Conte, Gianpaolo and Doherty, Patrick (2008) An Integrated UAV Navigation System Based on Aerial Image Matching. Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2008. ISSN 1095-323X

The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility of using geo-referenced satellite or aerial images to augment an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) navigation system in case of GPS failure. A vision based navigation system which combines inertial sensors, visual odometer and registration of a UAV on-board video to a given geo-referenced aerial image has been developed and tested on real flight-test data. The experimental results show that it is possible to extract useful position information from aerial imagery even when the UAV is flying at low altitude. It is shown that such information can be used in an automated way to compensate the drift of the UAV state estimation which occurs when only inertial sensors and visual odometer are used.

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