Kalman Filter for Noise Reduction in Aerial Vehicles using Echoic Flow

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The Ohio State University

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Echolocation is a natural phenomenon observed in bats that allows them to navigate complex, dim environments with enough precision to capture insects in midair. Echolocation is driven by the underlying process of echoic flow, which can be broken down into a ratio of the distance from a target to the velocity towards it. This ratio produces a parameter τ representing the time to collision, and controlling it allows for highly efficient and consistent movement. When a quadcopter uses echoic flow to descend to a target, measurements from the ultrasonic range sensor exhibit noise. Furthermore, the use of first order derivatives to calculate the echoic flow parameters results in an even greater magnitude of noise. The implementation of an optimal Kalman filter to smooth measurements allows for more accurate and precise tracking, ultimately recreating the high efficiency and consistency of echolocation tracking techniques found in nature. Kalman filter parameters were tested in realistic simulations of the quadcopter's descent. These tests determined an optimal Kalman filter for the system. The Kalman filter's effect on an accurate echoic flow descent was then tested against that of other filtering methods. Of the filtering methods tested, Kalman filtering best allowed the quadcopter to control its echoic flow descent in a precise and consistent manner. In this presentation, the test methodology and results of the various tests are presented.



Kalman Filter, Echoic Flow, Drone, Noise Reduction, Aerial Vehicles