Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kyle J. Kauffman, PhD.


The precision navigation capabilities of the Global Positioning System (GPS) are used extensively within US military operations. However, GPS is highly vulnerable to intentional and unintentional external interference. Therefore, a need exists to develop a non-GPS precision navigation method to operate in GPS degraded environments. This research effort presents the theoretical limits of a precision navigation method based on an inertial navigation system (INS) aided by angle measurements with respect to lunar surface features observed by a fixed camera. To accomplish this task, an extended Kalman filter (EKF) was implemented to estimate INS drift errors and bring in simulated lunar feature angle measurements to correct error estimates. The research scope focused solely on the feasibility of lunar vision aided navigation with INS where only measurement noise effects from a simulated CCD camera and barometer were considered. Various scenarios based on camera specifications, lunar feature quantity, INS grade, and lunar orbital parameters were conducted to observe the INS drift correction by lunar feature angle measurements. The resulting trade spaces presented by the scenarios showed theoretical substantial improvement in the navigation solution with respect to a stand alone INS.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number