ATENEA: Advanced Techniques for Navigation Receivers and Applications

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The ATENEA project aimed to integrate GNSS, INS and LiDAR observations to perform precise and accurate navigation and positioning in general outdoor environments, from urban canyons to open areas. The ATENEA approach to navigation and positioning was of particular interest for a wide range of high precision tasks in difficult environments. ATENEA demonstrated the potential of INS/GNSS/LiDAR integration by being rehearsed and tested in the area of kinematic surveying for urban mapping.

Urban mapping with LiDAR techniques -the so-called terrestrial mobile mapping- is already an active domain, but is today only viable using high-end systems with a unitary cost in the order of 800 k€. On the technical level, the orientation of LiDAR instruments and the georeferencing of the scanned objects is provided nowadays by loosely or closely coupled INS/GPS integrated systems, leading to suboptimal performance in urban areas with poor satellite visibility and harsh multipath conditions.

ATENEA tackled the above issues and showed how integrated INS/GPS/Galileo/LiDAR processing could improve robustness, continuity and accuracy while drastically reducing costs.

In the ATENEA project, the following innovative technologies were investigated: GNSS phase receiver, exploiting Galileo signal capabilities; innovative signal processing and interference mitigation techniques; closely, tightly and deeply coupled INS/GNSS receiver design; integrated INS/GNSS/LiDAR navigation filters. In addition, the ATENEA SW test-bench developed in the project for algorithm validation is a valuable asset, providing a development environment for multisensor navigation systems integrating GNSS and other sensors such as IMUs or LiDAR sensors. The ATENEA concept was not only innovative but also oriented to actual user needs, providing a unique enabler for the user market in a professional receiver and integrated systems.

The different algorithms were developed and tested in a SW environment, the ATENEA platform, developed upon the NAVEGA trajectory determination SW platform (Institute of Geomatics) and the GRANADA simulator (DEIMOS Space). A field campaign with real data was also carried out (TopScan), using EGNOS and Galileo early signals. The ATENEA developed technologies were thus investigated down to a pre-industrialised product ready to be integrated in a professional receiver. Links to the High End Professional Receiver Prototype projects were established to facilitate this integration.

The potential impact of the ATENEA technology was related to the ability to navigate and position at an accuracy level ranging from 0.05 to 0.50 m (1-σ level) in urban areas. This capacity is an enabler for numerous applications and the result of integrating three different, mutually complementary technology principles: satellite ranging, inertial sensing and LiDAR ranging. Among other applications, the technology developed under ATENEA will be instrumental in the development the third generation mapping paradigm, terrestrial mobile mapping.


Acronym: ATENEA
Title: Advanced Techniques for Navigation Receivers and Applications
Execution period: 2010-02-02 to 2011-08-02 (extended to 2012-01-15)
Reference: TREN/FP/TR/247975
Funding: EU, European Commission, FP7 2nd GSA Call
Coordinating participants: DEIMOS Space (Tres Cantos, ES)
Other participants: DEIMOS Engenharia (Lisboa, PT), Institute of Geomatics (Castelldefels, ES), Politecnico di Torino (Torino, IT) and TopScan (Rheine, DE)

Status: concluded.