Improving the quality of the aerosonde video link using a smart antenna system

The increasing need of airborne surveillance for meteorological, environmental and military reconnaissance over remote areas and in harsh conditions has led to the development of a small robotic aircraft, the Aerosonde. Now ongoing research is focused on improving the operational capacity including upgraded communication. This work is a contribution to the development of a vision system suitable for the Aerosonde. The aim is to enhance the capacity of an existing communication channel for video transmission over short distances by means of a smart antenna system.

Several smart antenna systems are considered and compared. Based on hardware cost, achieved gain and system complexity we conclude that a switched antenna system is the most suitable. An algorithm capable of steering the receiving antenna is developed and implemented with a DSP. The algorithm is based on analysis of active video lines and uses correlation between adjacent pixels as a measure of image quality. The implemented algorithm showed promising results when tested, even though they were not unambiguous due to problems with reflections in the testing environment. However, the results indicate that the system should work properly in a real situation and also that it should be possible to maintain a good image quality with limited transmitter power.

Author: Andersson, Nina; Sandberg, Sara

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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