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H2020

GLAD-2 Report Summary

Project ID: 698729

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GLAD-2 (GNSS/INS Low-cost Attitude Determination and navigation system - Phase 2)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

During the last years, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) market has gained great attention. They have matured rapidly, and are expected to experience a large growth, including the civilian sector.

In the short term, UAS are expected to be widely used for multiple civil applications such as: agriculture, citizen safety, mobility, smart cities, sustainable resources management, low-carbon energy infrastructure planning and protection, disaster management and climate action including natural catastrophe.

For the civil UAS market, an affordable but still reliable system to provide attitude and position estimations is required.

In order to cope with this need, GLAD provides a low-cost attitude determination and navigation system, providing attitude and position, whose core is based on the attitude determination thanks to the computation of the low-level data coming from a multi-antenna GNSS system, making use of low-cost GNSS receivers and advanced data fusion with IMU and barometer data to enhance the attitude and position outputs in harsh GNSS environments.

Moreover, the GLAD system avoids the use of magnetometers, making it immune to magnetic fields, and avoiding the need for IMU calibration when the magnetic environment is modified.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During year 1, WP3 (Upgrade to UAS market requirements) has been completed, and progress has been done in WP2 (Regulation & standardization), WP4 (Industrialization) and WP6 (Commercialization). WP1 (Project management) and WP7 (Communication and dissemination) have been active from the beginning of the project.

In WP2, a survey of the current status of UAS/RPAS regulation applicable at international, European and national levels has been performed, together with the analysis of the Prototype Commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft operations, dated August 2016. This analysis is aimed at getting information for the estimation of the UAS market evolution forecast, and also for information impacting the technical requirements regulation may impose to the product.

During WP3, the collection of requirements and the definition of GLAD system specifications were performed. The work based on the regulation, market analysis and feedback from third parties led to the definition of a set of requirements in terms of electrical and mechanical constraints, interface definitions and software. Besides, a first level integration was performed in a UAV provided by a system operator. The objective of this integration was twofold: first, verify the integration feasibility and anticipate any potential important consideration before the final specifications are closed and second, provide real data captures for the progress on the algorithms development. The need for a development kit to be offered with the final product was also a result of this WP3.

Different GNSS antennas were selected and their performance was measured, classifying them according to technical and economic criteria.

The industrial prototype board was designed in WP4 according to the specifications established during WP3. This prototype provided improvements in terms of size, weight, temperature, computation power, electrical protections and connections in order to make it suitable for the UAS market. It was finally manufactured at the end of WP4 together with an optional rugged custom enclosure, and passed the initial electrical and laboratory tests.

The upgrade of the former fusion algorithm in order to add new features and make it suitable for real-time functionality was carried out during WP3. At the end of the first year, it was adapted to be integrated into the industrial prototype taking into account the real-time constrained environment. In addition, an SDK for easing the integration of GLAD system by abstracting the details of the underlying user interface protocol was also developed.

WP6 is fully dedicated to the elaboration of the commercialisation plan. During year 1, the available information has been completed though a desktop market research, with information from secondary sources, in order to get input data to improve the existing preliminary business plan. The technical progress of the project has also been closely monitored, as a required input source for the definition of the final value proposition of GLAD.

The expected growth of the commercial usage of UAVs has been confirmed, a deeper regional analysis and prospects of expected market distribution in the different world regions has been performed. The different UAS categories have been analysed, to identify those in which GLAD usage is feasible and potentially demanded. A survey of applications has been done, a list of UAS manufacturers generated, and finally, the most relevant companies have been listed, positioned and classified, according to different criteria.

At the end of year 1, GLAD system, including hardware and software, was finally ready for testing. A portable testing platform which included dedicated reference platforms, the GLAD prototype and a custom logger was designed and assembled. Custom analysis scripts and debugging and monitoring tools for checking the data collected by the test platform were also developed. These tools, together with the measurements acquired with the testing platform, are currently under use in order to refine the algorithms and evaluate GLAD’s performance.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The use of a four GNSS antenna system based on low-cost GNSS receivers for the complete attitude determination (roll, pitch, yaw) plus the tight integration with data coming from different low-cost sensors is in the state of the art, leading to a low-cost attitude determination and navigation system, providing attitude, position.

Nevertheless, the final target of the SME Instrument from ACORDE’s point of view is not so focused on the scientific progress beyond state of the art, but on the achievement of a product or set of products the company can commercialize at the end of the project.

Related information

Record Number: 198459 / Last updated on: 2017-05-19
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