Relative Pose Estimation of Unmanned Aerial Systems

Athanasios Tsoukalas, Anthony Tzes, Farshad Khorrami

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The relative accurate pose estimation problem of collaborating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) in GPS-denied environments is addressed in this article. The on-board system uses fiducial markers attached in the facets of a truncated rhombicuboctahedron placed on top of the UAS. A visual marker-tracking mechanism using a global shutter camera is used to estimate the relative pose between the UASs under the Line-of-Sight (LoS) constraint. The pose estimator operates in parallel with an Ultra-wideband (UWB) system that transmits extremely short RF-pulses, spreading the radio energy over a wide frequency band, and measures the relative distance using Time Of Arrival (TOA) measurements from a set of off-board anchors. Experimental studies show that the UWB-system can provide satisfactory measurements at large distances (2m to 50m) but the resolution is not sufficient for operating the UASs in very short relative distances (under 5m). Therefore, the visual system is used to improve the relative position measurements at short distances (0.2m to 5m) in addition to providing orientation measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMED 2018 - 26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781538678909
StatePublished - Aug 20 2018
Event26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2018 - Zadar, Croatia
Duration: Jun 19 2018Jun 22 2018

Publication series

NameMED 2018 - 26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation


Other26th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2018


  • Fiducial Markers
  • Localization
  • Pose Determination
  • RF-tracking
  • Ultra wide band tracking
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Visual tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization


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