ICUAS'17 Paper Abstract


Paper ThB5.1

Andert, Franz (German Aerospace Center (DLR)), Krause, Stefan (German Aerospace Center)

Optical Aircraft Navigation with Multi-Sensor SLAM and Infinite Depth Features

Scheduled for presentation during the "Sensor Fusion - II" (ThB5), Thursday, June 15, 2017, 13:45−14:05, San Marco Island

2017 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, June 13-16, 2017, Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL,

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on April 12, 2021

Keywords Sensor Fusion, Navigation, Smart Sensors


In the context of optical-aided navigation and visual Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) for satellite-denied aircraft navigation, this paper extends the monocular SLAM approach by the use of multiple sensors with different viewing directions. Downward optical sensors see other movements than forward-looking cameras, hence it is straightforward to combine the benefits of both.

This combination helps to estimate all the six motion components with increased robustness, yielding a more stable and accurate state estimation for optical-aided navigation solutions. The method is evaluated with aerial data from manned and unmanned flights. In the data analysis, a satellite navigation dropout is simulated, and the flight trajectory is then reconstructed just by the optical data. The method is tested in small-scale scenarios as well as in longer flights with several kilometers of flight range. The results show some increased performance of an additional forward camera in comparison to a setup with only downward sensors. It is proposed to use such multi-sensor configurations wherever motion estimation ambiguities with a single camera are probable, especially when larger distances have to be flown with optical navigation.



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