The ATENEA project aims to integrate the deeply integrated GNSS/INS receiver architectures and LiDAR techniques to provide an advanced navigation solution for a wide range of surveying applications in difficult environments.
Corridor and urban mapping by LiDAR images is an active research domain and a well established mapping technique. However, today, it is only feasible by using high-end systems with a very high cost per unit. In addition, LiDAR sensor orientation is currently provided by loosely and closely coupled GPS/INS receivers, degrading performance in urban scenarios with poor satellite visibility and harsh multipath conditions.
The ATENEA project tackles the most challenging issues of this type of applications, showing how the use of GNSS signals, integrated positioning and observable processing can in one shot increase robustness, continuity, accuracy and drastically reduce the system cost.
ATENEA is developing an advanced concept for seamless navigation at the cm-level regardless of the environment. The following technologies will be studied within ATENEA:
- Multi-constellation GPS/Galileo/EGNOS Increasing availability and continuity. Availability of EGNOS ephemeris and corrections will also reduce position errors and Time-To-First-Fix;
- Deeply coupled GNSS/INS receiver design Current state-of-the-art of hybridisation applications will be improved with ultra-tight integration of the inertial sensors, navigation processor and signal processing tracking loops, adding additional robustness under high user dynamics, and allowing for fast mapping applications;
- GNSS Phase receiver, exploitation Galileo signals capabilities Error in the pseudo-range observables will be reduced as must as possible, using dedicated multipath and interference mitigation techniques and taking benefit of the new Galileo L1 MBOC and E5 AltBOC signals, to allow a fast carrier-phase ambiguity resolution;
- Integrated GNSS/INS/LiDAR navigation filter. Finally, an innovative unique integrated navigation solution for the integration of observables from GNSS, IMU, and laser sensors is proposed, allowing to reduce the costs of the current expensive LiDAR devices for precise laser scanning. The different algorithms will be developed and tested in a SW environment (based on the GRANADA simulator and the IADIRA test-bench). A field data collection campaign with real data (in post-processing) will also be carried out, using EGNOS and Galileo early signals.
The potential impact of the ATENEA technology is related to the ability to navigate at a 1-s accuracy level ranging from 0.05 to 0.50 m in urban areas. This capacity is an enabler for numerous outdoor – and even some indoor – applications. This capacity is the result of integrating three different, mutually complementary technology principles: GNSS ranging, inertial sensing and LiDAR ranging.
Among other applications, the technology to be developed under ATENEA will be key for the third generation mapping paradigm, terrestrial mobile mapping: 3D Earth surface models that will include 3D urban city models. Three-dimensional models of the Earth surface must be elaborated by combining data from aerial/satellite and terrestrial missions. ATENEA is the enabler for terrestrial geo-data acquisition missions.
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