathieu Joerger

Department of Materials and Aerospace Engineering Mechanical, Illinois Institute of Technology, 10 West 32nd Street, Room 243, E1 Building, Chicago, IL 60616-3793joermat@iit.edu

Boris Pervan

Department of Materials and Aerospace Engineering Mechanical, Illinois Institute of Technology, 10 West 32nd Street, Room 243, E1 Building, Chicago, IL 60616-3793

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 131(2), 021004 (Feb 04, 2009) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3072122 History: Received May 27, 2007; Revised October 13, 2008; Published February 04, 2009

This paper introduces a navigation system based on combined global positioning system (GPS) and laser-scanner measurements for outdoor ground vehicles. Using carrier-phase differential GPS, centimeter-level positioning is achievable when cycle ambiguities are resolved. However, GPS signals are easily attenuated or blocked, so their use is generally restricted to open-sky areas. In response, in this work we augment GPS with two-dimensional laser-scanner measurements. The latter is available when GPS is not and further enables obstacle detection. The two sensors are integrated in the range domain for optimal navigation performance. Nonlinear laser observations and time-correlated code and carrier-phase GPS signals are processed in a unified and compact measurement-differencing extended Kalman filter. The resulting algorithm performs real-time carrier-phase cycle ambiguity estimation and provides absolute vehicle positioning throughout GPS outages, without a priori knowledge of the surrounding landmark locations. Covariance analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, and experimental testing in the streets of Chicago demonstrate that the performance of the range-domain integrated system far exceeds that of a simpler position-domain implementation, in that it not only achieves meter-level precision over extended GPS-obstructed areas, but also improves the robustness of laser-based simultaneous localization and mapping.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Vehicle and landmark models (notation definition)

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Figure 2

Four-step covariance analysis (laser only)

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Figure 3

Example of raw laser scan superimposed with a satellite picture of the alley

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Figure 4

Consequence of a miss-association in the position-domain approach

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Figure 5

Illustration of the forest (left) and urban canyon (right) scenarios; experimental setup and artificial satellite blockage models

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Figure 6

Direct simulation of the GPS/laser algorithm

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Figure 7

Performance versus length of the GPS outage

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Figure 8

Comparison of three implementations for the street scenario

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Figure 9

Experimental result for the forest scenario

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Figure 10

Experimental result for the miss-association-free urban canyon scenario

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Figure 11

Experimental setup for the testing in the streets of Chicago

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Figure 12

Experimental Result No. 1 for the test conducted in a narrow alley

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Figure 13

Experimental Result No. 2 for the test conducted in a street

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