Vision guidance controller for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Watson, Mark T.
Isaac I. Kaminer.
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The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in modern military operations for reconnaissance and other missions continues to grow. UAV systems using remote control guidance are limited in range and subject to Electronic Warfare concerns. Guidance Systems using only Global Positioning Service (GPS) or an Inertial Navigation System (INS) are limited to a pre-programmed route of flight. A vision guidance system that can control the UAV over an arbitrary course is not subject to these limitations. This thesis uses classical control methods to develop and test an autonomous vision controller for the FOG-R UAV (FROG). First, a computer model of the camera output for a flight that tracks a river is made to develop the controller and to test it in nonlinear simulation. Finally, the complete system is flight tested on the FROG UAV. The design and test equipment include a highly modified FOG-R UAV from the U.S. Army, the MATRIXx Product Family of software tools developed by Integrated Systems, Inc., and a Ground Station built at NPS from commercially available computer and communication equipment.
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