Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Yu Gu

Committee Co-Chair

Jason Gross

Committee Member

Guilherme Pereira

Committee Member

Powsiri Klinkhachorn

Committee Member

Xin Li

Committee Member

Mario Perhinschi


In this dissertation, the problem about localization in GNSS-denied and challenging environments is addressed. Specifically, the challenging environments discussed in this dissertation include two different types, environments including only low-resolution features and environments containing moving objects. To achieve accurate pose estimates, the errors are always bounded through matching observations from sensors with surrounding environments. These challenging environments, unfortunately, would bring troubles into matching related methods, such as "fingerprint" matching, and ICP. For instance, in environments with low-resolution features, the on-board sensor measurements could match to multiple positions on a map, which creates ambiguity; in environments with moving objects included, the accuracy of the estimated localization is affected by the moving objects when performing matching. In this dissertation, two sensor fusion based strategies are proposed to solve localization problems with respect to these two types of challenging environments, respectively.

For environments with only low-resolution features, such as flying over sea or desert, a multi-agent localization algorithm using pairwise communication with ranging and magnetic anomaly measurements is proposed in this dissertation. A scalable framework is then presented to extend the multi-agent localization algorithm to be suitable for a large group of agents (e.g., 128 agents) through applying CI algorithm. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is able to deal with large group sizes, achieve 10 meters level localization performance with 180 km traveling distance, while under restrictive communication constraints.

For environments including moving objects, lidar-inertial-based solutions are proposed and tested in this dissertation. Inspired by the CI algorithm presented above, a potential solution using multiple features motions estimate and tracking is analyzed. In order to improve the performance and effectiveness of the potential solution, a lidar-inertial based SLAM algorithm is then proposed. In this method, an efficient tightly-coupled iterated Kalman filter with a build-in dynamic object filter is designed as the front-end of the SLAM algorithm, and the factor graph strategy using a scan context technology as the loop closure detection is utilized as the back-end. The performance of the proposed lidar-inertial based SLAM algorithm is evaluated with several data sets collected in environments including moving objects, and compared with the state-of-the-art lidar-inertial based SLAM algorithms.