X.3 Air and Space mission elements (1982 – 1997)

Aircraft landing by monocular vision in HIL-simulation 1982 to 1987

·        BVV2 vision system with a few microprocessors Intel 80x86; attention control to predicted regions of interest.

·        Vector graphics generating edge pictures of runway and horizon line in correct 3-D perspective projection;

·        no inertial sensors, not allowing winds and gusts as unpredictable perturbations.

Aircraft landing with binocular vision and inertial sensors in HIL- simulation 1987 to 1992

·        Rotation rates from inertial sensors reduce time delays in perception;

·        vision-based perception of runway and horizon;

·        lateral ego-state from symmetry of runway image.

·        Look-ahead ranges (bi-focal) up to ~ 100 m.

Flight experiments with bi-propeller Do-128 of University of Brunswick 1991

Only the autonomous visual / inertial perception part was tested. A pilot controlled the aircraft for safety reasons till shortly before touch down; then a go-around maneuver followed. The machine vision system also generated control outputs that was compared to the pilot control output after the mission.

(for details see [Schell 1992]).

video 12 AircraftLandingApproach 1982– 92


Helicopter mission performance in HIL- simulation 1992 till 1997

·        Transputer system with binocular, gaze controlled vision system

·        Mission around simulated Brunswick airport with Computer Generated Image-sequences.

A.6 Helicopters with sense of vision

video 24 HelicopterMissionBsHIL-Sim 1997


click on image opens high quality picture

Planar (2-D) visually guided docking by air jet propulsion in a laboratory setup; the best combination of 4 corner features was to be automatically selected for the approach and docking procedure.

A.2 Satellite model plant

H.2.2 Air cushion vehicle

video 05

SatelliteModelPlant VisualDocking 1987


Robot Technology Experiment of DLR-Oberpfaffenhofen in Spacelab D2 onboard Space Shuttle Orbiter ‘Columbia’, May 1993

Remote automatic visual control of grasping a small ‘free-flyer’ with two robot fingers; all computers for data processing were on the ground, resulting in ~ 6 seconds time delay between measurement and action on board.

A.7 Vision - guided grasping in Space

video 15 ROTEX- GraspingInSpace 1993