Outdoor flight testing of a pole inspection UAV incorporating high-speed vision
We present a pole inspection system for outdoor environments comprising a high-speed camera on a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial platform. The pole inspection task requires a vehicle to fly close to a structure while maintaining a fixed stand-off distance from it. Typical GPS errors make GPS-based navigation unsuitable for this task however. When flying outdoors a vehicle is also affected by aerodynamics disturbances such as wind gusts, so the onboard controller must be robust to these disturbances in order to maintain the stand-off distance. Two problems must therefor be addressed: fast and accurate state estimation without GPS, and the design of a robust controller. We resolve these problems by a) performing visual + inertial relative state estimation and b) using a robust line tracker and a nested controller design. Our state estimation exploits high-speed camera images (100Hz) and 70Hz IMU data fused in an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). We demonstrate results from outdoor experiments for pole-relative hovering, and pole circumnavigation where the operator provides only yaw commands. Lastly, we show results for image-based 3D reconstruction and texture mapping of a pole to demonstrate the usefulness for inspection tasks.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||UAV, Pole inspection, Vertical take-off, High-speed camera, Flight testing|
|Divisions:||Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland|
|Deposited On:||26 Mar 2014 22:10|
|Last Modified:||29 Sep 2014 03:34|
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