A Rotorcraft UAV provides an ideal experimental platform for vision-based navigation. This thesis describes the flight tests of the US Army PALACE pro ject, which implements Moravec's pseudo-normalized correlation tracking algorithm. The tracker uses the movement of the landing site in the camera, a laser range, and the aircraft attitude from an IMU to estimate the relative motion of the UAV. The position estimate functions as a GPS equivalent to enable the rotorcraft to maneuver without the aid of GPS. Flight tests were performed with obstacles and over concrete, asphalt, and grass in daylight conditions with a safe landing area determined by a separate method. The tracking algorithm and position estimation performance are compared to GPS. Accurate time synchronization of the inputs to the position estimation algorithm directly affect the closed-loop stability of the system, proportional with altitude. By identifying the frequency response of each input and adding filters to delay some of the inputs, the closed-loop system maintains stable flight above 18 m above ground, where the system was unstable without the additional filters.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hubbard, David Christian, "Vision-Based Control and Flight Optimization of a Rotorcraft UAV" (2007). All Theses and Dissertations. 1198.
Computer Vision, Real Time, Rotorcraft, Helicopter, UAV