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Proceedings Paper

Towards an inexpensive computer-vision based automated landing system for small unmanned aerial vehicles
Author(s): Kevin Blenkhorn; Stephen O'Hara
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Paper Abstract

We present a system for UAV automated landing that requires minimal landing site preparation, no additional electronics, and no additional aircraft equipment of any kind. This is a Joint-UAV solution that will work equally well for land-based aircraft and for shipboard recoveries. Our proposed system requires only a simple target that can be permanently painted on a runway, laid out in a roll-up mat, or potentially denoted with chemical lights for night operations. Its appearance is unique when seen from the optimal approach path, and from other angles its perspective distortion indicates the necessary correction. By making continual adjustments based on this feedback, the plane can land in a small area at the desired angle. We time the pre-touchdown flare using only a 2D visual reference. Assuming a constant closing speed, we can estimate the time to contact and initiate a controlled flare at a predetermined interval.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6559, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007, 65590B (27 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721245
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin Blenkhorn, 21st Century Systems, Inc. (United States)
Stephen O'Hara, 21st Century Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6559:
Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007
Jacques G. Verly; Jeff J. Guell, Editor(s)

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