US 11,055,875 B2
Computer-vision-based autonomous or supervised- autonomous landing of aircraft
Robert Merrill Cramblitt, St. Louis, MO (US)
Assigned to The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)
Filed by The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)
Filed on Dec. 20, 2018, as Appl. No. 16/227,153.
Prior Publication US 2020/0202559 A1, Jun. 25, 2020
Int. Cl. G06T 7/73 (2017.01); G05D 1/00 (2006.01); G05D 1/10 (2006.01); G06K 9/00 (2006.01); G06K 9/62 (2006.01)
CPC G06T 7/74 (2017.01) [G05D 1/0088 (2013.01); G05D 1/101 (2013.01); G06K 9/0063 (2013.01); G06K 9/6215 (2013.01); G06T 2207/10032 (2013.01); G06T 2207/30252 (2013.01)] 24 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An apparatus for supporting an aircraft approaching an airfield runway of an airfield, the apparatus comprising a processor and a memory storing executable instructions that, in response to execution by the processor, cause the apparatus to at least:
obtain a current pose estimate of the aircraft relative to the airfield runway, the current pose estimate having a current altitude, bearing, and distance from the airfield runway;
determine, based on the current pose estimate of the aircraft, a plurality of proximate poses of the aircraft each having an adjusted altitude, adjusted bearing, and adjusted distance within a predetermined amount of the current altitude, bearing, and distance from the airfield runway;
generate, from airfield model data for the airfield, a plurality of images of the airfield runway from a plurality of expected points-of-view of the aircraft corresponding to the plurality of proximate poses;
acquire, from an imaging device on the aircraft approaching the airfield runway, a real-time image of the airfield runway;
perform a comparison of the real-time image and the plurality of images to identify a best-match image from the plurality of images, based on a measure of mutual objects identified in the real-time image and the plurality of images, the best-match image being from a respective one of the plurality of expected points-of-view corresponding to a respective one of the plurality of proximate poses of the aircraft, the respective one of the plurality of proximate poses having a respective adjusted altitude, adjusted bearing, and adjusted distance from the airfield runway;
generate, based on the best-match image and the respective adjusted altitude, adjusted bearing, and adjusted distance from the airfield runway, an updated current pose estimate of the aircraft having the respective adjusted altitude, adjusted bearing, and adjusted distance to the airfield runway; and
output the updated current pose estimate to a flight control computer of the aircraft, for use in guidance of the aircraft on a final approach.