Science.gov

Sample records for aerial vehicles program

  1. Delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivancic, William D.; Sullivan, Donald V.

    2011-01-01

    To support much of NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program science, NASA has acquired two Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Two major missions are currently planned using the Global Hawk: the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) and the Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) missions. This paper briefly describes GloPac and GRIP, the concept of operations and the resulting requirements and communication architectures. Also discussed are requirements for future missions that may use satellite systems and networks owned and operated by third parties.

  2. Rangeland monitoring with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have great potential for rangeland management applications, such as monitoring vegetation change, developing grazing strategies, determining rangeland health, and assessing remediation treatment effectiveness. UAVs have several advantages: they can be deployed quickly...

  3. Intelligent mission management for uninhabited aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Don; Totah, Joseph J.; Wegener, Steve S.; Enomoto, Francis Y.; Frost, Chad R.; Kaneshige, John; Frank, Jeremy E.

    2004-12-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, is developing Intelligent Mission Management (IMM) technology for Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAV"s) under the Vehicle Systems Program"s Autonomous Robust Avionics Project. The objective of the project is to develop air vehicle and associated ground element technology to enhance mission success by increasing mission return and reducing mission risk. Unanticipated science targets, uncertain conditions and changing mission requirements can all influence a flight plan and may require human intervention during the flight; however, time delays and communications bandwidth limit opportunities for operator intervention. To meet these challenges, we will develop UAV-specific technologies enabling goal-directed autonomy, i.e. the ability to redirect the flight in response to current conditions and the current goals of the flight. Our approach divides goal-directed autonomy into two components, an on-board Intelligent Agent Architecture (IAA) and a ground based Collaborative Decision Environment (CDE). These technologies cut across all aspects of a UAV system, including the payload, inner- and outer-loop onboard control, and the operator"s ground station.

  4. Final Technical Report for Chief Scientist for Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Aerial Vehicle Program (AVP)

    SciTech Connect

    Greg M. McFarquhar

    2011-10-21

    The major responsibilities of the PI were identified as 1) the formulation of campaign plans, 2) the representation of AVP in various scientific communities inside and outside of ARM and the associated working groups, 3) the coordination and selection of the relative importance of the three different focus areas (routine observations, IOPs, instrument development program), 4) the examination and quality control of the data collected by AVP, and 5) providing field support for flight series. This report documents the accomplishments in each of these focus areas for the 3 years of funding for the grant that were provided.

  5. Ultralight photovoltaic modules for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Nowlan, M.J.; Maglitta, J.C.; Darkazalli, G.; Lamp, T.

    1997-12-31

    New lightweight photovoltaic modules are being developed for powering high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Modified low-cost terrestrial solar cell and module technologies are being applied to minimize vehicle cost. New processes were developed for assembling thin solar cells, encapsulant films, and cover films. An innovative by-pass diode mounting approach that uses a solar cell as a heat spreader was devised and tested. Materials and processes will be evaluated through accelerated environmental testing.

  6. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and GPS Receivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, B.

    1995-01-01

    It is proposed that a small fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) be used over a period of years to monitor the rise of pressure surfaces caused by the hypothesized rise in average temperature of the troposphere due to global warming. Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS) receivers would be used for the precise tracking required.

  7. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bachelder, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    A proposed instrumented robotic vehicle called an "aerover" would fly, roll along the ground, and/or float on bodies of liquid, as needed. The aerover would combine features of an aerobot (a robotic lighter-than-air balloon) and a wheeled robot of the "rover" class. An aerover would also look very much like a variant of the "beach-ball" rovers. Although the aerover was conceived for use in scientific exploration of Titan (the largest moon of the planet Saturn), the aerover concept could readily be adapted to similar uses on Earth.

