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A Novel Visual Motion Tracker for State Estimation in Airborne Wind Energy


M. Polzin

Semester Thesis, FS15 (10407)

This work presents a novel estimation approach for an autonomous tethered kite system. We propose an estimator which relies on visual motion tracking of the kite position from ground-based video recording. The proposed visual motion tracking approach is used to assess the quality of existing estimators and demonstrated to be applicable for real-time estimation of the kite dynamics in closed-loop operation of the airborne wind energy system developed at Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz.

The focus in this work is on the development of a fast and reliable visual tracking algorithm that can be used for real-time estimation in experiments of autonomous tethered kites. The developed visual motion tracking algorithm combines a tracking algorithm with an object detector to exploit advantages of both methods. Being computationally eefficient, the visual tracking algorithm allows reliable real-time state estimation of the kite dynamics.

To demonstrate the proposed estimator, we have implemented the visual motion tracking algorithm in Matlab which is able to track objects (40x40 pixel) in over 100 frames (1280x960 pixel) per second. For three videos of representative kite power test scenarios (sunny, cloudy and a small kite on long lines) with 19000 to 30000 frames, we achieve accurate estimates of the kite state and reveal poor performance in state estimation solely based on line angle measurements.

Supervisors: Henrik Hesse, Tony Wood, Roy Smith


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

H. Hesse

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2015:IFA_5209
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