Geodesy and Navigation (GEON)
PERIGEO is a national project partially funded by the call INNPRONTA 2011-2014 from CDTI, and it is composed by seven companies and seven public research entities. Its main goal is to investigate space technologies using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
The project has three different technical research areas, including Optimized Aircraft Design, Fault-Tolerant and Advanced Control Techniques, and Autonomous Navigation. Moreover the project includes a fourth area called Integrated Design and Research Process, which main aim is to establish procedures, methodology and advanced tools enabling, on one side, the establishment of guidelines for the prior three technical areas and, on the other side, the investigation of necessary tools to integrate and validate the achievements in experimental and simulated environments. This tool or set of tools developed along the project has been called as Synthetic Dual Environment.
The work in Optimized Aircraft Design aims at the innovation on aircraft design, establishing as well a new multi-disciplinary methodology for high-efficiency and maneuverability vehicle design, and research on high-resiliency materials, especially to thermal variations. In Advanced Control Techniques, the challenge is to improve the performance of fault-tolerant vehicle control, and provide the aircrafts with means for robust position and attitude estimation based on various sensor measurements, including optical and laser sensors for which image processing techniques will be investigated. For Autonomous Navigation, the goal is to improve the techniques for autonomous control of space probes in missions such as landing in Moon or Mars (or other celestial bodies). In addition, the improvement of navigation techniques in those outer space missions is aimed, focusing on minimizing the human-on-the-loop component and under environment knowledge from optical and infrared sensors. The developments produced by the research in PERIGEO, both theoretical and in a simulated environment, will be tested in the final phase using UAVs. This type of platforms has been identified as optimal to perform the aimed tested, keeping the maximum duality to space missions in Earth environments.
The Geomatics Division (GD), through its Integrated Geodesy and Navigation (GIN) department, actively participates in the Advanced Control Techniques tasks, particularly in the tasks of Robust Estimation for Navigation, and Image Processing. In the first task, the GD contributes to the research with the elaboration of navigation sensors’ models and the integration of its measurements for robust estimation of the navigation solution, that is, the use of outlier detection and exclusion techniques in combination of an advanced filtering concept for multi-sensor navigation. For the second task, the GD participates in the design and implementation of image and LiDAR processing chain for navigation, from calibration of the image and LiDAR sensors to the design of algorithms and integration of a prototype to be boarded on the testing UAV to perform on-line image- and LiDAR-based navigation. For this research, the GDsupports its research on the owned technology –inertial units, cameras, calibration field and procedures, algorithms an software, etc…- and increases its knowledge and previous experience on the use of unmanned aerial platforms.