  8. Moving Obstacle Avoidance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yucong

    There has been a vast increase in applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in civilian domains. To operate in the civilian airspace, a UAV must be able to sense and avoid both static and moving obstacles for flight safety. While indoor and low-altitude environments are mainly occupied by static obstacles, risks in space of higher altitude primarily come from moving obstacles such as other aircraft or flying vehicles in the airspace. Therefore, the ability to avoid moving obstacles becomes a necessity for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Towards enabling a UAV to autonomously sense and avoid moving obstacles, this thesis makes the following contributions. Initially, an image-based reactive motion planner is developed for a quadrotor to avoid a fast approaching obstacle. Furthermore, A Dubin's curve based geometry method is developed as a global path planner for a fixed-wing UAV to avoid collisions with aircraft. The image-based method is unable to produce an optimal path and the geometry method uses a simplified UAV model. To compensate these two disadvantages, a series of algorithms built upon the Closed-Loop Rapid Exploratory Random Tree are developed as global path planners to generate collision avoidance paths in real time. The algorithms are validated in Software-In-the-Loop (SITL) and Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) simulations using a fixed-wing UAV model and in real flight experiments using quadrotors. It is observed that the algorithm enables a UAV to avoid moving obstacles approaching to it with different directions and speeds.

  9. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles unique cost estimating requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, P.; Apgar, H.; Stukes, S.; Sterk, S.

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as drones, are aerial platforms that fly without a human pilot onboard. UAVs are controlled autonomously by a computer in the vehicle or under the remote control of a pilot stationed at a fixed ground location. There are a wide variety of drone shapes, sizes, configurations, complexities, and characteristics. Use of these devices by the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, civil and commercial organizations continues to grow. UAVs are commonly used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR). They are also use for combat operations, and civil applications, such as firefighting, non-military security work, surveillance of infrastructure (e.g. pipelines, power lines and country borders). UAVs are often preferred for missions that require sustained persistence (over 4 hours in duration), or are “ too dangerous, dull or dirty” for manned aircraft. Moreover, they can offer significant acquisition and operations cost savings over traditional manned aircraft. Because of these unique characteristics and missions, UAV estimates require some unique estimating methods. This paper describes a framework for estimating UAV systems total ownership cost including hardware components, software design, and operations. The challenge of collecting data, testing the sensitivities of cost drivers, and creating cost estimating relationships (CERs) for each key work breakdown structure (WBS) element is discussed. The autonomous operation of UAVs is especially challenging from a software perspective.

  10. Exploration of Titan using Vertical Lift Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. A.

    2001-01-01

    Autonomous vertical lift aerial vehicles (such as rotorcraft or powered-lift vehicles) hold considerable potential for supporting planetary science and exploration missions. Vertical lift aerial vehicles would have the following advantages/attributes for planetary exploration: low-speed and low-altitude detailed aerial surveys; remote-site sample return to lander platforms; precision placement of scientific probes; soft landing capability for vehicle reuse (multiple flights) and remote-site monitoring; greater range, speed, and access to hazardous terrain than a surface rover; greater resolution of surface details than an orbiter or balloons. Exploration of Titan presents an excellent opportunity for the development and usage of such vehicles.

  11. Photogrammetric mapping using unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graça, N.; Mitishita, E.; Gonçalves, J.

    2014-11-01

    Nowadays Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology has attracted attention for aerial photogrammetric mapping. The low cost and the feasibility to automatic flight along commanded waypoints can be considered as the main advantages of this technology in photogrammetric applications. Using GNSS/INS technologies the images are taken at the planned position of the exposure station and the exterior orientation parameters (position Xo, Yo, Zo and attitude ω, φ, χ) of images can be direct determined. However, common UAVs (off-the-shelf) do not replace the traditional aircraft platform. Overall, the main shortcomings are related to: difficulties to obtain the authorization to perform the flight in urban and rural areas, platform stability, safety flight, stability of the image block configuration, high number of the images and inaccuracies of the direct determination of the exterior orientation parameters of the images. In this paper are shown the obtained results from the project photogrammetric mapping using aerial images from the SIMEPAR UAV system. The PIPER J3 UAV Hydro aircraft was used. It has a micro pilot MP2128g. The system is fully integrated with 3-axis gyros/accelerometers, GPS, pressure altimeter, pressure airspeed sensors. A Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 was calibrated and used to get the image block. The flight height was close to 400 m, resulting GSD near to 0.10 m. The state of the art of the used technology, methodologies and the obtained results are shown and discussed. Finally advantages/shortcomings found in the study and main conclusions are presented

  12. A Primer on Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Design

    PubMed Central

    Coppejans, Hugo H. G.; Myburgh, Herman C.

