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An Autonomous Helicopter System for Aerial Image Collection

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  071136.(doi:10.13031/2013.23202)
Authors:   Haitao Xiang, Lei Tian
Keywords:   Autonomous Vehicle, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Extended Kalman Filter (EKF, Georeferencing

This study discusses the development of an autonomous helicopter system to collect agricultural remote sensing. The paper demonstrates an overview of the whole system and its applications about aerial image acquisition. The system consists of on-board part and ground station part. An embedded linux based single computer board (SCB) is used as main controller on board. Multithread technology is used for software development in the SCB, major threads include sensor fusion thread using Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) to estimate navigation parameters, uplink thread to communicate with ground station and control thread to accomplish flight control and camera mount stabilization. As for ground station, a map based customer software is developed for mission planning and flight monitor.

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