Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Charles F. Reinholtz. Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Timothy A. Wilson, Sc.D.

Second Committee Member

Shawn Doherty, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate the efficacy of wide-baseline stereopsis as a method of ranging aircraft, specifically as a possible sense-and-avoid solution in Unmanned Aerial Systems. Two studies were performed: the first was an experimental pilot study to examine the ability of humans to range in-flight aircraft and the second a wide-baseline study of stereopsis to range in-flight aircraft using a baseline 14.32 meters and two 640 x 480 pixel charge coupled device camera. An experimental research design was used in both studies. Humans in the pilot study ranged aircraft with a mean absolute error of 50.34%. The wide-baseline stereo system ranged aircraft within 2 kilometers with a mean absolute error of 17.62%. A t-test was performed and there was a significant difference between the mean absolute error of the humans in the pilot study and the wide-baseline stereo system. The results suggest that the wide-baseline system is more consistent as well as more accurate than humans.

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