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Map-enhanced visual taxiway extraction for autonomous taxiing of UAVs

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2015, 13:58 by Bowen Lu, Baibing LiBaibing Li, Wen-Hua ChenWen-Hua Chen
In this paper, a map-enhanced method is proposed for vision-based taxiway centreline extraction, which is a prerequisite of autonomous visual navigation systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. Comparing with other sensors, cameras are able to provide richer information. Consequently, vision based navigations have been intensively studied in the recent two decades and computer vision techniques are shown to be capable of dealing with various problems in applications. However, there are signi cant drawbacks associated with these computer vision techniques that the accuracy and robustness may not meet the required standard in some application scenarios. In this paper, a taxiway map is incorporated into the analysis as prior knowledge to improve on the vehicle localisation and vision based centreline extraction. We develop a map updating algorithm so that the traditional map is able to adapt to the dynamic environment via Bayesian learning. The developed method is illustrated using a simulation study.


This work was supported by the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Autonomous and Intelligent Systems programme under the grant number EP/J011525/1 with BAE Systems as the leading industrial partner.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

Workshop on Advanced Control and Navigation for Autonomous Aerospace Vehicles


LU, B., LI, B. and CHEN, W.-H., 2015. Map-enhanced visual taxiway extraction for autonomous taxiing of UAVs. IFAC Papers online, 48(9), pp. 49–54.


Elsevier / © IFAC.


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal IFAC Papers online and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ifacol.2015.08.058. It was presented at the 2015 IFAC Workshop on Advanced Control and Navigation for Autonomous Aerospace Vehicles, 10th-12th June 2015, Seville, Spain.






Seville, Spain