Monocular Vision-Based Guidance and Control for a Formation Flight

Cheon, Bong-kyu;Kim, Jeong-ho;Min, Chan-oh;Han, Dong-in;Cho, Kyeum-rae;Lee, Dae-woo;Seong, kie-jeong

  • Received : 2015.06.22
  • Accepted : 2015.10.21
  • Published : 2015.12.30


This paper describes a monocular vision-based formation flight technology using two fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles. To measuring relative position and attitude of a leader aircraft, a monocular camera installed in the front of the follower aircraft captures an image of the leader, and position and attitude are measured from the image using the KLT feature point tracker and POSIT algorithm. To verify the feasibility of this vision processing algorithm, a field test was performed using two light sports aircraft, and our experimental results show that the proposed monocular vision-based measurement algorithm is feasible. Performance verification for the proposed formation flight technology was carried out using the X-Plane flight simulator. The formation flight simulation system consists of two PCs playing the role of leader and follower. When the leader flies by the command of user, the follower aircraft tracks the leader by designed guidance and a PI control law, and all the information about leader was measured using monocular vision. This simulation shows that guidance using relative attitude information tracks the leader aircraft better than not using attitude information. This simulation shows absolute average errors for the relative position as follows: X-axis: 2.88 m, Y-axis: 2.09 m, and Z-axis: 0.44 m.


Vision-based formation flight;UAV;Position estimation;Attitude estimation;X-Plane;Light sport aircraft


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Supported by : Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy(MI)