    2015-01-01

    There is a large amount of research currently being done on autonomous micro-aerial vehicles (MAV), such as quadrotor helicopters or quadcopters. The ability to create a working autonomous MAV depends mainly on integrating a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) solution with the rest of the system. This paper provides an introduction for creating an autonomous MAV for enclosed environments, aimed at students and professionals alike. The standard autonomous system and MAV automation are discussed, while we focus on the core concepts of SLAM systems and trajectory planning algorithms. The advantages and disadvantages of using remote processing are evaluated, and recommendations are made regarding the viability of on-board processing. Recommendations are made regarding best practices to serve as a guideline for aspirant MAV designers. PMID:26633410

  13. A Primer on Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Design.

    PubMed

    Coppejans, Hugo H G; Myburgh, Herman C

    2015-01-01

    There is a large amount of research currently being done on autonomous micro-aerial vehicles (MAV), such as quadrotor helicopters or quadcopters. The ability to create a working autonomous MAV depends mainly on integrating a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) solution with the rest of the system. This paper provides an introduction for creating an autonomous MAV for enclosed environments, aimed at students and professionals alike. The standard autonomous system and MAV automation are discussed, while we focus on the core concepts of SLAM systems and trajectory planning algorithms. The advantages and disadvantages of using remote processing are evaluated, and recommendations are made regarding the viability of on-board processing. Recommendations are made regarding best practices to serve as a guideline for aspirant MAV designers. PMID:26633410

  14. Precision wildlife monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jarrod C; Baylis, Shane M; Mott, Rowan; Herrod, Ashley; Clarke, Rohan H

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent a new frontier in environmental research. Their use has the potential to revolutionise the field if they prove capable of improving data quality or the ease with which data are collected beyond traditional methods. We apply UAV technology to wildlife monitoring in tropical and polar environments and demonstrate that UAV-derived counts of colony nesting birds are an order of magnitude more precise than traditional ground counts. The increased count precision afforded by UAVs, along with their ability to survey hard-to-reach populations and places, will likely drive many wildlife monitoring projects that rely on population counts to transition from traditional methods to UAV technology. Careful consideration will be required to ensure the coherence of historic data sets with new UAV-derived data and we propose a method for determining the number of duplicated (concurrent UAV and ground counts) sampling points needed to achieve data compatibility. PMID:26986721

  15. Precision wildlife monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, Jarrod C.; Baylis, Shane M.; Mott, Rowan; Herrod, Ashley; Clarke, Rohan H.

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent a new frontier in environmental research. Their use has the potential to revolutionise the field if they prove capable of improving data quality or the ease with which data are collected beyond traditional methods. We apply UAV technology to wildlife monitoring in tropical and polar environments and demonstrate that UAV-derived counts of colony nesting birds are an order of magnitude more precise than traditional ground counts. The increased count precision afforded by UAVs, along with their ability to survey hard-to-reach populations and places, will likely drive many wildlife monitoring projects that rely on population counts to transition from traditional methods to UAV technology. Careful consideration will be required to ensure the coherence of historic data sets with new UAV-derived data and we propose a method for determining the number of duplicated (concurrent UAV and ground counts) sampling points needed to achieve data compatibility. PMID:26986721

  16. Small thermal optics design for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sun Kyu; Na, Jun Hee; Yoon, Chang Jun; Oh, Seung Eun; Choi, Joongkyu; Pyo, Hyo Jin

    2010-08-01

    Now, Military demands focused attention on small and light-weight system development. Above all, UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is necessary to reduce weight of equipments. Therefore, we invest some expense in many years so that it might design more light optical system for UAV. Consequently, we can build new miniaturization and light-weight system. The most important thing is the system using just two motors for continuous zoom(x3 ~ x20), NUC(nonuniformity correction), Narcissus, Athermalization, and auto-focus functions. An MTF (modulation transfer function) and a detection range are also satisfied by the demands. We use CODE V and NVTherm program for design and analysis.

