Integrity Aspects of Hybrid EGNOS-based Navigation on Support of Search And-Rescue Missions with UAVs
This paper describes the goals, concept and overall approach of the European 7th Framework Programme´s project named CLOSE-SEARCH, which stands for ´Accurate and safe EGNOS-SoL Navigation for UAV-based low-cost SAR operations´ and is being conducted by a consortium of a research centre (Institute of Geomatics, IG), a private non-profit technology centre (Asociaci¢n de la Industria Navarra, AIN), the Geodetic Engineering Laboratory (TOPO) of the Ecole Polytechnique F‚d‚rale of Lausanne (EPFL), an aerospace engineering company (DEIMOS Engenharia, DME), a public research agency and geospatial data provider (Institute of Cartography of Catalonia, ICC) and an end user, the Direcci¢ General de Protecci¢ Civil (DGPC, the Catalan civil protection authority). The goal of CLOSE-SEARCH is to integrate in a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (helicopter type, for reasons of maneuverability), a thermal imaging sensor and a multi-sensor navigation system (based on the use of a Barometric Altimeter (BA), a Magnetometer (MAGN), a Redundant Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and an SBAS-enabled GNSS receiver) with an Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (AIM) capability, to support the search component of Search-And-Rescue (SAR) operations in remote, difficult-to-access areas and/or in time critical situations. The proposed integration will result in a Hardware and Software prototype that will demonstrate an end-to-end functionality: by systematically flying over a region (during day or night, under adverse weather conditions and in rather inaccessible areas) and it will identify disaster survivors or lost people through the detection of the body heat. In other words, CLOSE-SEARCH strives to be a low-cost and robust system that searches for distressed people in situations where only an approximate knowledge of their whereabouts is available. Finally, it is also the goal of CLOSE-SEARCH to demonstrate the added value of a future multi-constellation augmented GNSS configuration (Galileo/GPS-EGNOS or Galileo/GPS-SoL).