PROJECT TITLE :
Low Frequency Radio Polarization Sensor With Applications in Attitude Estimation
A novel method of attitude (orientation) estimation is proposed, which makes use of measurements of the polarization of the magnetic (H-) field of Low Frequency (LF) radio signals. This offers advantages relative to existing accelerometer-primarily based systems in high-acceleration, price-constrained environments, like little mounted-wing unmanned aerial vehicles. In order to validate this methodology, a sensor system is presented, that is capable of determining the H-field polarization of LF radio signals from three-axis measurements. The sensor system consists of an array of 3 orthogonal loop antennas, a 3 channel radio receiver circuit, a datalogging and control module, and information processing algorithms. This method is shown to accurately measure the axis of H-field polarization for signals with linear or almost linear polarization, subject to an indication ambiguity. A representative AM radio broadcast within the LF band is shown to own a substantially linear polarization, measurements of which are used to determine a receiver's heading angle. The stability of these polarization measurements over time and the distorting effect of certain structures are quantified. The feasibility of this method of perspective determination is therefore demonstrated.
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