Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 1–2, pp 245–260 | Cite as

Multi-UAV Carrier Phase Differential GPS and Vision-based Sensing for High Accuracy Attitude Estimation

  • Amedeo Rodi Vetrella
  • Flavia CausaEmail author
  • Alfredo Renga
  • Giancarmine Fasano
  • Domenico Accardo
  • Michele Grassi


This paper presents a cooperative navigation technique which exploits relative vision-based sensing and carrier-phase differential GPS (CDGPS) among antennas embarked on different flying platforms, to provide accurate UAV attitude estimates in real time or in post-processing phase. It is assumed that all UAVs are under nominal GPS coverage. The logical architecture and the main algorithmic steps are highlighted, and the adopted CDGPS processing strategy is described. The experimental setup used to evaluate the proposed approach comprises two multi-rotors and two ground antennas, one of which is used as a benchmark for attitude accuracy estimation. Results from flight tests are presented in which the attitude solution obtained by integrating CDGPS and vision (CDGPS/Vision) measurements within and Extended Kalman Filter is compared with estimates provided by the onboard navigation system and with the results of a formerly developed code-based differential GPS (DGPS/Vision) approach. Benchmark-based analyses confirm that CDGPS/Vision approach outperforms both onboard navigation system and DGPS/Vision approach.


Attitude estimation CDGPS Vision-based tracking Cooperation UAV 


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This research was carried out in the frame of Programme STAR, financially supported by UniNA and Compagnia di San Paolo. The authors thank Dr. Roberto Opromolla for support during experimental tests.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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