Landing a VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on a moving platform using optical flow

  • Eris B
  • Hamel T
  • Mahony R
 et al. 
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Abstract

—This paper presents a nonlinear controller for a Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that exploits a measurement of the average optical flow to enable hover and landing control on a moving platform, such as, for example, the deck of a sea going vessel. The VTOL vehicle is assumed to be equipped with a minimum sensor suite (a camera and an IMU), manoeuvring over a textured flat target plane. Two different tasks are considered in this paper: the first concerns stabilizing the vehicle relative to the moving platform, that is maintaining a constant offset from a moving reference. The second concerns regulation of automatic vertical landing onto a moving platform. Rigorous analysis of system stability is provided and simulations are presented. Experimental results are provided for a quadrotor UAV to demonstrate the performance of the proposed control strategy.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Automatic landing
  • Nonlinear control
  • Optical Flow
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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Authors

  • B Eris

  • T Hamel

  • R Mahony

  • F-X Russotto

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