Monocular vision assisted autonomous landing of a helicopter on a moving deck

Swart, Andre Dewald (2013-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The landing phase of any helicopter is the most critical part of the whole flight envelope, particularly on a moving flight deck. The flight deck is usually located at the stern of the ship, translating to large heave motions. This thesis focuses on the three fundamental components required for a successful landing: accurate, relative state-estimation between the helicopter and the flight deck; a prediction horizon to forecast suitable landing opportunities; and excellent control to safely unite the helicopter with the flight deck. A monocular-vision sensor node was developed to provide accurate, relative position and attitude information of the flight deck. The flight deck is identified by a distinct, geometric pattern. The relative states are combined with the onboard, kinematic state-estimates of the helicopter to provide an inertial estimate of the flight deck states. Onboard motion prediction is executed to forecast a possible safe landing time which is conveyed to the landing controller. Camera pose-estimation tests and hardware-in-the-loop simulations proved the system developed in this thesis viable for flight tests. The practical flight tests confirmed the success of the monocular-vision sensor node.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die mees kritiese deel van die hele vlug-duurte van ’n helikopter is die landings-fase, veral op ’n bewegende vlugdek. Die vlugdek is gewoonlik geleë aan die agterstewe-kant van die skip wat groot afgee bewegings mee bring. Hierdie tesis ondersoek die drie fundamentele komponente van ’n suksesvolle landing: akkurate, relatiewe toestand-beraming tussen die helikopter en die vlugdek; ’n vooruitskatting horison om geskikte landings geleenthede te voorspel; en uitstekended beheer om die helikopter en vlugdek veilig te verenig. ’n Monokulêre-visie sensor-nodus was ontwikkel om akkurate, relatiewe-posisie en oriëntasie informasie van die vlugdek te verwerf. Die vlugdek is geidentifiseer deur ’n kenmerkende, geometriese patroon. Die relatiewe toestande word met die aan-boord kinematiese toestandafskatter van die helikopter gekombineer, om ’n beraming van die inertiale vlugdek-toestande te verskaf. Aan-boord beweging-vooruitskatting is uitgevoer om moontlike, veilige landingstyd te voorspel en word teruggevoer na die landingsbeheerder. Kamera-orientasie afskat-toetse en hardeware-in-die-lus simulasies het die ontwikkelde sisteem van hierdie tesis lewensvatbaar vir vlug-toetse bewys. Praktiese vlug-toetse het die sukses van die monokulêre-visie sensor-nodus bevestig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80134
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