MACHINE-VISION BASED POSITION AND ORIENTATION SENSING SYSTEM FOR UAV AERIAL REFUELING

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This thesis describes the design of a Real Time Machine-Vision (MV) Position Sensing System for the problem of Semi-Autonomous Docking within Aerial Refueling (AR) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). MV-based algorithms are implemented within the proposed scheme to detect the relative position and orientation between the UAV and the tanker. In this effort, techniques and algorithms for the acquisition of the image from a real Webcam, for the Feature Extraction (FE) from the acquired image, for the Detection and Labeling (DAL) of the features, for the tanker-UAV Pose Estimation (PE) have been developed and extensively tested in MATLAB/Simulink