A METHOD FOR EVALUATING GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE SYSTEM POSITION ACCURACY IN SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Karla S. Ladino, Michael Patrick Sama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current standards for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) testing are primarily designed for assessing horizontal positioning accuracy in ground-based applications. However, there is a notable absence of guidelines specifically addressing vertical accuracy assessment and applications that extend beyond ground-based scenarios, including those involving small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This effort aimed to develop a UAS-based GNSS testing system, tailored for the evaluation of GNSS receiver performance in dynamic low-altitude scenarios. The main objectives included (1) designing a GNSS testing system for UAS applications and (2) validating the system through field testing. The system development consisted of GNSS receiver configuration, data acquisition system design, processing procedures, and UAS payload and base station component design. The UAS payload featured multiple GNSS receivers operating in different modes, and data were collected using a custom Python script on a Raspberry Pi computer. For in-field validation, dynamic flight testing with vertical profiles was conducted. A robotic tracking total station (TTS) was used as the reference instrument for measuring the location of the UAS payload. The findings underscore the system's capabilities, primarily emphasizing its functionality rather than conducting an extensive assessment of the individual GNSS receiver performance. The UAS-based testing system that was developed was capable of satisfying most of the criteria for existing GNSS test standards. The insights derived from this process offer recommendations for standardizing UAS-based GNSS testing methods, with a particular focus on mission design, battery management, data processing, and environmental adaptability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-399
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the ASABE
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Keywords

  • Dynamic Error
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
  • Positioning Accuracy
  • Tracking Total Station (TTS)
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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