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Proceedings Paper

Outdoor tracking using machine vision, xenon strobe illumination, and retroreflective landmarks
Author(s): Michael J. Schreiber; Stephen L. Dickerson
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Paper Abstract

This paper investigates developing a robust method for outdoor tracking using low cost machine vision. The conditioning method combines an electronically-shuttered vision system with a xenon strobe to produce a high contrast image of the structured target at up to a quarter mile away. The high contrast image eases landmark recognition which ultimately increases robustness and improves system response time. Tracking landmarks outdoors is important for farming, construction, and highway automation. Numerical analysis shows a retro-reflector can be detected to 530 meters with a S/N ratio of 2 for the nominally case of a 1 Joule xenon flash focused to 5 degrees with a flash duration of 100 microsecond(s) . The target position can be determined to within 17 millimeters at 400 meters using subpixel edge detection and a vision system with a 24 mm lens and 10 micrometers square pixels. Experimentally, the retro-reflective target achieved a 1.5 S/N at 91 meters which was 66.5 percent of the expected value. Experimentally, an IR blocking filter increased the S/N ratio by 42 percent by taking advantage of the differences in the spectrum of the xenon strobe and the sun. This result closely matches the expected S/N ratio increase associated with using an IR filter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2903, Mobile Robots XI and Automated Vehicle Control Systems, (23 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.265349
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Schreiber, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
Stephen L. Dickerson, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2903:
Mobile Robots XI and Automated Vehicle Control Systems
Chase H. Kenyon; Pushkin Kachroo, Editor(s)

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