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Sensors 2010, 10(1), 639-654; doi:10.3390/s100100639

An Innovative Procedure for Calibration of Strapdown Electro-Optical Sensors Onboard Unmanned Air Vehicles

1
Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
2
Aeronautical Systems Division, Italian Aerospace Research Center, Via Maiorise, 81043 Capua (CE), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2009 / Revised: 7 December 2009 / Accepted: 18 December 2009 / Published: 18 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper presents an innovative method for estimating the attitude of airborne electro-optical cameras with respect to the onboard autonomous navigation unit. The procedure is based on the use of attitude measurements under static conditions taken by an inertial unit and carrier-phase differential Global Positioning System to obtain accurate camera position estimates in the aircraft body reference frame, while image analysis allows line-of-sight unit vectors in the camera based reference frame to be computed. The method has been applied to the alignment of the visible and infrared cameras installed onboard the experimental aircraft of the Italian Aerospace Research Center and adopted for in-flight obstacle detection and collision avoidance. Results show an angular uncertainty on the order of 0.1° (rms). View Full-Text
Keywords: electro-optical sensors; alignment; boresighting; carrier-phase differential GPS; attitude and heading reference system; target pixel extraction; Q-method electro-optical sensors; alignment; boresighting; carrier-phase differential GPS; attitude and heading reference system; target pixel extraction; Q-method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fasano, G.; Accardo, D.; Moccia, A.; Rispoli, A. An Innovative Procedure for Calibration of Strapdown Electro-Optical Sensors Onboard Unmanned Air Vehicles. Sensors 2010, 10, 639-654.

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