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Flight Data Acquisition for Validation of Passive Ranging Algorithms for Obstacle Avoidance

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The automation of low‐altilude rotorcraft flight depends on the ability to detect, locate, and navigate around obstacles lying in the ratorcraft's intended flightpath. Camputer vision techniques provide a passive method of obstacle detection and range estimation, for obstacle avoidance. Several algorithms based on computer vision methods have been developed for this purpose using laboratory data; however, further development and validation of candidate algorithms require data collected from rotorcraft flight. A data base containing low‐altitude imagery augmented with the rotorcraft and sensor parameters required for passive range estimation is not readily available. This paper focuses on the methodology used to develop such a data base from flight‐test data consisting of imagery, rotorcraft and sensor parameters, and ground‐truth range measurements. As part of the data preparation, a technique for obtaining the sensor calibration parameters is described. The data base will enable the further development of algorithms far computer vision‐based obstacle detection and passive range estimation, as well as provide a benchmark for verification of range estimates against ground‐truth measurements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: NASA Ames Research Ctr., Moffett Field, Calif.

Publication date: 1992-10-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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