Passive Navigation

Unknown author (1981-11-01)

A method is proposed for determining the motion of a body relative to a fixed environment using the changing image seen by a camera attached to the body. The optical flow in the image plane is the input, while the instantaneous rotation and translation of the body are the output. If optical flow could be determined precisely, it would only have to be known at a few places to compute the parameters of the motion. In practice, however, the measured optical flow will be somewhat inaccurate. It is therefore advantageous to consider methods which use as much of the available information as possible. We employ a least-squares approach which minimizes some measure of the discrepancy between the measured flow and that predicted from the computed motion parameters. Several different error norms are investigated. In general, our algorithm leads to a system of nonlinear equations from which the motion parameters may be computed numerically. However, in the special cases where the motion of the camera is purely translational or purely rotational, use of the appropriate norm leads to a system of equations from which these parameters can be determined in closed form.