Multi-rate Sensor Fusion for GPS Navigation Using Kalman Filtering

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Virginia Tech

With the advent of the Global Position System (GPS), we now have the ability to determine absolute position anywhere on the globe. Although GPS systems work well in open environments with no overhead obstructions, they are subject to large unavoidable errors when the reception from some of the satellites is blocked. This occurs frequently in urban environments, such as downtown New York City. GPS systems require at least four satellites visible to maintain a good position 'fix' . Tall buildings and tunnels often block several, if not all, of the satellites. Additionally, due to Selective Availability (SA), where small amounts of error are intentionally introduced, GPS errors can typically range up to 100 ft or more. This thesis proposes several methods for improving the position estimation capabilities of a system by incorporating other sensor and data technologies, including Kalman filtered inertial navigation systems, rule-based and fuzzy-based sensor fusion techniques, and a unique map-matching algorithm.

GPS, navigation, sensor fusion, Kalman filtering