In this paper, a hybrid low-pass and de-trending (HLPD) filtering technique is proposed to achieve robust position estimates using an optical flow based sensor which calculates velocity information at a rate of 400 Hz. In order to filter out the high-frequency oscillation in the velocity information, a standard low-pass filter is implemented. The low-pass filter successfully eliminates sudden jumps and missing data-points, which prevents unprecedented maneuvers and mid-air crashes. The integrated position estimate has the accumulated drift which occurs due to electrical signal and temperature fluctuations together with other environmental factors which affect the data acquisition from the optical flow sensor. A recursive linear least squares fit is performed for the drift model and de-trending is applied to the integrated position signal. The performance of the proposed estimator is validated by comparing with model-identification based weighted average (MI-WA) position estimator, which is commonly used in quadcopters for position estimation. Simulation and experimental flight tests are conducted and the results show that the flight performance of HLPD filter is better than the extensively used MI-WA position filter in hover and square pattern flight tests.

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