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Proceedings Paper

Autonomous landing and ingress of micro-air-vehicles in urban environments based on monocular vision
Author(s): Roland Brockers; Patrick Bouffard; Jeremy Ma; Larry Matthies; Claire Tomlin
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Paper Abstract

Unmanned micro air vehicles (MAVs) will play an important role in future reconnaissance and search and rescue applications. In order to conduct persistent surveillance and to conserve energy, MAVs need the ability to land, and they need the ability to enter (ingress) buildings and other structures to conduct reconnaissance. To be safe and practical under a wide range of environmental conditions, landing and ingress maneuvers must be autonomous, using real-time, onboard sensor feedback. To address these key behaviors, we present a novel method for vision-based autonomous MAV landing and ingress using a single camera for two urban scenarios: landing on an elevated surface, representative of a rooftop, and ingress through a rectangular opening, representative of a door or window. Real-world scenarios will not include special navigation markers, so we rely on tracking arbitrary scene features; however, we do currently exploit planarity of the scene. Our vision system uses a planar homography decomposition to detect navigation targets and to produce approach waypoints as inputs to the vehicle control algorithm. Scene perception, planning, and control run onboard in real-time; at present we obtain aircraft position knowledge from an external motion capture system, but we expect to replace this in the near future with a fully self-contained, onboard, vision-aided state estimation algorithm. We demonstrate autonomous vision-based landing and ingress target detection with two different quadrotor MAV platforms. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of onboard, vision-based autonomous landing and ingress algorithms that do not use special purpose scene markers to identify the destination.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8031, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III, 803111 (13 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.884449
Show Author Affiliations
Roland Brockers, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Patrick Bouffard, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Jeremy Ma, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Larry Matthies, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Claire Tomlin, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8031:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications III
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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