Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bishop, Robert H.

Second Advisor

Rice, James A.

Third Advisor

Schimmels, Joseph, M


This thesis presents a mathematical model for a LIDAR-enabled Terrain- and Hazard-Relative Navigation sensor and the design and implementation of a dual-state extended Kalman filter. The extended Kalman filter equations are presented in summary. Mathematical models for an altimeter, a velocimeter, a star tracker, and a lidar-enabled mapping/tracking sensor are presented in depth. An explanation of the software designed for computer simulation is included. It is proved through this analysis that, when implemented as part of a well-tuned extended Kalman Filter and in combination with other sensors, the proposed model for a lidar-enabled mapping/tracking sensor significantly reduces estimation error. This enables accurate navigation capable of precision descent-to-landing scenarios.