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Cooperative RF-Trail Based closed, confined, and constrained Environment Navigation System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA119P0023
Agency Tracking Number: T182-002-0028
Amount: $149,842.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA182-002
Solicitation Number: 18.2
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-09-13
Small Business Information
2673 Commons Blvd., Suite 55
Beavercreek, OH 45431
United States
DUNS: 080546871
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Sanjeevi Sirisha Karri
 Engineering Manager
 (802) 829-8375
Business Contact
 Vamsy Chodavarapu
Phone: (937) 782-8206
Research Institution

Small multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are well suited for sensing and situational awareness missions in closed, confined, and constrained (C3) environments. However, autonomous navigation of small VTOL UAVs is very challenging in C3 environments. Current state of the art navigation methods uses vision and LIDAR to build a map, localize, and plan paths. These methods tend to be computationally expensive and have tendency to diverge in featureless dark and unstructured environments. We propose an alternative approach in which a team of UAVs deploys small RF sensors as trail to create light weight maps and provide precise localization solution. We will use a relative navigation framework to increase the accuracy of the RF sensor map and localization. An observability-based reactive path planning and obstacle avoidance approach will be added to the RF trail mapping and localization. The proposed method will have several advantages over existing vision and laser based navigation techniques such as low computational and storage requirement, trivial loop closures, and it will work any kind of lighting (dark and bright) scenarios. Furthermore, the RF trail will provide UAV the added benefit on non-line of sight (LOS) sensing and navigation capability.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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