SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 62, Issue 1: 010204(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-018-9579-3

Cooperative geometric localization for a ground target based on the relative distances by multiple UAVs

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  • ReceivedJun 27, 2018
  • AcceptedJul 19, 2018
  • PublishedDec 20, 2018


Based on the locations of several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their relative distances from a target, a ground target cooperative geometric localization method that is more effective than a traditional approach is proposed in this paper. First, an algorithm for determining the location of the target is described. The effectiveness and suitability of the proposed algorithm are then shown. Next, to investigate the location accuracy of the proposed method, the influence of three critical factors, namely, the flight altitude, UAV position errors, and measurement errors, is analyzed. Furthermore, for the required location accuracy, the feasible regions of these factors are determined based on their influence, and the location accuracy will satisfy the requirements if all factors are within the feasible regions. Finally, simulation results from the MATLAB/Simulink toolbox are presented to show the effectiveness of the proposed method and the availability of the feasible regions.


This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61473229).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) Example of cooperative localization using three UAVs.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Location errors mapped with measurement errors. (a) ${\sigma~_1}=~0.001$, 0.002, 0.003, 0.004; (b) ${\sigma~_1}=~0.005$, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008.

  • Table 1   Initial locations of UAVs
    UAV Location (km, km, km)
    UAV1 ($6370.1,19.5,1$)
    UAV2 ($6371.9,19.5,1$)
    UAV3 ($6371.1,20.9,1$)

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