Autonomous vehicle navigation in current systems almost always relies on satellite navigation and/or active sensor technology. In a military emergency however, safe systems must function reliably also in situations where GNSS signals are not available. This includes the event of failure, malfunction or deliberate falsification. Therefore the PALONA system purely relies on passive sensors for environmental perception and navigation. Passive sensors work without external infrastructure and enable better camouflage during operations. Against this background, the PALONA project team is developing methods for passive self-localisation based on visual location recognition and inertial navigation.
The result of the project is a sensor platform and methodology that enables automated, passive self-localisation in an infrastructure-free environment. The project is the first of several steps towards automated driving in unpaved areas. Following an established vehicle development processes, a simulation environment will be created in which algorithms can be developed and evaluated.
The coming development steps will include simulation and construction of a "drive-by-wire" capable vehicle chassis, as well as the development of the vehicle control and final system integration. The overall goal is to provide an automated moving vehicle system for the first time, even under the most difficult conditions.