Abstract Title

SDR and UAV-based Navigational Aid Transmitter Test System

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Poster Session; 5-minute Oral Presentation

Authors' Class Standing

Daniel Sommer, Senior Michael Cain, Senior James Trafny, Senior Brian Jaury, Senior Andrew Newlon, Senior Massod Towhidnejad, Faculty Eduardo Rojas, Faculty

Lead Presenter's Name

Daniel Sommer

Faculty Mentor Name

Eduardo Rojas

Abstract

Navigation aid systems are essential avionics component that significantly helps pilots to achieve safe and efficient flights. Current verification of aircraft navigational aid transmitters is performed by multiple passes of an airplane at various approach angles and conditions. Such a test requires substantial logistics and resources, which makes them costly. This research presents a software defined radio (SDR) based system designed to test the instrument landing system (ILS) and VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) signals. The system is comprised of a signal receiver and processing sub-system that is flown by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV platform performs autonomous flight following a predefined path; while the ILS and VOR signal are received and demodulated using the SDR. The signals are processed on-board of the UAV and transmitted to a ground station. The test system also acquires high-resolution global positioning system (GPS) location by a differential GPS unit. Design considerations are made to meet the measurement accuracy and sensitivity requirements contained in ICAO Document 8071. Initial system tests show measured VOR signals that are within limits established by the FAA.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

No

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SDR and UAV-based Navigational Aid Transmitter Test System

Navigation aid systems are essential avionics component that significantly helps pilots to achieve safe and efficient flights. Current verification of aircraft navigational aid transmitters is performed by multiple passes of an airplane at various approach angles and conditions. Such a test requires substantial logistics and resources, which makes them costly. This research presents a software defined radio (SDR) based system designed to test the instrument landing system (ILS) and VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) signals. The system is comprised of a signal receiver and processing sub-system that is flown by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV platform performs autonomous flight following a predefined path; while the ILS and VOR signal are received and demodulated using the SDR. The signals are processed on-board of the UAV and transmitted to a ground station. The test system also acquires high-resolution global positioning system (GPS) location by a differential GPS unit. Design considerations are made to meet the measurement accuracy and sensitivity requirements contained in ICAO Document 8071. Initial system tests show measured VOR signals that are within limits established by the FAA.