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Mini-UAV altitude estimation using an inertially stabilized payload

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2 Author(s)
Oshman, Y. ; Dept. of Aerosp. Eng., Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa, Israel ; Isakow, M.

A novel method is introduced for autonomous attitude estimation of a mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carrying an inertially stabilized payload. The method is based on utilizing the outputs of rate gyros normally used to inertially stabilize the payload, and other data that is normally available from conventional aircraft-mounted sensors. A decentralized estimation algorithm is developed, which uses the aircraft/payload mathematical models to bound the estimation errors. Exploiting modern multiprocessor computer technology, the new estimation algorithm comprises two parallel extended Kalman filters (EKFs) and a data fusion algorithm. Real-time experimental tests, incorporating a payload model with real rate gyros mounted on a three-axis flight table, have validated the feasibility of the concept. The theoretical and experimental investigation demonstrates that the estimation algorithm is capable of estimating the attitude angles with an estimation error not exceeding 1 deg, at output rates of 13 Hz, thus constituting a viable substitute for the conventional vertical gyroscope

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Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 4 )