2021 journal article
FPV Video Adaptation for UAV Collision Avoidance
IEEE OPEN JOURNAL OF THE COMMUNICATIONS SOCIETY, 2, 2095–2110.
First person view (FPV) technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provides an immersive experience for pilots and enables various personal and commercial applications such as aerial photography, drone racing, search and rescue operations, agricultural surveillance, and structural inspection. While real time video streaming from a UAV and vision-based collision avoidance strategies have been studied in literature as separate topics, in this paper we tackle collision avoidance in FPV scenarios, taking into account network delays and real time video parameters. We present a theoretical model for obstacle collisions that considers the current communication channel conditions, the real time video parameters, and the UAV’s position relative to the closest obstacle. A video adaptation algorithm is then designed, using this metric, to tune the FPV video resolution, number of re-transmission attempts, and the modulation scheme to maximize the probability of avoiding collisions. This algorithm also takes into account specific latency constraints of the application. This video algorithm was evaluated in various scenarios and its ability to respond to both distances to the obstacle as well as the communication channel conditions was demonstrated. It was found that, for the considered scenarios, the performance of the proposed adaptive algorithm was, on an average, 58.63% higher than the closest non-adaptive one in terms of maximizing the probability of avoiding collision. Such collision avoidance strategies could be used to make UAV FPV applications safer and more reliable.