James F. Montgomery

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We present the design and implementation of a real-time, vision-based landing algorithm for an autonomous helicopter. The helicopter is required to navigate from an initial position to a final position in a partially known environment based on GPS and vision, locate a landing target (a helipad of a known shape) and land on it. We use vision for precise(More)
— We present the design and implementation of a real-time, vision-based landing algorithm for an autonomous helicopter. The landing algorithm is integrated with algorithms for visual acquisition of the target (a helipad), and navigation to the target, from an arbitrary initial position and orientation. We use vision for precise target detection and(More)
Numerous upcoming NASA misions need to land safely and precisely on planetary bodies. Accurate and robust state estimation during the descent phase is necessary. Towards this end, we have developed a new approach for improved state estimation by augmenting traditional inertial navigation techniques with image-based motion estimation (IBME). A Kalman filter(More)
Autonomous landing is a challenging problem for aerial robots. An autonomous landing manoeuver depends largely on two capabilities: the decision of where to land and the generation of control signals to guide the vehicle to a safe landing. We focus on the first capability here by presenting a strategy and an underlying fast algorithm as the computer vision(More)
Future robotic space missions will employ a precision soft-landing capability that will enable exploration of previously inaccessible sites that have strong scientific significance. To enable this capability, a fully autonomous onboard system that identifies and avoids hazardous features such as steep slopes and large rocks is required. Such a system will(More)
A control system architecture is described for an autonomous flying vehicle. The vehicle, equipped with fourteen sensors, uses a model helicopter as an airframe. The control system utilizes these sensors to a) remain aloft and in stable flight, b) navigate to a target and c) manipulate a physical object. The overall approach to the problem is based on a(More)
In this paper we describe an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) algorithm for estimating the pose and velocity of a spacecraft during Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL). The proposed estimator combines measurements of rotational velocity and acceleration from an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with observations of a priori Mapped Landmarks (MLs), such as craters or(More)
The International Aerial Robotics Competition is an annual event sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVS). The competition requires flying robots to locate, manipulate, and transport objects from one location to another. These tasks are carried out under extreme conditions. A robot must operate without human guidance, ensuring system(More)
This paper proposes a technique for planar trajectory following for an autonomous aerial robot. A trajectory is modeled as a planar spline. A behavior-based control system which stabilizes the robot and enforces trajectory following , has been implemented and tested on an autonomous helicopter. Results from two flight experiments are presented. The(More)