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A Low-Power Visual-Horizon Estimation Chip

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1 Author(s)
Timothy K. Horiuchi ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Recent successes in the construction of micro aerial vehicles (< 15 cm) have highlighted the lack of real-time sensors for flight control. This paper describes a low-power real-time visual-horizon sensor for stabilizing the pitch and roll of miniature aircraft in moderate-to-high-altitude flight. This prototype sensor uses a 12 times 12 photoreceptor array to find a best-fit horizon line based on image intensity. The sensor includes a "confidence-level" output for signaling poor sensing conditions and can scan out the image. The chip was fabricated in a commercially available 0.5- mum CMOS process and operates on less than 2.5 mW with a 5-V power supply.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 8 )