aircraft image
A research aircraft lands fully automatically without ground-based systems. (Photo: Andreas Dekiert/C2Land)

Automatic landings have long been standard procedure for commercial aircraft at major airports; this is usually not the case at smaller airports. Researchers have developed a completely automatic landing with vision-assisted navigation that functions properly without the need for ground-based systems.

The team designed an optical reference system – a camera in the normal visible range and an infrared camera that can also provide data under conditions with poor visibility. Custom image processing software lets the system determine where the aircraft is relative to the runway based on the camera data it receives.