Conference Paper

UAV altitude estimation by mixed stereoscopic vision

MIS Lab., Univ. of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France
DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2010.5652254 Conference: Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Altitude is one of the most important parameters to be known for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) especially during critical maneuvers such as landing or steady flight. In this paper, we present mixed stereoscopic vision system made of a fish-eye camera and a perspective camera for altitude estimation. Contrary to classical stereoscopic systems based on feature matching, we propose a plane sweeping approach in order to estimate the altitude and consequently to detect the ground plane. Since there exists a homography between the two views and the sensor being calibrated and the attitude estimated by the fish-eye camera, the algorithm consists then in searching the altitude which verifies this homography. We show that this approach is robust and accurate, and a CPU implementation allows a real time estimation. Experimental results on real sequences of a small UAV demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.

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