A vision-based strategy for autonomous aerial refueling tasks

Martínez Luna, Carol Viviana and Richardson, Thomas and Thomas, Peter and Du Bois, Jonathan Luke and Campoy Cervera, Pascual (2013). A vision-based strategy for autonomous aerial refueling tasks. "Robotics and Autonomous Systems", v. 61 (n. 8); pp. 1-50. ISSN 0921-8890. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.robot.2013.02.006.


Title: A vision-based strategy for autonomous aerial refueling tasks
  • Martínez Luna, Carol Viviana
  • Richardson, Thomas
  • Thomas, Peter
  • Du Bois, Jonathan Luke
  • Campoy Cervera, Pascual
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Date: August 2013
ISSN: 0921-8890
Volume: 61
Freetext Keywords: Autonomous aerial refueling; Probe and drogue refueling; Unmanned aerial vehicles; Visual tracking; Computer vision; Direct methods
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM)
Department: Automática, Ingeniería Electrónica e Informática Industrial [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Autonomous aerial refueling is a key enabling technology for both manned and unmanned aircraft where extended flight duration or range are required. The results presented within this paper offer one potential vision-based sensing solution, together with a unique test environment. A hierarchical visual tracking algorithm based on direct methods is proposed and developed for the purposes of tracking a drogue during the capture stage of autonomous aerial refueling, and of estimating its 3D position. Intended to be applied in real time to a video stream from a single monocular camera mounted on the receiver aircraft, the algorithm is shown to be highly robust, and capable of tracking large, rapid drogue motions within the frame of reference. The proposed strategy has been tested using a complex robotic testbed and with actual flight hardware consisting of a full size probe and drogue. Results show that the vision tracking algorithm can detect and track the drogue at real-time frame rates of more than thirty frames per second, obtaining a robust position estimation even with strong motions and multiple occlusions of the drogue.

More information

Item ID: 29334
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/29334/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:29334
DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2013.02.006
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921889013000420
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 01 Dec 2014 17:27
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 17:27
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