Autonomous Indoor Flight and Precise Automated-Landing Using Infrared and Ultrasonic Sensors

  • Kenzo Nonami
  • Farid Kendoul
  • Satoshi Suzuki
  • Wei Wang
  • Daisuke Nakazawa


The accuracy of small and low cost GPS is insufficient to provide data for precisely landing micro air vehicles (MAVs). This study shows how a MAV can land on a small targeted landing site by using rangefinders rather than imprecise GPS data. This chapter describes a proposed movable range finding sensor system for measuring the environment and an algorithm of position measurement. This range finding system consists of four infrared (IR) rangefinders, four servo motors and one ultrasonic rangefinder. In order to measure the MAV’s position, the sensor system vertically swings each IR rangefinder using the servo motors and these IR sensors detect the edge of landing target. And this sensor system calculates the position from the measured edge direction and the ultrasonic altitude. Additionally, experiments of autonomous hovering over a 52 ×52 cm table and autonomous landings were carried out indoors using the proposed sensor system. Our experiments succeeded, and as a result, the MAV kept flying horizontally within a 17.9 cm radius circle, and then it landed on the table from a height of 50 cm. The IR rangefinders were selected because of the payload limitations of small MAVs. If the MAV’s payload capacity were higher than a laser rangefinder would be used since lasers can operate better in sunlight than IR sensors and also they tend to have longer scanning ranges and are more accurate.


Kalman Filter Autonomous Control Servo Motor Ultrasonic Sensor Landing Point 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenzo Nonami
    • 1
  • Farid Kendoul
    • 2
  • Satoshi Suzuki
    • 3
  • Wei Wang
    • 4
  • Daisuke Nakazawa
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.CSIRO Queensland Centre for Advanced TechnologiesAutonomous Systems LaboratoryPullenvaleAustralia
  3. 3.International Young Researchers Empowerment CenterShinshu UniversityUedaJapan
  4. 4.College of Information and Control EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingP.R. China
  5. 5.Advanced Technology R&D CenterMitsubishi Electric CorporationAmagasakiJapan

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