Positioning systems

Acquisition systems

During the last ten years we have been working on the TAG concept (Trajectory, Attitude and Gravity system provider). The TAG family are a set of HW/SW systems for the Real Time determination of trajectories – i.e. navigation- from inertial, satellite, magnetic, barometric and other navigation sensors. These systems are, as well, time-tagged data acquisition systems as they stores the sensor measurements.

From a conceptual point of view, the systems have evolved from an INS/GNSS trajectory determination platform into the above more general concept to accommodate the various instrument and sensor configurations of modern navigation and orientation systems. Thus, the systems can be “configured” for GNSS alone based navigation systems, for classical hybrid INS/GNSS systems, for INS/GNSS systems augmented with other ancillary navigation sensors or for INS/GNSS systems with multiple IMU or multiple GNSS receivers to mention a few examples.


Figure: Modular and extensible platform and payload for indoor mapping

The TAG family systems are intended for operational as well as for development purposes. In particular, they allow for fast and incremental multi-sensor navigation systems integration.

More information on the TAG family systems can be found here.

Latest relevant  publications:

, , , Autonomous wheeled robot platform testbed for navigation and mapping using low-cost sensors , in Proceedings of the LowCost 3D 2017, 28-29 November 2017, Hamburg (Germany).

Related projects:




Data processing

In this topic we aim to go a step beyond on by directly applying the three geodetic pillars: correct modelling, data redundancy and data heterogeneity.

Rigorous modelling

Rigorous modeling refers to the identification of models that approximate the physical reality beyond the sensitivity of current technology within the appropriate application context. Mathematical modeling must be both functional and stochastic. They are mutually dependent as correctness in the stochastic aspect uses to be related to simplicity in the functional formulation.

Examples of this approach are our works modelling CSAC atomic clock, a wide range of inertial sensors and all the models included in the GEMMA testbed.

Latest relevant publications:

, , , CSAC Characterization and Its Impact on GNSS Clock Augmentation Performance , Sensors, Vol. 17, No. 2, February 2017.

, , I. Colomina, GEMMA: a generic, extensible and modular multi-sensor navigation analysis system , ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume III-3, pp. 433-440. XXIII ISPRS Congress, 12-19 July 2016, Prague (Czech Republic), July 2016.

P. Garcia, IMU calibration platform , Supervisors: O. Casas (UPC), D. Calero (CTTC), July 2016.

, , I. Colomina, On the generation of realistic simulated inertial measurements , in Proceedings of the ISS Gyro Symposium, September 2015, Karlsruhe (Germany)

Related projects:




 Sensor redundancy

We aim improving accuracy, precision and reliability of sensor positioning and orientation through and optimal method based on redundant systems. The use of redundant systems has multiple advantages. We’d like to highlight the system noise reduction and the single fault detection and isolation.

Nowadays there are several groups working on this topic but it is still an open issue since there is not a consolidated solution for the surveying community. We are working on an approach easily transferable to the industry and the technical community.

Relevant publications:

J. Montaño, M. Wis, J. Antonio Pulido, A. Latorre, P. Molina, , , I. Colomina, Validation of inertial and imaging navigation techniques for space applications with UAVs , in Proceedings of the International Space System Engineering Conference (DASIA 2015), 19-21 May 2015, Barcelona (Spain).

Related projects:



Multi-sensor navigation

We aim at reviewing current processing approaches for navigation and cartography taking into account the new COTS sensors and the new European satellite programs.

Relevant publications:

Fernandez, E., Calero, D., Parés, M.E., “A study on PPP clock augmentation using a CSAC ” submitted to the 6th International Colloquium on Scientific and Fundamental Aspects of GNSS / Galileo, 25-27 October in Valencia.

, , , Positioning performance of Chip-Scale Atomic Clock GNSS augmentation systems , in Proceedings of the Navitec 2016, 14-16 December 2016, Noordwijk (The Netherlands).

J. Montaño, M. Wis, J. Antonio Pulido, A. Latorre, P. Molina, , , I. Colomina, Validation of inertial and imaging navigation techniques for space applications with UAVs , in Proceedings of the International Space System Engineering Conference (DASIA 2015), 19-21 May 2015, Barcelona (Spain).

Related projects:



Data management

The GEON department is working in two topics regarding data management.

The first one is related to data modelling and abstraction. An incorrect – or non-existent – abstraction of the data entities represented in a data interface may lead to an unnecessary complexity in the software using such interface. A bad data model may also compromise the correct evolution of such software systems, since the incorporation of – apparently – new data entities will imply the ad hoc modification of the source code to cope with such changes. Specifically, in the context of trajectory determination systems, sensors play a very important role, since these are the main source of data to deal with. Sensors evolve continuously, and this continuous change must find its way in a correctly defined data interface if the aforementioned issues are to be avoided. The answer to this challenge is the proper definition of an abstraction describing the essential properties of the data involved in the interface. With ASTROLABE interface we propose a usable and efficient solution to this problem.

The second one is related to the development of platform independent tools supporting data analysis and the decision making process. Here, Automation and flexibility will be the key words.

Relevant related papers:

, , I. Colomina, M. Blázquez, ASTROLABE: A rigorous, geodetic-oriented data model for trajectory determination systems , ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. March 2017.

, I. Colomina, On software Architecture Concepts for a Unified, Generic and Extensible Trajectory Determination System , in Proceedings of the ION GNSS+, 08-12 September 2015, Tampa, Florida (USA).

Relevant projects: