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19 July 1999 Estimating 6-DOF from visual information
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This paper describes the use of an optical image correlation system that locates certain landmarks such as a runway or illuminated pattern in a video camera signal. These landmarks are correlated with stored information in order to determine orientation information for the airplane. This orientation information includes the x, y, z position information as well as the roll, pitch, and yaw attitude information (the six degrees of freedom of the aircraft -- 6 DOF). The airplane orientation information is especially useful for controlling or guiding an airplane during the final landing phase of the flight. Recently the use of global positioning systems (GPS) in airplanes has become popular. These GPS systems receive signals from multiple satellites to determine the position of an airplane. The positional information from a GPS system is typically accurate within plus or minus 100 feet. This is quite adequate in determining the airplane's position during most phases of flight but is not accurate enough to control the landing of the airplane. For example, a typical general aviation runway may have a width of about 75 feet compared to the 100 feet accuracy range of a typical GPS system. Despite innovations such as differential GPS systems, the relative accuracy of the GPS systems is unlikely to improve much in the future. The system described here provides airplane orientation information accurate enough to control the landing of the airplane.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sidhartha Maitra and Gerald R. Babb "Estimating 6-DOF from visual information", Proc. SPIE 3691, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 1999, (19 July 1999);


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