Autonomous Take-off and Landing on a Moving Carrier

This video shows the demonstration of a variable-pitch quadrotor autonomous takes off and lands (ATOL) on a moving carrier.
The system architecture is a carrier based vision system.
It use visual positioning result to eliminate the GPS bias between UAV and carrier, thus it can provide continuous and accurate positioning result for ATOL usage.

The Flight Controller is designed at 2012, 

MCU : PIC24EP( control law) and PIC32MX( sensor fusion)

Sensor : gyroscopes (InvenSense ISZ-500 and IDG-500), accelerometer (AD ADXL345), magnetometer (Honeywell HMC5883L), altimeter (Freescale MP3H6115A), GPS chip (U-Blox AMY-5M)


The carrier's controller is same as UAV's, except the control software is different.

The Firefly MV camera is placed on a 2-axis brushless gimbal, and the gimbal has been programmed to maintain level at any time.

The UAV positioning program runs on a MSI Brix mini PC, which comes with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB ram, and 128GB SSD storage. The program built by Qt framework and OpenCV library, it runs on win 7 OS. 



The carrier sends its GPS position and relative position (vision) to UAV via a RF modem, then the UAV will calculate the relative GPS bias based on uploaded information and its GPS position. The main concept of this system is that I use vision to make up the deficiency of GPS information, instead of using visual positioning alone.

I am designing new FC board recently, use new MCU (STM32F4 or STM32F7) and new sensors ( MPU9250, MS5611 ,etc..) With enough computation power and better sensor, I expect the performance of system will be further improved.

The detail of this research is in

(still unavailable, wait for school permission...)

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  • @ MHefny, I give this credit to BGM!

    @ Rana, the post has been updated ! Thank you

    @ Hector Garcia de Marina, this work is my graduation dissertation. Maybe it can be applied on commercial UAV someday.

  • very nice man! do you have this work available somewhere?

  • Amazing, excellent work ! pls share more details of your setup.

  • very nice ... I clapped while watching the video ... good job :)

  • @ John Arne Birkeland, Thank you. By the way, the carrier-based and UAV-based have different advantages. I think the best way to guarantee the system performance is to use both methods at the same time. 

    @ Pablo Legarreta, Thank you!

  • AMAZING! I cant imagine the satisfaction to see it working good. Congratulations!

  • Developer

    Impressive. Having the vision system built into the landing platform makes a lot of sense.

  • Actually we conduct the UAV-based system first. .

    This system requires large UAV to carry it, and the quality of image is decreased by engine vibration.

    The fixed-wing application is possible, but currently we only focus on the VTOL system.

  • Very cool technique.  I like the carrier-based vision system idea.  I wonder if that can be used to improve landings of fixed-wing uav's to avoid the need for lidar/radar/sonar altimetry.

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