Andrei Cuenca

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Hever Moncayo

First Committee Member

Dr. Richard Prazenica

Second Committee Member

Dr. Eric Coyle


The dependence of modern navigation methods on global positioning systems has led to developing alternative algorithms for localization, capable of providing reliable and robust estimations. Global position system is commonly used in a vast majority of the world’s devices, and it can supply real time position and velocity information. However, its accuracy can be compromised by external operational effects such as signal availability, cyber-attacks or weather conditions. This thesis investigates an alternative approach to enhance navigation in GPS-denied environments. Particularly, it develops an integrated navigation architecture based on geomagnetic referencing models capable of dead reckoning at GPS denied intervals. A geomagnetic matching algorithm combined with a nearest contour point of the magnetic surface is studied. Combined with an Extended Kalman filter as Inertial Navigation scheme, numerical simulations and experiments using on a quadrotor system are performed to assess the capabilities of the proposed approach at different navigation scenarios. A performance comparison between all the estimation methods is presented with the results section, and an overview of the influence of the vehicle in the measurements is presented along with the measurements gathered from experimental flights.