Bridging GNSS Outages with IMU and Odometry: A Case Study for Agricultural Vehicles

Eva Maria Reitbauer*, Christoph Schmied

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nowadays, many precision farming applications rely on the use of GNSS-RTK. However, when it comes to autonomous agricultural vehicles, GNSS cannot be used as a stand-alone system for positioning. To ensure high availability and robustness of the positioning solution, GNSS-RTK must be fused with additional sensors. This paper presents a novel sensor fusion algorithm tailored to tracked agricultural vehicles. GNSS-RTK, an IMU and wheel speed sensors are fused in an error-state Kalman filter to estimate position and attitude of the vehicle. An odometry model for tracked vehicles is introduced which is used to propagate the filter state. By using both IMU and wheel speed sensors, specific motion characteristics of tracked vehicles such as slippage can be included in the dynamic model. The presented sensor fusion algorithm is tested at a composting site using a tracked compost turner. The sensor measurements are recorded using the Robot Operating System (ROS). To analyze the achievable accuracies for position and attitude of the vehicle, a precise reference trajectory is measured using two robotic total stations. The resulting trajectory of the error-state filter is then compared to the reference trajectory. To analyze how well the proposed error-state filter is suited to bridge GNSS outages, GNSS outages of 30 s are simulated in post-processing. During these outages, the vehicle’s state is propagated using the wheel speed sensors, IMU, and the dynamic model for tracked vehicles. The results show that after 30 s of GNSS outage, the estimated horizontal position of the vehicle still has a sub-decimetre accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4467
Number of pages19
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Autonomous agricultural vehicles
  • Autonomous compost turner
  • GNSS interference mitigation
  • Kalman filtering
  • Multi-sensor fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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