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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 297; doi:10.3390/s17020297

Augmented Reality Tool for the Situational Awareness Improvement of UAV Operators

Grupo de Tratamiento de Imágenes (GTI), Information Processing and Telecommunications Center (IPTC) and ETSI Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), ES-28040 Madrid, Spain
Robotics and Perception Group, University of Zurich, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felipe Gonzalez Toro and Antonios Tsourdos
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV-Based Remote Sensing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11160 KB, uploaded 6 February 2017]   |  


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being extensively used nowadays. Therefore, pilots of traditional aerial platforms should adapt their skills to operate them from a Ground Control Station (GCS). Common GCSs provide information in separate screens: one presents the video stream while the other displays information about the mission plan and information coming from other sensors. To avoid the burden of fusing information displayed in the two screens, an Augmented Reality (AR) tool is proposed in this paper. The AR system has two functionalities for Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAVs: route orientation and target identification. Route orientation allows the operator to identify the upcoming waypoints and the path that the UAV is going to follow. Target identification allows a fast target localization, even in the presence of occlusions. The AR tool is implemented following the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards so that it can be used in different GCSs. The experiments show how the AR tool improves significantly the situational awareness of the UAV operators. View Full-Text
Keywords: situational awareness; augmented reality; unmanned aerial vehicle; tool; ground control station situational awareness; augmented reality; unmanned aerial vehicle; tool; ground control station

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ruano, S.; Cuevas, C.; Gallego, G.; García, N. Augmented Reality Tool for the Situational Awareness Improvement of UAV Operators. Sensors 2017, 17, 297.

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