Vision-Based Autonomous Landing of a Quadrotor on the Perturbed Deck of an Unmanned Surface Vehicle

Sanjay Sharma, Riccardo Polvara, Jian Wan, Andrew Manning, Robert Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autonomous landing on the deck of an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) is still a major challenge for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In this paper, a fiducial marker is located on the platform so as to facilitate the task since it is possible to retrieve its six-degrees of freedom relative-pose in an easy way. To compensate interruption in the marker’s observations, an extended Kalman filter (EKF) estimates the current USV’s position with reference to the last known position. Validation experiments have been performed in a simulated environment under various marine conditions. The results confirmed that the EKF provides estimates accurate enough to direct the UAV in proximity of the autonomous vessel such that the marker becomes visible again. Using only the odometry and the inertial measurements for the estimation, this method is found to be applicable even under adverse weather conditions in the absence of the global positioning system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2018


  • unmanned aerial vehicle
  • position control
  • computer vision
  • image processing


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