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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2016, Article ID 8457908, 16 pages
Research Article

FPGA-Based Real-Time Moving Target Detection System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Application

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Received 15 November 2015; Revised 5 February 2016; Accepted 10 March 2016

Academic Editor: João Cardoso

Copyright © 2016 Jia Wei Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Moving target detection is the most common task for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to find and track object of interest from a bird’s eye view in mobile aerial surveillance for civilian applications such as search and rescue operation. The complex detection algorithm can be implemented in a real-time embedded system using Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). This paper presents the development of real-time moving target detection System-on-Chip (SoC) using FPGA for deployment on a UAV. The detection algorithm utilizes area-based image registration technique which includes motion estimation and object segmentation processes. The moving target detection system has been prototyped on a low-cost Terasic DE2-115 board mounted with TRDB-D5M camera. The system consists of Nios II processor and stream-oriented dedicated hardware accelerators running at 100 MHz clock rate, achieving 30-frame per second processing speed for 640 × 480 pixels’ resolution greyscale videos.