Master of Science in Robotics Thesis Talk

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Master's Thesis Presentation

Toward Increased Airspace Safety: Quadrotor Guidance for Targeting Aerial Objects

As the market for commercially available unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) booms, there is an increasing number of small, teleoperated or autonomous aircraft found in protected or sensitive airspace. Existing solutions for removal of these aircraft are either military-grade and too disruptive for domestic use, or compose of cumbersomely teleoperated counter-UAV vehicles that have proven ineffective in high-profile domestic cases. In this work, we examine the use of a quadrotor for autonomously targeting stationary, semi-stationary, and moving aerial objects with little or no prior knowledge of the target's flight characteristics. Guidance and control commands are generated with information just from an onboard monocular camera. We draw inspiration from literature in missile guidance, and show that a quadrotor's flight dynamics allows the use of optimal guidance methods not usable by missiles. Results are presented for first-pass hit success with various methods. Finally, we cover the CMU Team Tartan entry in the MBZIRC 2020 Challenge 1 competition, demonstrating the effectiveness of simple line-of-sight guidance methods in a structured competition setting.

Thesis Committee:
Sebastian Scherer (Advisor)
Oliver Kroemer
Azarakhsh Keipour

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