Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

John F. Raquet, PhD.


This research examines the application of using a scanning Light Detection and Ranging(LiDAR) to perform Automated Aerial Refueling(AAR). Specifically this thesis presents two algorithms to determine the relative position between the tanker and receiver aircraft. These two algorithms require a model of the tanker aircraft and the relative attitude between the aircraft. The first algorithm fits the measurements to the model of the aircraft using a modified Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm. The second algorithm uses the model to predict LiDAR scans and compare them to actual measurements while perturbing the estimated location of the tanker. Each algorithm was tested with simulated LiDAR data before real data became available from test flights. The data collected from this test ight was used to determine the accuracy of the two algorithms with real LiDAR data. After correcting for modeling errors the accuracy of each algorithm is about a Mean Radial Spherical Error of 40cm.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number