GNSS Hardware-In-The-Loop Formation and Tracking Control

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Virginia Tech

Formation and tracking control are critical for of today's vehicle applications in and this will be true for future vehicle technologies as well. Although the general function of these controls is for data collection and military applications, formation and tracking control may be applied to automobiles, drones, submarines, and spacecraft. The primary application here is the investigation of formation keeping and tracking solutions for realistic, real-time, and multi-vehicle simulations. This research explores the creation of a predictive navigation and control algorithm for formation keeping and tracking, raw measurement data collection, and building a real-time GNSS closed HWIL testbed for simulations of different vehicles. The L1 frequency band of the Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation is used to observe and generate raw measurement data that encompasses range, pseudo-range, and Doppler frequency. The closed HWIL simulations are implemented using Spirent's Communication Global Navigation Satellite system (GNSS) 6560 and 8000 hardware simulators along with Ashtech, G-12 and DG-14, and Novetel OEM 628 receivers. The predictive navigation control is similar to other vision-based tracking techniques, but relies mainly on vector projections that are controlled by acceleration, velocity magnitude, and direction constraints to generate realistic motion.

The current state of the testbed is capable of handling one or more vehicle applications. The testbed can model simulations up to 24 hours. The vehicle performance during simulations can be customized for any required precision by setting a variety of vehicle parameters. The testbed is built from basic principles and is easily upgradable for future expansions or upgrades.

Hardware-In-The-Loop, Formation Flying, Formation Travel, Tracking Control, Linear Navigation, Ashtech G-12, Spirent, GNSS 8000, GNSS 6560, Real-Time, Predictive Navigation Algorithm, GPS, Global Positioning System