ATENEA (2010-2012)

The ATENEA project aims to join deeply integrated GNSS/INS receiver architectures and LiDAR techniques to provide an advanced navigation solution. The approach is suitable for a wide range of surveying applications in difficult environments - urban mapping has been selected as a reference case.
Urban mapping by LiDAR images is already an active domain but today is only viable using high-end systems with a unitary cost in the order of €amp; 800 000. On the technical level, geo-location and reference for  scanned LiDAR observables is provided nowadays by loosely coupled GPS receivers and INS, leading to a lack of performance in urban scenarios with poor satellite visibility and harsh multipath conditions.
ATENEA will tackle the most challenging issues with this type of application, showing how the use of Galileo signals, integrated positioning and observable processing can combine to solve the more severe technical issues (robustness and continuity), increase accuracy and drastically reduce the system’s cost.

The goal of the ATENEA project is to:

  • develop an advanced technology concept for seamless navigation at the centimetre-level, regardless of the environment;
  • integrate the complementary capabilities of GNSS, inertial navigation and object feature-based navigation from LiDAR sensors, thus reducing the costs of the currently expensive LiDAR devices for precise laser scanning;
  • demonstrate the concept by implementing the developed algorithms in a dedicated SW simulation platform;
  • perform a validation campaign focused on urban environment, including both synthetic and real measurements.

Current state-of-the-art of hybridisation applications will be improved with ultra-tight integration of the inertial sensors, navigation processor and signal processing tracking loops, adding additional robustness under high-user dynamics and SIS signal blockages.
The Galileo signal capabilities will be exploited and errors in the pseudo-range observables will be reduced to the minimum, using dedicated multipath and interference mitigation techniques and taking benefit of the new Galileo L1 MBOC and E5 AltBOC signals.

The different algorithms will be developed and tested in a SW environment, and a field campaign with real data will also be carried out. The developed technologies will be investigated down to a pre-industrialised solution ready to be integrated in a professional receiver.

The potential impact of the ATENEA technology is related to the ability to navigate at a 1-s accuracy level ranging from 0.05 to 0.50 m in urban areas. This capacity is an enabler for numerous outdoor – and even some indoor – applications. This capacity is the result of integrating three different, mutually complementary technology principles: GNSS ranging, inertial sensing and LiDAR ranging.
Among other applications, the technology to be developed under ATENEA will be key for the third generation mapping paradigm, terrestrial mobile mapping: 3D Earth surface models that will include 3D urban city models. Three-dimensional models of the Earth surface must be elaborated by combining data from aerial/satellite and terrestrial missions. ATENEA is the enabler for terrestrial geo-data acquisition missions.


FP7 Project