Inexpensive 2D Optical Sensor for GPS Augmentation


Pi-Ming Cheng, Craig Shankwitz, Eddie Arpin

December 2012

Report no. CTS 12-37

Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS) are susceptible to outages due to blocked or missing satellite signals and/or blocked or missing DGPS correction messages. Outages arise primarily due to environmental reasons: passing under bridges, passing under overhead highway signs, adjacent foliage, etc. Generally, these outages are spatially deterministic, and can be accurately predicted. These outages distract drivers using DGPS-based driver assistive systems, and limit the system robustness. Inertial measurements have been proposed as an augmentation for DGPS. Tests have shown that error rates for even emerging technologies are still too high; a vehicle can maintain lane position for less than three to four seconds. Ring laser gyros can do the job, but $100K per axis is still too expensive for road-going vehicles. To provide robust vehicle positioning in the face of DGPS outages, the IV Lab has developed a technique by which a non-contact, 2D true ground velocity sensor is used to guide the vehicle. Although far from fully developed, the system can maintain vehicle position within a lane for GPS outages of up to 20 seconds. New dual frequency, carrier phase DGPS systems generally require less than 20 seconds to acquire a "fix" solution after a GPS outage, so the performance of this system should be adequate for augmentation. Proposed herein is basic research which may lead to the development of an inexpensive, 2D, non-contact velocity sensor optimized for vehicle guidance during periods of DGPS outages.

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