Decentralized Cooperative Navigation for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in GPS-denied Environments

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P1913
Agency Tracking Number: 187903
Amount: $124,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A2
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-15
Small Business Information
95 First Street, Suite 240, Los Altos, CA, 94022-2777
DUNS: 829385509
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Bong-Jun Yang
 (650) 559-8585
Business Contact
 P. K. Menon
Phone: (650) 559-8585
Research Institution

The use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) for civilian as well has military tasks, has been expanding steadily over the years. In this regard, cooperation and interoperability amongst multiple SUAVs has been seen as a key direction of future research by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A central challenge in the cooperative navigation using multiple SUAVs is that they often have to operate in GPS-denied environment due to GPS jamming and spoofing or due to the unavailability of any external sources such as georeferencing, for navigation updates for long periods of time. An approach to address this problem is to employ cooperative navigation algorithms by which multiple SUAVs derive better estimates of their location using ownship navigation sensors, in conjunction with navigation data derived from other SUAVs in the vicinity. This proposal advances the development of decentralized cooperative navigation (DCN) algorithms that can improve the navigation performance of multiple SUAVs in GPS-denied environments. The proposed algorithm will tackle the challenges such as communication range and bandwidth limits, relative measurement sensor range and field of view limit, heterogeneous sensor systems and scalability with respect to the number of SUAVs. The Phase I work will provide proof-of-concept for the proposed DCN methodology using simulations. In Phase II, a working prototype will be developed and will be tested using hardware-in-the-loop simulations. The outcome of the research would be a technology for multivehicle cooperative navigation in GPS-denied and GPS-weakened environments.

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

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