QuadNet: A Hybrid Framework for Quadrotor Dead Reckoning

Artur Shurin, Itzik Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quadrotor usage is continuously increasing for both civilian and military applications such as surveillance, mapping, and deliveries. Commonly, quadrotors use an inertial navigation system combined with a global navigation satellite systems receiver for outdoor applications and a camera for indoor/outdoor applications. For various reasons, such as lighting conditions or satellite signal blocking, the quadrotor’s navigation solution depends only on the inertial navigation system solution. As a consequence, the navigation solution drifts in time due to errors and noises in the inertial sensor measurements. To handle such situations and bind the solution drift, the quadrotor dead reckoning (QDR) approach utilizes pedestrian dead reckoning principles. To that end, instead of flying the quadrotor in a straight line trajectory, it is flown in a periodic motion, in the vertical plane, to enable peak-to-peak (two local maximum points within the cycle) distance estimation. Although QDR manages to improve the pure inertial navigation solution, it has several shortcomings as it requires calibration before usage, provides only peak-to-peak distance, and does not provide the altitude of the quadrotor. To circumvent these issues, we propose QuadNet, a hybrid framework for quadrotor dead reckoning to estimate the quadrotor’s three-dimensional position vector at any user-defined time rate. As a hybrid approach, QuadNet uses both neural networks and model-based equations during its operation. QuadNet requires only the inertial sensor readings to provide the position vector. Experimental results with DJI’s Matrice 300 quadrotor are provided to show the benefits of using the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1426
Issue number4
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Deep learning
  • Drones
  • Indoor navigation
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Quadrotor dead reckoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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