FPGA Implementation of a Feature Detection and Tracking Algorithm for Real-time Applications

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An efficient algorithm to detect, correlate, and track features in a scene was implemented on an FPGA in order to obtain real-time performance. The algorithm implemented was a Harris Feature Detector combined with a correlator based on a priority queue of feature strengths that considered minimum distances between features. The remaining processing of frame to frame movement is completed in software to determine an affine homography including translation, rotation, and scaling. A RANSAC method is used to remove mismatched features and increase accuracy. This implementation was designed specifically for use as an onboard vision solution in determining movement of small unmanned air vehicles that have size, weight, and power limitations.