Date of Award

3-26-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Robert C. Leishman, PhD

Abstract

Event-based cameras are a novel type of visual sensor that operate under a unique paradigm, providing asynchronous data on the log-level changes in light intensity for individual pixels. This hardware-level approach to change detection allows these cameras to achieve ultra-wide dynamic range and high temporal resolution. Furthermore, the advent of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) has led to state-of-the-art navigation solutions that now rival or even surpass human engineered algorithms. The advantages offered by event cameras and CNNs make them excellent tools for visual odometry (VO). This document presents the implementation of a CNN trained to detect and describe features within an image as well as the implementation of an event-based visual-inertial odometry (EVIO) pipeline, which estimates a vehicle's 6-degrees-offreedom (DOF) pose using an affixed event-based camera with an integrated inertial measurement unit (IMU). The front-end of this pipeline utilizes a neural network for generating image frames from asynchronous event camera data. These frames are fed into a multi-state constraint Kalman filter (MSCKF) back-end that uses the output of the developed CNN to perform measurement updates. The EVIO pipeline was tested on a selection from the Event-Camera Dataset [1], and on a dataset collected from a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight test conducted by the Autonomy and Navigation Technology (ANT) Center.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENG-MS-20-M-021

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