Since helicopters spend almost all
of their mission time close to the ground and since landings
‘on the spot’ are the standard procedure
for these vehicles, the
sense of vision seems especially useful for this type of flight
vehicles; landmark navigation
prominent geographical structures (single
mountains, rivers with special bends, confluence of two rivers) or
human made structures like big highways, their junctions, railroad
lines, cities and buildings etc. may thus be made available for
autonomous landmark navigation also for unmanned small flight
devices (figure at left).
are often marked
for human pilots by
the capital letter ‘H’;
autonomous systems should be able to use these installations as
well (see bottom figure).
With increasing computing power
becoming available in the 1990’s, S. Werner started
investigating dynamic vision for helicopter flight guidance. Due
to the specific principles of generating lift, propulsion and
control, the dynamic models for helicopter flight are rather
involved; hovering helicopters are not stable, usually.
The principles for dynamic vision
need not be changed for this application, but the viewing
directions have to be much more flexible than for conventional
aircraft. The figure shows the landmarks
used and tested in HIL-simulation, superimposed with
edge features extracted for landmark recognition. A small mission
in the vicinity of the airport of Brunswick in northern Germany
has been demonstrated in real-time with HIL-simulation in 1997.
Werner S, Buchwieser
A, Dickmanns ED (1995). Real-Time Simulation of Visual Machine
Perception for Helicopter Flight Assistance. Proc.
SPIE - Aero Sense, Orlando, FL
Werner S, Fürst
S, Dickmanns D, Dickmanns ED (1996). A vision-based multi-sensor
machine perception system for autonomous aircraft landing
approach. Enhanced and Synthetic Vision AeroSense '96, SPIE, Vol.
2736, Orlando, FL, April 1996, pp 54-63
S (1997). Maschinelle Wahrnehmung für den bordautonomen
automatischen Hubschrauberflug. Dissertation, UniBwM, LRT.
S, Werner S, Dickmanns D, Dickmanns E.D (1997).
Landmark navigation and autonomous landing
approach with obstacle detection for aircraft. AeroSense ’97,
SPIE Proc. Vol. 3088, Orlando FL, pp 94-105.
Fürst S, Werner
S, Dickmanns ED (1997). Autonomous Landmark Navigation and
Landing Approach with Obstacle Detection for Aircraft. 10th
European Aerospace Conference ‘Free Flight’,
Amsterdam, NL, pp 36-1 – 36-11
Fürst S, Werner
S, Dickmanns ED (1998). A single-computer HWIL simulation
facility for real-time vision systems. SPIE Proc. Vol. 3368,
Technologies for Synthetic Environments: Hardware-in-the-loop
Testing III AeroSense '98, Orlando, FL, pp 13-17