Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Hector M. Gutierrez

Second Advisor

Weinan Gao

Third Advisor

Brian A. Kish

Fourth Advisor

Ashok Pandit


This study describes the deployment, integration, and demonstration of the Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor (SVGS) as novel technology for autonomous 6 DOF proximity maneuvers and precision landing of a quadcopter drone. The proposed approach uses a vision-based photogrammetric position and attitude sensor (SVGS) to estimate the position of an illuminated landing target after video capture. A visual inertial odometry camera (VIO) is used to provide position estimates of the UAV in a ground coordinate system during flight on a GPS denied environment. The integration of both SVGS and VIO sensors enables the accurate update of position setpoints during landing maneuvers, providing an improved performance compared to a VIO-only landing as shown in the landing experiments. The proposed technique also shows significant operational advantages compared to state-of-the-art landing sensors such as those based on augmented reality (AR) markers.