Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Michael J. Stepaniak, PhD.


Emerging technology in small autonomous flying vehicles requires the systems to have a precise navigation solution in order to perform tasks. In many critical environments, such as indoors, GPS is unavailable necessitating the development of supplemental aiding sensors to determine precise position. This research investigates the use of a line scanning laser radar (LADAR) as a standalone two dimensional position and heading navigation solution and sets up the device for augmentation into existing navigation systems. A fast histogram correlation method is developed to operate in real-time on board the vehicle providing position and heading updates at a rate of 10 Hz. LADAR navigation methods are adapted to 3 dimensions with a simulation built to analyze performance loss due attitude changes during flight. These simulations are then compared to experimental results collected using SICK LD-OEM 1000 mounted a cart traversing. The histogram correlation algorithm applied in this work was shown to successfully navigate a realistic environment where a quadrotor in short flights of less than 5 min in larger rooms. Application in hallways show great promise providing a stable heading along with tracking movement perpendicular to the hallway.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number