This paper proposes a simple and a robust bistable docking system with a deep learning based real-time drogue detection and tracking system for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for mid-air autonomous aerial docking. Secure aerial docking mechanisms between the leader and follower aerial vehicles with effective drogue detection and tracking strategies are fundamental challenges during the air-to-air docking phase of autonomous aerial docking. To confront those issues, this paper not only presents the design of a bistable-based aerial docking mechanism, but also proposes effective deep learning based real-time drogue detection using a convolutional neural network (CNN) and real-time tracking algorithm using a point cloud algorithm. To ensure novelty and robustness for the aerial docking mechanism, a foldable bistable gripper-type mechanism is designed to increase the grasping performance with simplicity and adaptability. The proposed gripper acts as a drogue by itself to grasp a probe which is attached to the follower aerial vehicle. To employ an effective drogue detection method, the deep learning based real-time object detection algorithm, YOLOv3, is used to implement the drogue detection system. The proposed new probe-and-drogue type bistable docking system has the advantages of being simple and robust. The deep learning based real-time drogue detection method increases the detection rate. Moreover, the real-time tracking algorithm with a depth camera system does not require a GPS/INS system and many other sensors to follow the drogue movement in the air. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.