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Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1844;

Towards Autonomous Modular UAV Missions: The Detection, Geo-Location and Landing Paradigm

School of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania 73100, Greece
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania 73100, Greece
Space Geomatica Ltd., Chania 73133, Greece
School of Mineral Resources Engineering, Laboratory of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, SenseLAB Research Group, Chania 73100, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felipe Gonzalez Toro and Antonios Tsourdos
Received: 27 August 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV-Based Remote Sensing)
Full-Text   |   PDF [7915 KB, uploaded 3 November 2016]   |  


Nowadays, various unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications become increasingly demanding since they require real-time, autonomous and intelligent functions. Towards this end, in the present study, a fully autonomous UAV scenario is implemented, including the tasks of area scanning, target recognition, geo-location, monitoring, following and finally landing on a high speed moving platform. The underlying methodology includes AprilTag target identification through Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) parallelized processing, image processing and several optimized locations and approach algorithms employing gimbal movement, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) readings and UAV navigation. For the experimentation, a commercial and a custom made quad-copter prototype were used, portraying a high and a low-computational embedded platform alternative. Among the successful targeting and follow procedures, it is shown that the landing approach can be successfully performed even under high platform speeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; search and rescue; autonomous landing; smart-phone drone UAV; search and rescue; autonomous landing; smart-phone drone

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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).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Description: Demonstration video for multiple target identification, mobile application for scanning and geo-location, follow me mode and landing.

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Kyristsis, S.; Antonopoulos, A.; Chanialakis, T.; Stefanakis, E.; Linardos, C.; Tripolitsiotis, A.; Partsinevelos, P. Towards Autonomous Modular UAV Missions: The Detection, Geo-Location and Landing Paradigm. Sensors 2016, 16, 1844.

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