ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume V-1-2020
03 Aug 2020
 | 03 Aug 2020


K. Park, J. Kang, Z. Arjmandi, M. Shahbazi, and G. Sohn

Keywords: Multilateration, Flip Ambiguity, Positioning, Ultrawide-band, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Abstract. Ultrawide-band (UWB) ranging technology and multilateration techniques have recently been emerging solutions for positioning unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in GNSS-denied environments. This solution offers cm-level ranging accuracy and considerable robustness to multipath receptions. UWB modules are commonly used in an anchor-based configuration; i.e., one UWB tag is mounted on the UAV, and several UWB anchors are installed on the ground. In real-world operational conditions, anchors can form a planar or a near-planar surface. This causes a geometric ambiguity, called flip ambiguity, in position estimation. Flip ambiguity can lead to considerable errors in the estimated position by multilateration. In this paper, we present a multilateration approach, which automatically resolves the flip ambiguity for UAV-positioning using UWB ranging. The proposed multilateration method first computes an algebraic solution through recursive least squares. If the initially estimated position is found to be flipped, then it is corrected by a symmetric reflection with respect to the anchor plane. Finally, the estimated position is refined by non-linear optimization. Extensive experiments in a real environment show that the proposed algorithm can effectively tackle the issue of flip ambiguity in multilateration, leading to a significant improvement in positioning accuracy.