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A Hierarchical Strategy for Real-Time Tracking On-Board UAVs

Congresses name: 

ICUAS 2012 : 2012 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Philadelphia, PA,

Jun 12, 2012 - Jun 15, 2012


In this paper, we present a real-time tracking strategy based on direct methods for tracking tasks on-board UAVs, that is able to overcome problems posed by the challenging conditions of the task: e.g. constant vibrations, fast 3D changes, and limited capacity on-board. The vast majority of approaches make use of feature-based methods to track objects. Nonetheless, in this paper we show that although some of these feature-based solutions are faster, direct methods can be more robust under fast 3D motions (fast changes in position), some changes in appearance, constant vibrations (without requiring any specific hardware or software for video stabilization), and situations where part of the object to track is out the field of view of the camera. The performance of the proposed strategy is evaluated with images from real-flight tests using different evaluation mechanisms (e.g. accurate position estimation using a Vicon sytem). Results show that our tracking strategy performs better than well known feature-based algorithms and well known configurations of direct methods, and that the recovered data is robust enough for vision-in-the-loop tasks.