Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor 1

Timothy C. Havens

Committee Member 1

Zhaohui Wang

Committee Member 2

Jeremy Bos


Quadcopters have been developed with controls providing good maneuverability, simple mechanics, and the ability to hover, take-off and land vertically with precision. Due to their small size, they can get close to targets of interest and furthermore stay undetected at lower heights. The main drawbacks of a quadcopter are its high-power consumption and payload restriction, due to which, the number of onboard sensors is constrained. To overcome this limitation, vision-based localization techniques and remote control for the quadcopter are essential areas of current research. The core objective of this research is to develop a closed loop feedback system between an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and a mobile ground vehicle. With this closed loop system, the moving ground vehicle aims to navigate the UAV remotely. The ground vehicle uses a pure pursuit algorithm to traverse a pre-defined path. A Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller is actualized for position control and attitude stabilization of the UAV. The issue of tracking and 3D pose-estimation of the UAV in light of vision sensing is explored. An estimator to track the states of the UAV, utilizing the images obtained from a single camera mounted on the ground vehicle is developed. This estimator coupled with a Kalman filter determines the UAV's three dimensional position. The relative position of the UAV with the moving ground vehicle and the control output from a joint centralized PD controller is used to navigate the UAV and follow the motion of the ground vehicle in closed loop to avoid time delays. This closed loop system is simulated in MATLAB and Simulink to validate the proposed control and estimation approach. The results obtained validate the control architecture proposed to attain closed loop feedback between the UAV and the mobile ground vehicle.