Automatisierung eines Kamera-Quadrokopters zur Objektverfolgung

  • Automation of a camera quadrocopter for object tracking

Engelhardt, Thomas; Abel, Dirk (Thesis advisor); Moormann, Dieter (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2021)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2021


Stunning aerial videos can be used in movie, television, and marketing productions as special cinematic means. Such video footage is often created by camera quadrocopters. Controlling a quadrocopter by a radio controller however requires profound experience and skills, especially if dynamic video sequences of moving motifs are to be shot. It is therefore desirable to automate the pilot's tasks and to support the camera operator in camera guidance by assistance functions. Thus, the topic of this thesis is the automation of a camera quadrocopter for tracking of moving objects for cinematic purposes. A flatness-based controller was developed to leverage the nonlinear dynamics of the quadrocopter. This controller also takes into account the disturbances by wind, which are estimated by a disturbance observer. Besides the proof of flatness, the quasi-static state feedback, which linearizes the input-state system dynamics, was derived and a cascaded trajectory controller was designed in this thesis. Several trajectory generation methods were implemented for the different assistance functions. As sensor fusion for system state estimation, an Extended Kalman-Filter was applied, which uses an IMU and a GNSS-RTK-receiver as sensor inputs. To prepare for the usage of the European navigation satellite system Galileo, an experimental GPS- and Galileo-receiver was tested on the quadrocopter in the test facility automotiveGATE. A quadrocopter prototype was built to test the developed automation. Furthermore, a handheld device with touchscreen and joystick was realized, which allows the operator to command the system. It was demonstrated in flight tests, how the quadrocopter e. g. automatically follows a target object and rotates its camera in such way that the target object appears centered in the camera image.


  • Chair and Institute of Automatic Control [416610]