Date of Award
Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Scott L. Nykl, PhD
Currently, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are unsafe to refuel in-flight due to the communication latency between the UAVs ground operator and the UAV. Providing UAVs with an in-flight refueling capability would improve their functionality by extending their flight duration and increasing their flight payload. Our solution to this problem is Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) using stereo vision from stereo electro-optical and infrared cameras on a refueling tanker. To simulate a refueling scenario, we use ground vehicles to simulate a pseudo tanker and pseudo receiver UAV. Imagery of the receiver is collected by the cameras on the tanker and processed by a stereo block matching algorithm to calculate a position and orientation estimate of the receiver. GPS and IMU truth data is then used to validate these results.
Dallmann, William E., "Infrared and Electro-Optical Stereo Vision for Automated Aerial Refueling" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 3588.