Multispectral Image-Aided Automatic Landing System: Position Availability Investigation during Final Approach

M. Angermann, S. Wolkow, A. Schwithal, C. Tonhäuser, U. Bestmann, P. Hecker

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This work discusses the capability to improve safety during landing approaches by enabling computer-vision-supported – automatic-landing procedures and therefore, provide sufficient integrity and availability. It presents recent results on conducted flight trials with optical sensors accomplishing visual runway detection by means of computer vision. The dissimilar and complementary approach of using two different image sensors simultaneously, long wave infrared and a RGB camera in the visible spectrum, offers the opportunity to follow pre-defined approach paths by automated flight beyond defined landing minima. Comparisons between achieved necessary availability at required altitudes will be drawn, in conjunction with discussing the benefits of optical sensor for both visible light spectrum and infrared spectrum. This study includes a decision making process to determine, which image source is to be used for optical positioning during parallel operation of both cameras. LPV (Localizer Performance with vertical Guidance) approaches and state of the art nonprecision approaches will be examined to illustrate the behavior, and the functionality of the optical-based navigation system at and beyond published approach minima. The aim of this work is to improve the classical aircraft position solution by an additional, independent optically derived solution such that automatic landing becomes possible. Adding supplementary optical sensors enables the system to fulfill the required navigation performances in terms of accuracy and integrity and allow continuing the automated approach relying on the overall performance of all sensors. The experimental setup includes an INS-GNSS system (Inertial Navigation System – Global Navigation Satellite System) with SBAS (Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems) capabilities. The system is complemented by two cameras from which time synchronized images are available. Both images are processed in parallel to obtain the optical position solution. Therefore, a direct comparison of the retrieved optical position can be drawn. Finally, this work identifies the benefits of both camera types.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting
May 1 - 4, 2017
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 56 - 69
Cite this article: Angermann, M., Wolkow, S., Schwithal, A., Tonhäuser, C., Bestmann, U., Hecker, P., "Multispectral Image-Aided Automatic Landing System: Position Availability Investigation during Final Approach," Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2017, pp. 56-69.
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