Project Description

The Arctic-PNT project activity is divided into two Tasks:

Task 1 consists of understanding the state of the art in autonomous driving technologies as well as the capabilities and limitations of the SNOWBOX test site. This information together with requirements from key stakeholders forms the baseline to identify capabilities, gaps, and R&D needs in SNOWBOX. Finally a test plan is written for the experimentation phase of Task 2.

Task 2 consists of recording test data from the area of the SNOWBOX eco-system during two consecutive winters. Based on the results of the data analysis conclusions are made with regards to suitable architectures for PNT systems for autonomous driving platforms.

The figure below shows the two tasks, the constituent Work Packages (WP), and the various milestones at significant moments in the project schedule.

Project Work Logic

Figure.  Arctic-PNT project work logic and work package sequence.

The project includes the following research activities:

  • Conducting a background study of state-of-the-art in PNT systems used for autonomous driving. This study will cover both scientific work as well as existing commercial systems.
  • Classification of the identified systems and comparison of their performance.
  • Assessing the need for infrastructure based on complexity of the systems. Special focus will be on adaptation and suitability for Arctic regions.
  • Identification of challenges and necessary innovations in PNT technology required for autonomous driving in Arctic conditions.
  • All available technical documentation of Aurora SNOWBOX infrastructure and facilities will be analyzed.
  • Interviews with key stakeholders from Aurora SNOWBOX, including key actors in the autonomous driving ecosystems. The objective is to identify PNT requirements and challenges and compare these to the existing capabilities of SNOWBOX. Requirements that are outside the scope of SNOWBOX and specific R&D needs will also be identified.
  • Development of an experimentation plans for two winter seasons. This shall include suitable specifications about the experiments themselves and the required test environment, together with the underlying justifications.

The experimentation phase will include the following activities:

  • Planning and developing a test system including software and hardware for logging of test data from several sources. The system will include means to obtain:
    • GNSS and EGNOS,
    • 5G,
    • Vehicle sensor (wheel sensors, inertial sensors) data,
    • Camera data,
    • Laser scanning data,
    • FinnRef reference network data,
    • Assess available communication links and 3D maps.
  • Collection of test data using specially equipped test vehicles.
  • The tests shall take place over the specially instrumented E8 route from Kolari (latitude 67.3˚N) to Kilpisjärvi (latitude 69˚N).
  • Pending approval by the Norwegian government, test campaigns will be extended to Tromsø (latitude 69.7˚N).
  • Data collection will take place in Q1/2018 and Q1/2019.
  • Development of ad-hoc SW items.
  • Testing of RTK/PPP methods for lane-level accurate, reliable positioning in Arctic conditions, using the reference network infrastructure of SNOWBOX. In addition to GNSS-only methods, integrated positioning methods relevant to autonomous driving, namely methods combining GNSS, 5G, and vehicle sensors (wheel sensors, inertial sensors, cameras, laser scanners, etc.) will also be tested. The performance and complexity of all tested systems will be compared.
  • Identifying a suitable architecture that should be used for vehicle positioning. This shall detail all the additional sensors (e.g. radar or other vehicle sensors) and the additional information (e.g. 3D maps) that, according to the study, shall be used for effective, integrated positioning. The required interface will be described (e.g. communication links) for the provision of external data in the architecture and recommendations for further PNT infrastructure development will be produced.

Project schedule and milestones:

The total duration for this activity is 24 months (September 2017 – August 2019). The table below lists the various milestones scheduled during the activity along with the primary deliverables included in each of them.

Table. Project milestones and their deliverables.




SNOWBOX PNT Requirements Review T0+7 months
  • D1.1 – Requirements and Challenges for PNT for Autonomous Driving
  • D1.2 – Review of Technical Documentation of SNOWBOX
  • D1.3 – SNOWBOX PNT Compliance Report
  • D1.4 – Experimentation Plan
  • D2.1 – Technical Specification and Design of Test System
Mid-Term Presentation (MTP) T0+13 months
  • D2.3 – Experiment Report of Test Campaign 1
Final Presentation (FP) T0 + 24 months
  • D2.5 – Experiment Report of Test Campaign 2
  • D2.7 – Report on the Recommendations to Aurora SNOWBOX

The figure below shows the project schedule in the form of a Gantt-chart.


Figure. Project schedule Gantt-chart.