Camera Based Navigation
Maintain Navigation Capabilities in GPS-Denied Zones
The proposed project is set to provide a navigation solution for UAVs (or UGVs) where there is no available GPS signal. D-Vision solution will act as an autonomous system and provide more accurate navigation data than any existing non-GPS technology. Using only the camera and computer already available on the platform, it is a low cost software solution with minimal maintenance and simple to upgrade. As a result, UAVs equipped with the system would gain a better performance and a more precise positioning without a GPS receiver.
Navigation Problems in GPS-Denied Regions
Many military companies require UAV (or UGV) activities in regions where GPS signal is blocked or jammed by enemy’s EW misleading signals. Such severe conditions won’t allow GPS based navigation.
Another problem is that newly developed mini UAVs can carry pods with limited weight and size in order to allow more payloads and make the whole system more efficient on fuel. Furthermore, severe budget constrains require the navigation solution to be cheaper than currently available expensive GPS receivers (costing up to $10K per unit) that are too big and heavy for mini UAVs.
Independent Vision-Based Navigation System
D-Vision develops vision-based GPS-denied navigation system that features a video camera (typically already exists on UAV platforms), a communication unit and a computer for image processing located in the Ground Control Station. The captured video will be transferred to the computer by downlink for real-time calculations. Based on this data, the computer applies the technology to generate a 3D model of the world appearing on the transferred frames. New 3D output as well as navigation coordinates will be available 5 times per second (refresh rate of 5 Hz). This data will be used to determine the UAV’s spatial position and direction and will be fed to the UAV’s autopilot by the uplink (there is an option to install a tiny computer or FPGA for video processing on the UAV). In order to align local UAV coordinates with global coordinates the system will be fed with its initial global position. From there on, the system will autonomously calculate its advancements.
Aerial Photography Enhancement
The system can be fed with aerial photography or pre programmed known points (i.e. photo of a house with known coordinates) in order to fully annul drift throughout the whole flight period. When flying over them, the system would recognize reference points and would align itself accordingly. This task will be done with pattern recognition and object classification algorithms. These reference points would allow nullifying navigation drift errors over the flight.
Replace or backup your GPS receiver
Navigate using a standard video camera only
Independency in the air and on the ground
Advantages of software based solution
Excellent for weight & space sensitive applications
Low cost & efficient