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Vision-based Navigation by Horizon Detection Algorithm

Lab: Center of Aero Innovation & Realization for Students, School of Aerospace, Tsinghua University
Mentor: Associate Professor Dongyun Ge

There are several methods to get aircraft’s attitude, and the most common methods include inertial method, infrared method, and so on. This project aims to make aerocraft to have the ability of flying by vision like human-being. Firstly I presented an algorithm which bases on Hough Transform to find horizon in the image precisely, and developed the software using OpenCV Computer-Vision Library in VC++. Secondly I designed the communication and autopilot system. This system has a PC workstation on the ground to process data, a microcontroller linked with PC in USB, a modified radio transmitter, a airplane with video camera and a video transmission system. In the test flight the algorithm can determine the location of horizon very precisely at most weather conditions during the day (except heavy fog), and this system achieved the aim of Computer-Vision-based autopilot.

Download: Test flight video (WMV, 6.4MB)