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A typical Inertial Navigation System (INS) fuses acceleration and angular rate readings with aiding measurements obtained by GPS and a compass. Here we present a robust state estimation framework based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) applied to low-cost electronics typically installed on-board small unmanned airplanes. It uses airspeed measurements as a backup operation mode replacing GPS updates when temporarily unavailable. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed approach to real-world scenarios using a challenging dataset recorded on-board a manned glider including long-term circling. A comparison between the normal operation mode and the backup solution reveals minimal difference between the respective orientation estimates, a position error growth sub-linear with time during GPS outage and a seamless transition back to GPS-based operation.
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