Vision-Based Tracking and Motion Estimation for Moving Targets Using Small UAVs
Dobrokhodov, Vladimir N.
Kaminer, Isaac I.
Jones, Kevin D.
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This paper addresses the development of a vision-based target tracking system for a small unmanned air vehicle. The algorithm performs autonomous tracking of a moving target, while simultaneously estimating GPS coordinates, speed and heading of the target. Tight real-time integration of UAV’s video and telemetry data-streams with geo-referenced database allows for reliable target identification, increased precision and shortened time of target motion estimation. A low cost off the shelf system is utilized, with a modified radio controlled aircraft airframe, gas engine and servos. Tracking is enabled using a low-cost, miniature pan-tilt gimbal. The control algorithm provides rapid target acquisition and tracking capability. A target motion estimator was designed and shown in multiple flight tests to provide reasonable targeting accuracy. The impact of tracking loss events on the control and estimation algorithms is analyzed in detail.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CDC.2010.5718149
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