A binocular vision-based UAVs autonomous aerial refueling platform

Duan, Haibin; Li, Han; Luo, Qinan; Zhang, Cong; Li, Cong; Li, Pei; Deng, Yimin

Sci China Inf Sci, 2016, 59(5): 053201

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are highly focused and widely used in various domains, and the capability of autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) becomes increasingly important. Most of the research in this area concerns the verification of the algorithms while the experiments are conducted on the ground. In this work, in order to verify the vision system designed for boom approach AAR, an integrated platform is built and tested. The platform consists of a tanker UAV, a receiver UAV and a ground station. The pictures of the marker on the receiver UAV are captured by the binocular vision system on the tanker UAV and then used for flight control and boom control. Performance and feasibility of the platform are demonstrated by the real out-door flight tests, and the experimental results verified the feasibility and effectiveness of our developed binocular vision-based UAVs AAR.

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