The project ANTON aims to automate composting by means of satellite-based navigation technologies (GNSS). In the course of this project, a navigation module as well as a control module for a driverless, electrically driven compost turner will be developed and tested.
A fundamental task during the process of composting is turning the biogenic material with machines. Currently, this is conducted and monitored by an operator inside the driver’s cab of a diesel-driven compost turner or conventional loader. Due to low driving speeds of compost turners (approx. 50 to 300 m/h), high ambient temperatures, released gases, and bad smell during compost turning, the operator is exposed to very unpleasant conditions.
The aim of the project ANTON is to develop a robust and reliable navigation module as well as a control architecture for autonomous, tracked compost turners and to test the developed prototype on a composting facility. It should be evaluated whether an autonomous compost turner yields a more efficient workflow compared to a manually operated vehicle.
The primary innovation is determining a highly precise and robust position of the compost turner under the so far non-tested surrounding conditions.
The use of GNSS-RTK (real-time kinematics) allows to determine a cm-level accurate position in real-time. To increase the robustness of the system, the GNSS-based position is fused with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers in an Extended Kalman Filter. By mounting two GNSS antennas and image-based sensors on the compost turner, the orientation of the machine shall be determined with high accuracy.