AFRL TAMU Raytheon

Speakers | Overview | Purpose | Scope | UAS Challenge | Facility, Accommodations, Transportation | Features |

UAS Video Tracking Workshop

25-26 October 2011

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Post Workshop:
Contact List
Technical Discussion
Challenge Notes
Pre Workshop:
Workshop Agenda
Challenge Specifications

Participating Organizations:

Air Force Research Laboratory; Boeing Research & Technology; Brigham Young University; Insitu Inc.; L-3 Unmanned Systems; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; NASA Johnson Space Center; Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems; Space Engineering Research Center - TAMU; Texas A&M University; University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; University of Minnesota; UAV Research Group; University of Texas, Austin, AERO/Engr Mech dept.; VectorNav Technologies

This is an open invitation to participate in an unclassified Workshop on Motion Video Tracking and Control that will address current and future technologies for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.


1. Randy Beard Brigham Young University, Provo, UT Presentation
2. Gary Viviani Insitu Inc., Bingen, WA Presentation
3. John Valasek Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Presentation
4. Craig Askew L-3 Unmanned Systems, Carrollton, TX Presentation
5. Timothy D. Smith Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems Division Presentation
6. Jeremy Davis VectorNav Technologies, Richardson TX Presentation
7. Soon-Jo Chung University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Presentation
8. Dezhen Song Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Presentation
9. John L. Junkins Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Presentation
10. Derek Kingston Air Force Research Lab, Wright Patterson Air Force Base Presentation


Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconaisance (ISR) missions have rapidly become one of the most important UAS missions. Civilian ISR missions include monitoring personnel and vehicle traffic along international borders within the Continental United States (CONUS), and law enforcement surveillance in the urban canyon type areas within large metropolitan areas. Defense ISR missions are similar in nature, and often consist of continuous tracking of both vehicles and personnel within a variety of urban and non-urban environments. A central feature of both civilian and military ISR missions is the capability to track items of interest with some type of vision sensor, and maintaining this tracking with the UAS. Many types of sensors, tracking systems, and integrated flight control systems are in use and are being proposed for this use.


The Workshop will bring together academic and industrial researchers and students with government laboratory personnel for the purpose of extending the state-of-the-art in vision-based UAS systems, which broadly support the ISR mission. This will be done by technical presentations and exchanges with leaders in the field, and by direct interactions with DoD customer researchers. Attendees will be able to showcase and demonstrate their approaches and expertise by participating in a UAS Challenge, which will be defined by a government laboratory and industry team and presented at the workshop. The Challenge will be held in mid-to-late 2012, at the UAS Flight Test Facility at Texas A&M University. The exact date will be mutually decided upon at the workshop.


The workshop will consist of invited technical presentations on vision based sensors and vision based UAS technologies. The highlight of the workshop will be the presentation of a UAS Challenge, similar in spirit to the DARPA Grand Challenge, which all participants are invited to participate in. Tours will be given of a vision based systems research and development laboratory (Land, Air, and Space Robotics Laboratory) , a flight simulation laboratory (Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory), and a UAS flight test facility (Flight Mechanics Laboratory). The vehicle class considered will be tactical sized fixed wing UAS, from a size and weight class large enough to carry a gimballed vision system, down to small and Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) which mount a fixed vision sensor because they are too small to mount a gimballed vision sensor. It is anticipated that these vehicles will be in a weight class less than 100 pounds. Rotorcraft vehicles are also being considered at the present time.


Challenge Specifications

The UAS Challenge will broadly be consistent with the ISR mission. Three classes of Challenge are anticipated: Student Team, Moderate, and Difficult. The mission, scope, and parameters comprising the UAS Challenge will be determined jointly by a team consisting of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Air Vehicles Directorate, and Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems Division. It will be presented to attendees at the workshop. It is anticipated that a small representative urban area with structure, personnel, and vehicle tracking items of interest will be constructed and represented. These will be consistent with the scenarios and parameters of the Challenge. The exact 2012 date for the Challenge will be mutually decided upon at the workshop.

Participants in the Challenge will use their own hardware and UAS, which they will bring to Texas A&M University for the flight demonstration of the Challenge. Raytheon will provide use of their Common Ground Station to all participants. Details and usage of the Common Ground Station will be presented at the Workshop, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with Common Ground Station engineers and technicians.

All UAS flights at the Challenge will adhere to FAA regulations, and a Certificate of Authorization (CoA) will be obtained and in effect.


Directions: LASR, Houston Building, Hilton | Detailed LASR Location Map

The workshop will take place at the Houston Building in Research Park, on the Texas A&M campus. Parking is free and ample. Tours will be given of the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory (VSCL), and Land, Air, and Space Robotics (LASR) Laboratory located on the main Texas A&M Campus.

Features of the 1.5 day Workshop include:

  • Unclassified technical presentations by leaders in the field
  • Presentation of a Motion Video Tracking and Surveillance Flight Demonstration Challenge. Scenarios, target characteristics, rules, and parameters defined by AFRL Air Vehicles Directorate, WPAFB.
  • Challenge held summer 2012 at the UAS Flight Testing Facility at Texas A&M University. All attendees are encouraged to respond to the Challenge and demonstrate their solution, using their own UAS.
  • Raytheon Company will make use of their Common Ground Station available to all Challenge participants.
  • Tours of the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory (VSCL), and Land, Air, and Space Robotics (LASR) Laboratory

Workshop Agenda
Challenge Specifications

Supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems Division, and Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory

For details and to be placed on the workshop mailing list, send an email to Professor John Valasek at