Vision assisted aircraft lateral navigation

Mohammed Ibrahim Mohideen, Dinesh Ramegowda, Peter Seiler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Surface operation is currently one of the least technologically equipped phases of aircraft operation. The increased air traffic congestion necessitates more aircraft operations in degraded weather and at night. The traditional surface procedures worked well in most cases as airport surfaces have not been congested and airport layouts were less complex. Despite the best efforts of FAA and other safety agencies, runway incursions continue to occur frequently due to incorrect surface operation. Several studies conducted by FAA suggest that pilot induced error contributes significantly to runway incursions. Further, the report attributes pilot's lack of situational awareness - local (e.g., minimizing lateral deviation), global (e.g., traffic in the vicinity) and route (e.g., distance to next turn) - to the problem. An Enhanced Vision System (EVS) is one concept that is being considered to resolve these issues. These systems use on-board sensors to provide situational awareness under poor visibility conditions. In this paper, we propose the use of an Image processing based system to estimate the aircraft position and orientation relative to taxiway markings to use as lateral guidance aid. We estimate aircraft yaw angle and lateral offset from slope of the taxiway centerline and horizontal position of vanishing line. Unlike automotive applications, several cues such as aircraft maneuvers along assigned route with minimal deviations, clear ground markings, even taxiway surface, limited aircraft speed are available and enable us to implement significant algorithm optimizations. We present experimental results to show high precision navigation accuracy with sensitivity analysis with respect to camera mount, optics, and image processing error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDegraded Visual Environments
Subtitle of host publicationEnhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2013
StatePublished - 2013
EventDegraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2013 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: May 2 2013May 2 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceDegraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD


  • Aircraft navigation
  • Enhanced vision system
  • Hough transform
  • Line fitting
  • Vanishing point


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