GPS positioning for the ITALRAD project

GReD collaborated with the INFN (Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics) to develop a precise GNSS positioning solution to determine position and attitude of an autogyro, used to detect natural radioactivity and to take aerial photos. The solution was based on three low-cost GNSS devices (u-blox), one installed on the nose and two on the tail of the aircraft.

ITALRAD homepage

Within the ITALRAD project by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (Legnaro National Laboratories), GReD developed an application that logs raw observations from three low-cost GPS receivers, mounted on board of an autogyro used to survey natural radioactivity maps.

 

radgyro_3receivers

The RadGyro, with the three GPS receivers (u-blox) mounted on the tail and on the nose of the aircraft

 

The logging application was developed within the goGPS Java open source software library, and was made available here. Apart from logging GPS observations, the application also logs the corresponding system time, which is used to synchronize several other instruments on board the aircraft.

 

radgyro_logging

Example of the logging application command line output

 

An ad-hoc software application based on goGPS MATLAB open source software was developed to automatically perform relative positioning, exploiting both code and phase observations, for the three receivers.