student profile: Miss Anastasia Volkova


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Feature-based Visual Navigation in GPS-denied Environment

Supervisors: Peter GIBBENS , Dries VERSTRAETE

Thesis abstract:

There is a growing demand for unmanned aerial systems as autonomous surveillance, exploration and remote sensing solutions. Among the key concerns for robust operation of these systems is the need to reliably navigate the environment without reliance on global navigation satellite system (GNSS). This is of particular concern in Defence circles, but is also a major safety issue for commercial operations. In these circumstances, it is necessary that the UAV can navigate using only information from on-board passive sensors such as digital cameras. This has the benefit that the UAV is navigating relative to the environment in which it is operating. An autonomous feature-based visual system is presented in this work that offers a novel integral approach to modelling and registration of visual features that responds to specific needs of a navigation system. It detects visual features from Google Earth imagery to build a feature database. The same algorithm then detects features in an onboard cameras video stream. On one level this serves to localise the vehicle relative to the environment using Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). On a second level, it correlates them with the database to localise the vehicle with respect to the inertial frame. Google Earth imagery, due to its wide availability, has become one of the primary sources of geographic information used in research in line with satellite, aerial imagery and Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. The performance of the visual navigation system under development is being compared using the Google Earth imagery from different years. Based on comparison results, an analysis of the effects of seasonal, structural and qualitative changes of the imagery source on the performance of the navigation algorithm is presented.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2016). Satellite Imagery Assisted Road-based Visual Navigation System. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, III-1, 209-217. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2016). Extended Robust Feature-Based Visual Navigation System for UAVs. 2016 International Conference on Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA 2016), Gold Coast: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2015). A Comparative Study of Road Extraction Techniques from Aerial Imagery - A Navigational Perspective. 7th Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Aerospace Technology.

2016

  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2016). Extended Robust Feature-Based Visual Navigation System for UAVs. 2016 International Conference on Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA 2016), Gold Coast: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2016). Satellite Imagery Assisted Road-based Visual Navigation System. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, III-1, 209-217. [More Information]

2015

  • Volkova, A., Gibbens, P. (2015). A Comparative Study of Road Extraction Techniques from Aerial Imagery - A Navigational Perspective. 7th Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Aerospace Technology.

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