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Monocular Camera/IMU/GNSS Integration for Ground Vehicle Navigation in Challenging GNSS Environments

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Author(s): Tianxing Chu | Ningyan Guo | Staffan Backén | Dennis Akos

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 12;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 3162;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: sensor integration | extended Kalman filter | GNSS | strapdown mechanization | computer vision | tightly coupled integration

ABSTRACT
Low-cost MEMS-based IMUs, video cameras and portable GNSS devices are commercially available for automotive applications and some manufacturers have already integrated such facilities into their vehicle systems. GNSS provides positioning, navigation and timing solutions to users worldwide. However, signal attenuation, reflections or blockages may give rise to positioning difficulties. As opposed to GNSS, a generic IMU, which is independent of electromagnetic wave reception, can calculate a high-bandwidth navigation solution, however the output from a self-contained IMU accumulates errors over time. In addition, video cameras also possess great potential as alternate sensors in the navigation community, particularly in challenging GNSS environments and are becoming more common as options in vehicles. Aiming at taking advantage of these existing onboard technologies for ground vehicle navigation in challenging environments, this paper develops an integrated camera/IMU/GNSS system based on the extended Kalman filter (EKF). Our proposed integration architecture is examined using a live dataset collected in an operational traffic environment. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed integrated system provides accurate estimations and potentially outperforms the tightly coupled GNSS/IMU integration in challenging environments with sparse GNSS observations.
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