target geolocation, unmanned aircraft, UAV


This paper presents a method for determining the GPS location of a ground-based object when imaged from a fixed-wing miniature air vehicle (MAV). Using the pixel location of the target in an image, with measurements of MAV position and attitude, and camera pose angles, the target is localized in world coordinates. The main contribution of this paper is to present four techniques for reducing the localization error. In particular, we discuss RLS filtering, bias estimation, flight path selection, and wind estimation. The localization method has been implemented and flight tested on BYU’s MAV testbed and experimental results are presented demonstrating the localization of a target to within 3 meters of its known GPS location.

Original Publication Citation

Barber, D., Redding, J., McLain, T., Beard, R., and Taylor, C. Vision-based Target Geo-location Using a Fixed-wing Miniature Air Vehicle, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 361-382, December 2006.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, Springer




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering