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Title: Precise positioning in real-time using GPS-RTK signal for visually impaired people navigation system
Author: Al-Salihi, Nawzad Kameran
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 6271
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis presents the research carried out to investigate and achieve highly reliable and accurate navigation system of guidance for visually impaired pedestrians. The main aim with this PhD project has been to identify the limits and insufficiencies in utilising Network Real-Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite Systems (NRTK GNSS) and its augmentation techniques within the frame of pedestrian applications in a variety of environments and circumstances. Moreover, the system can be used in many other applications, including unmanned vehicles, military applications, police, etc. NRTK GNSS positioning is considered to be a superior solution in comparison to the conventional standalone Global Positioning System (GPS) technique whose accuracy is highly affected by the distance dependent errors such as satellite orbital and atmospheric biases. Nevertheless, NRTK GNSS positioning is particularly constrained by wireless data link coverage, delays of correction and transmission and completeness, GPS and GLONASS signal availability, etc., which could downgrade the positioning quality of the NRTK results. This research is based on the dual frequency NRTK GNSS (GPS and GLONASS). Additionally, it is incorporated into several positioning and communication methods responsible for data correction while providing the position solutions, in which all identified contextual factors and application requirements are accounted. The positioning model operates through client-server based architecture consisted of a Navigation Service Centre (NSC) and a Mobile Navigation Unit (MNU). Hybrid functional approaches were consisting of several processing procedures allowing the positioning model to operate in position determination modes. NRTK GNSS and augmentation service is used if enough navigation information was available at the MNU using its local positioning device (GPS/GLONASS receiver).The positioning model at MNU was experimentally evaluated and centimetric accuracy was generally attained during both static and kinematic tests in various environments (urban, suburban and rural). This high accuracy was merely affected by some level of unavailability mainly caused by GPS and GLONASS signal blockage. Additionally, the influence of the number of satellites in view, dilution of precision (DOP) and age corrections (AoC) over the accuracy and stability of the NRTK GNSS solution was also investigated during this research and presented in the thesis. This positioning performance has outperformed the existing GPS service. In addition, utilising a simulation evaluation facility the positioning model at MNU performance was quantified with reference to a hybrid positioning service that will be offered by future Galileo Open Service (OS) along with GPS. However, a significant difference in terms of the service availability for the advantage of the hybrid system was experienced in all remaining scenarios and environments more especially the urban areas due to surrounding obstacles and conditions. As an outcome of this research a new and precise positioning model was proposed. The adaptive framework is understood as approaching an integration of the available positioning technology into the context of surrounding wireless communication for a maintainable performance. The positioning model has the capability of delivering indeed accurate, precise and consistent position solutions, and thus is fulfilling the requirements of visually impaired people navigation application, as identified in the adaptive framework.
Supervisor: Balachandran, W. ; Garaj, V. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Blind navigation system ; Visual ; QoS (Quality of Service)