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Quadrotor Autonomous Approaching and Landing on a Vessel Deck

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Abstract

Autonomous landing of a quadrotor UAV on a vessel deck is challenging due to the special sea environment. In this paper, we present an on-board monocular vision based solution that provides a quadrotor with the capability to autonomously track and land on a vessel deck platform with simulated high sea state conditions. The whole landing process includes two stages: approaching from a long range and landing after hovering above the landing platform. Only on-board sensors are used in both stages, without external information input. We use Parrot AR.Drone as the experimental quadrotor platform, and a self-designed vessel deck emulator is constructed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed vessel deck landing solution. Experimental results demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the developed landing algorithms.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would acknowledge the research support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) FA9550-16-1-0184 and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) N00014-16-1-2729. The instructive suggestions from Dr. David B. Findlay are also gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Xiaoli Bai.

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Wang, L., Bai, X. Quadrotor Autonomous Approaching and Landing on a Vessel Deck. J Intell Robot Syst 92, 125–143 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-017-0757-5

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Keywords

  • Autonomous landing
  • Quadrotor
  • Vessel deck
  • Visual tracking