Permanent Navigation and Surveillance for Autonomous Airborne and Ground Vehicles (NESIVA)
The research work in avionics and Software-Defined Radio (SDR) conducted by the Laboratory of Space Technologies, Embedded Systems, Navigation, and Avionics (LASSENA) at ÉTS has identified a highly promising technology for positioning and obstacle detection (surveillance) through the exploitation of Signals of Opportunity (SoOP). Specifically, signals emitted by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, whose number is exponentially growing worldwide, as well as by 3G through 6G transmitters, can be used to provide Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) resilient data, as well as mobile obstacle/intruder detection (PNT-D) data, which are essential for autonomous aerial (UAM, drones, aircraft, helicopters, etc.) and ground vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc.). Although other systems, such as GNSS and inertial sensors provide positioning data, and LIDAR/RADAR provide detection data, SoOP will provide alternative and dissimilar PNT-D information that will be indispensable to reach the level of integrity and availability required for autonomous transportation. It is to be noted that SoOP is a passive and non-cooperative technology which can provides the required resilience (backup and robustness) in the event of cyber-attacks on current systems. Only a few research centers have published their work on SoOP, and the door is open for Quebec to take a worldwide leadership in this disruptive technology that may become a standard by the end of our decade.