31263 - Navigation Data Processing

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Matteo Zanzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-INF/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Aerospace Engineering (cod. 9234)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Sustainable cities Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course of Navigation Data Processing is to provide the students of the third year of Aerospace Engineering bachelor's degree the general description of the avionics of a modern aircraft and, in particular, the architecture of the Navigation, Guidance and Control (NGC) system. The main issues related to a NGC system are presented, both with respect to the Automatic Flight Control and Air Navigation and Guidance. The single subsystems of a NGC system are studied: the aircraft vehicle kinematics, the guidance and navigation system, the sensors (inertial sensors, magnetomoters, air-data systems, satellite receivers). An in depth analysis is made with reference to the GPS satellite system. It is stressed the way the NGC system processes flight data.

It is recommended the knowledge of the fundamental concepts and techniques of automatic control systems, as presented in the course of Automatic Control L, and fundamentals of signal processing, as presented in Radiocommunication Systems course. Exercitations at the PC laboratory accompany the theoretical lessons, where MATLAB/SIMULINK case studies will be afforded with applications to guidance and data-fusion.

Course contents

1. Introduction
Automatic Flight Control Systems and Navigation Systems: definitions and problems. General architecture of a Navigation, Guidance and Control (NGC) system.

2. Reference frames

ECI, ECEF, NED, Body, WGS84, transformations between reference systems

3. GPS

§ sisyem architecture (user, control, space segments)

§ principle of operations

§ signal structure: carriers (L1, L2) and codes (C/A, P)

§ correlation and pseudoranges

§ mathematical model for position computation with four satellites

§ signal errors and disturbances

§ many satellites: least square method

§ performances (UERE, GDOP, etc.)

4. Inertial Sensors

§ Accelerometers: behaviour and technologies

§ Gyros: types and functioning

§ drift and bias

5. Inertial Systems

§ Principles

§ Standard Navigation Equations

§ Rotation Matrix time derivative

§ Inizialization

6. Fundamental guidance laws

Pure Pursuit, Proportional Navigation, Beam Rider

7. State Space description of Dynamic Systems

§ Linear models and linearization.

§ Observability

§ State Observer

§ Discretization

§ Kalman filter

8. Data Fusion

§ Complementary Fintering

§ INS/GNSS integration

9. AHRS: attitude and heading estimates


  • Teacher lecture notes available on IOL-Unibo
  • R. P. G. Collinson, “Introduction to Avionics”, Chapman & Hall, London, 1996
  • D. Mc Lean, “Automatic Flight Control Systems”, Prentice Hall International, 1990
  • M. Kayton, W. R. Fried, “Avionics Navigation Systems”, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997
  • B. W. Parkinson, J. J. Spilker Jr. (Eds.): “Global Positioning System: Theory and Applications”, AIAA – Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, vol. 163 and vol. 164, 1996
  • P. Misra, Per Enge: “Global Positioning System: Signals, Measurements, and Performance”, Ganga-Jamuna Press, 2009
  • J. A. Farrell, M. Barth, “The Global Positioning System & Inertial Navigation”, McGraw-Hill, 1998
  • D. Titterton, J. L. Weston, “Strapdown Inertial Navigation Technology”, AIAA – Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, vol. 207, 2004
  • Y. Bar-Shalom, X. R. Li, T. Kirubaraja, “Estimation with Applications to Tracking and Navigation: Theory Algorithms and Software”, Wiley-Interscience, 2001

Teaching methods

Classroom lessons and computer workstation exercises

Assessment methods

Oral exam. The student is asked to answer three questions about three topics of the course. The exam is passed if the student correctly answers at least two questions, showing to know and to have understood the main concepts related to the topic of each question.

Teaching tools

Blackboard and computer

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Zanzi