Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is better and safer to carry missions for aerial photography for terrain feature documentation and surveillance. An aerial photography mechanism for camera gimbal control in conjunction with UAV autopilot system is proposed in this paper. A GPS-to-GPS target tracking is implemented into autopilot flight control system to aim at the assigned fixed point target. In order to properly control dynamic photography, coordinate conversion from airborne gimbal frame into the Earth frame via UAV body frame coordinates should be correctly aligned to the target. To avoid gimbal lock problem, the 3D quaternion-based attitude estimation from GPS and IMU is formulated. The UAV autopilot and target tracking control can be implemented on microcontroller with a reliable and stable performance. A UAV autopilot is designed and implemented mounting with 3D gimbal fixture for realization and flight tests. Flight experiment results show good system performance to accomplish the proposed objective.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes