ENHANCEMENT OF REAL-TIME SCAN MATCHING FOR UAV INDOOR NAVIGATION USING VEHICLE MODEL
Keywords: Iterative Closest Point (ICP), Hector SLAM, Vehicle Model (VM), Scan Matching, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Abstract. Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have drawn great attention from different organizations, because of the various applications that save time, cost, effort, and human lives. The navigation of autonomous UAV mainly depends on the fusion between Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Inertial Measurement System (IMU). Navigation in indoor environments is a challenging task, because of the GNSS signal unavailability, especially when the utilized IMU is low-cost. Light Detection and Ranging Radar (LIDAR) is one of the mainly utilized sensors in the indoor environment for localization through scan matching of successive scans. The process of calculating the rotation and translation from successive scans can employ different approaches, such as Iterative Closest Point (ICP) with its variants, and Hector SLAM. ICP and Hector SLAM iterative fashion can greatly increase the matching time, and the convergence is not guaranteed in case of harsh maneuvers, moving objects, and short-range LIDAR as it may get stuck in local minima. This paper proposes enhanced real-time ICP and Hector SLAM algorithms based on vehicle model (VM) during sharp maneuvers. The vehicle model serves as initialization step (coarse alignment) then the ICP/Hector serve as fine alignment step. Test cases of quadcopter flight with harsh maneuvers were carried out with LIDAR to evaluate the proposed approach to enhance the ICP/Hector convergence time and accuracy. The proposed algorithm is convenient for UAVs where there are limitations regarding the size, weight, and power limitations, as it is a stand-alone algorithm that does not require any additional sensors.