Closely-coupled integration of Locata and GPS for engineering applications

Bonenberg, Lukasz Kosma (2014) Closely-coupled integration of Locata and GPS for engineering applications. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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GPS has become an almost indispensable part of our infrastructure and modern life. Yet because its accuracy, reliability, and integrity depend on the number and geometric distribution of the visible satellites, it is not reliable enough for the safety of life, environmental or economically critical applications.

Traditionally, this has been addressed by augmentation from dedicated support systems, or integration with other sensors. However, from an engineering perspective only expensive inertial systems or pseudolites offer the accuracy required. In the case of pseudolites, the equivalent of ground based satellites, geometry constraints, fading multipath, imprecise clocks, the near-far effect, tropospheric delay and legislative obstructions make them difficult to implement.

This thesis takes a step forward, by proposing a loosely coupled integration with Locata, a novel, terrestrial positioning technology, based on the pseudolite concept. It avoids the above pitfalls by utilising frequency and spatially separated antennas and a license-free frequency band, though this comes at the cost of in-bound interference. Its ability to provide stand-alone position and network synchronisation at nanosecond level is used commercially in open-cast mining and in military aviation. Discussion of Locata and GPS technology has identified their shortcomings and main limiting factors as well as the advantages of the proposed integration. During the course of this research, tropospheric delay, planar solution and known point initialisation ambiguity resolution methods have been identified as the main limiting factors for Locata. These are analysed in various static and kinematic scenarios. Discussion also includes ambiguity resolution, noise and interference detection and system performance in indoor and outdoor scenarios.

The proposed navigation engine uses a closely coupled integration at the measurement level and LAMBDA as the ambiguity resolution method for Locata and GPS. A combined solution is demonstrated to offer a geometrical improvement, especially in the respect of height determination, with centimetre to decimetre accuracy and a minimum requirement of two signals from any component. This study identifies that proper separation and de-correlation of Locata and GPS ambiguities and better tropospheric models are essential to reach centimetre level accuracy.

The thesis concludes with examples of system implementation including: seamless navigation, city-wide network deployment, urban canyons, a long term-monitoring scenario and indoor positioning. This demonstrates how the proposed navigation engine can be an advantage in areas such as: civil engineering, GIS, mobile mapping, deformation, machine navigation and control.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Roberts, G.W.
Hancock, C.
Keywords: Global Positioning System, Locata, Terrestrial positioning, Geographical information systems, Navigation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 13939
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2015 08:11
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 06:03

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