Advancing Cots UAV Capability to Provide Vision-Based SA/ISR Data
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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Unmanned systems are gaining popularity in many modern-day applications, and their growth potential in unmanned technologies is infinite. These systems have created research and development opportunities for enabling autonomous behavior to reduce human workload and involvement in tedious operations. This thesis assesses autonomy-enabling technologies for conducting search-and-rescue SA operations and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR missions using a small unmanned system sUAS. These technologies include an electro-optical sensor, onboard processor, and computer-vision CV algorithms. In a previous masters thesis by Wee Kiong Ang, a commercial off-the-shelf COTS quadcopter sUAS was integrated with a suite of hardware and multiple-moving-target-detection software. Building upon that work, this thesis aims to advance the systems capabilities by exploring the applicability of the aforementioned three technologies on an sUAS. Using the systems engineering approach, the baseline system deficiencies are identified first. Next, a technology enabler review is conducted to explore the relevant COTS products and paradigms. Then, through the implementation of a set of changes, the baseline system architecture is reassessed and consequently redesigned, followed by an assessment of state-of-the-art CV algorithms. After being tested in a field experiment based on SAISR-type mission scenarios, the developed prototype was found to be successful.
- Pilotless Aircraft