Design and implementation of an inertial navigation system for real time flight of an unmanned air vehicle
Kataras, Dimitris Eleftherios
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Unmanned Air Vehicles present increasing benefits to potential users, with their portability, low cost, and simplicity of operation in any battle theater. Work performed at the Naval Postgraduate School on the ARCHYTAS vehicle converges to totally unattached, autonomous flight in all regimes. Control of this inherently unstable platform is achieved by a Stability Augmentation System, designed to provide flight worthy response to pilot commands from a remote ground station. A critical part of this controller is the navigation system, which furnishes imperative data for the controlling process. This thesis examines the successful design and integration of an Inertial Navigation Sensor Suite with the already existing flight controller for the ARCHYTAS. An Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) is selected from available systems, and the integration process is presented. The research focuses on system requirements, controller modification, IMU-controller interface procedures, and hardware configuration and installation. A radio frequency communication link that transmits data from the airborne lMU to the ground based flight controller is also developed and tested. Evaluation of the design and implementation is provided through laboratory, hardware-in-the-loop tests.
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