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GNSS/INS Low-cost Attitude Determination and navigation system - Phase 2

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

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-03-31

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.
With the completion of all activities originally planned, and the achievement of all the milestones defined at the beginning of the project (including the achievement of the CE Mark after an industrial certification process) the objective of consolidating GLAD as a marketable product aiming to cover the aforementioned needs has been accomplished.
In the next sections, the work carried out since the beginning of year 2 of GLAD-2 project until its finalization is detailed, including the relationship between the different tasks and deliverables produced in this period and the objectives to be achieved.
It must be noticed that this reporting period covers 15 months instead of 12 months, due to the 3-month extension approved in year 2017. All dates mentioned in the document correspond with the new planification derived from this extension.
As a quick summary, the work performed during this period comprises the following activities in line with the work package structure presented in the proposal:
WP1 “Management”:
• Execution of all required management actions, such as handling the relation with subcontractors, the organization of the technical team, allocation of tasks, status follow up, relation with EC and innovation related activities (IPR issues).
WP2 “Regulation”:
• Update on the analysis of the regulatory status in the UAS sector, taking the situation in the EU territory specially into account:
o Regulation in the EU and its Member States.
o Standardization and Special Conditions (SC) in the EU.
WP3 “Upgrade to UAS-RPAS market ready requirements”:
• Completion of the optimization of algorithms for real-time operation
WP4 “Industrialization”
• Update of custom analysis and debug tools.
• Execution of industrial prototype tests in a terrestrial vehicle environment, including:
o Offline data processing.
o Bugs fixing.
o Refinement of the algorithm based on the feedback from the industrial prototype tests.
• Definition of hardware and software upgrades:
o Design and fabrication of an upgraded modular prototype.
o Implementation of software upgrades.
• Preparation of testing platforms for UAV operational environment tests.
• Execution of UAV operational environment tests, including:
o Offline data processing.
o Bugs fixing.
o Refinement of the algorithm based on the feedback from the UAV operational environment tests.
o Update of methodology for accuracy calculation.
WP5 “Qualification & validation”:
• Preparation of the industrial certification (CE Mark) for the upgraded modular prototype.
• Execution of the industrial certification (CE Mark) for the upgraded modular prototype.
• Update of the testing platforms utilized for the validation flights and preparation of an additional third testing platform.
• Execution of the validation flights and processing of the results.
WP6 “Commercialisation”:
• Update of the market analysis research.
• Continuous monitoring of the technical progress leading to the final value proposition of GLAD product.
• Completion of the commercialization plan with the establishment of three variants of GLAD, and their optional features.
WP7 “Communication”:
• Publication of a dedicated GLAD product webpage.
• Addition of GLAD to the GNSS/INSS product section of ACORDE’s official webpage.
• Utilization of Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter) for dissemination activities
• Assistance to tradeshows either as visitors (2017) or exhibitors (2018).
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 and velocity.
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. This objective was achieved during the project execution.
Final product onboard a drone
Final developed board