Autonomous Flight Control of Rotorcraft UAV using Vision-based Navigation

F.-Y. Hsiao, J.-F. Shen, and Y.-C. Chen (Taiwan)


Rotorcarft UAV, image navigation and guidance, autonomous flight, automatic control


The autonomous flight of an unmanned rotorcraft using vision-based navigation is investigated in this paper. The development of unmanned rotorcrafts is of interest between researchers recently. Although there are fruitful researching results related to this topic, there are two main contributions in this paper. First, unlike other UAV projects, we established the whole systems under the Matlab platform, taking advantage of its powerful capability of matrix operations, image processing, and fuzzy tool box. Second, we have shown in this paper that the autonomous flight of a rotary UAV using vision-based navigation is feasible, regardless of the fact that most researches focus on fixed-wing UAVs when talking of vision-based navigation. The dynamics of a rotary UAV and image processes are briefly reviewed in this paper at beginning, and the navigation algorithms using vision-based methodology are proposed. We also discuss the design of control law, and the hardware and software required for implementation. Numerical simulations using the X-plane are also presented to demonstrate the feasibility of our algorithms and structures.

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