  17. Spread spectrum applications in unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bess, Philip K.

    1994-06-01

    This thesis is part of an ongoing Naval Postgraduate School research project to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) using current off the shelf (COTS) technology. This thesis specifically evaluated a spread spectrum UHF data link between a UAV and ground terminal. The command and control (C2) process and its role as the fundamental premise of the warfare commander were discussed. A review of the Pioneer remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), which gained such wide recognition during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, was provided to the reader for familiarization with the workings of a generic UAV. An investigation of two common spread spectrum techniques and their associated benefits was made. A link budget calculation was made. The choice of a spread spectrum radio transceiver was reviewed. The requirements and design of the UAV and ground terminal antenna were discussed. A link budget analysis was performed. An atmospheric path propagation prediction was performed. The details of an actual flight test and the data gathered were examined. Future changes to enhance the data link performance and increase its capabilities were introduced. The COTS spread spectrum data link will enhance the role of the UAV in its command and control mission for the warfare commander.

  18. The remote characterization of vegetation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle photography

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can fly in place of piloted aircraft to gather remote sensing information on vegetation characteristics. The type of sensors flown depends on the instrument payload capacity available, so that, depending on the specific UAV, it is possible to obtain video, aerial phot...

  19. Adapting unmanned aerial vehicles for turbulence measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witte, Brandon; Helvey, Jacob; Mullen, Jon; Thamann, Michael; Bailey, Sean

    2015-11-01

    We describe the approach of using highly instrumented and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to spatially interrogate the atmospheric boundary layer's turbulent flow structure. This approach introduces new capabilities not available in contemporary micro-meteorological measurement techniques such as instrumented towers, balloons, and manned aircraft. A key advantage in utilizing UAVs as an atmospheric turbulence research tool is that it reduces the reliance on assumptions regarding temporal evolution of the turbulence inherent within Taylor's frozen flow hypothesis by facilitating the ability to spatially sample the flow field over a wide range of spatial scales. In addition, UAVs offer the ability to measure in a wide range of boundary conditions and distance from the earth's surface, the ability to gather many boundary layer thicknesses of data during brief periods of statistical quasi-stationarity, and the ability to acquire data where and when it is needed. We describe recent progress made in manufacturing purpose-built airframes and adapting pre-fabricated airframes for these measurements by integrating sensors into those airframes and developing data analysis techniques to isolate the atmospheric turbulence from the measured velocity signal. This research is supported by NSF Award CBET-1351411.

  20. Solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Reinhardt, K.C.; Lamp, T.R.; Geis, J.W.; Colozza, A.J.

    1996-12-31

    An analysis was performed to determine the impact of various power system components and mission requirements on the size of solar-powered high altitude long endurance (HALE)-type aircraft. The HALE unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has good potential for use in many military and civil applications. The primary power system components considered in this study were photovoltaic (PV) modules for power generation and regenerative fuel cells for energy storage. The impact of relevant component performance on UAV size and capability were considered; including PV module efficiency and mass, power electronics efficiency, and fuel cell specific energy. Mission parameters such as time of year, flight altitude, flight latitude, and payload mass and power were also varied to determine impact on UAV size. The aircraft analysis method used determines the required aircraft wing aspect ratio, wing area, and total mass based on maximum endurance or minimum required power calculations. The results indicate that the capacity of the energy storage system employed, fuel cells in this analysis, greatly impacts aircraft size, whereas the impact of PV module efficiency and mass is much less important. It was concluded that an energy storage specific energy (total system) of 250--500 Whr/kg is required to enable most useful missions, and that PV cells with efficiencies greater than {approximately} 12% are suitable for use.

  1. Vibration energy harvesting for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2008-03-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a critical component of many military operations. Over the last few decades, the evolution of UAVs has given rise to increasingly smaller aircraft. Along with the development of smaller UAVs, termed mini UAVs, has come issues involving the endurance of the aircraft. Endurance in mini UAVs is problematic because of the limited size of the fuel systems that can be incorporated into the aircraft. A large portion of the total mass of many electric powered mini UAVs, for example, is the rechargeable battery power source. Energy harvesting is an attractive technology for mini UAVs because it offers the potential to increase their endurance without adding significant mass or the need to increase the size of the fuel system. This paper investigates the possibility of harvesting vibration and solar energy in a mini UAV. Experimentation has been carried out on a remote controlled (RC) glider aircraft with a 1.8 m wing span. This aircraft was chosen to replicate the current electric mini UAVs used by the military today. The RC glider was modified to include two piezoelectric patches placed at the roots of the wings and a cantilevered piezoelectric beam installed in the fuselage to harvest energy from wing vibrations and rigid body motions of the aircraft, as well as two thin film photovoltaic panels attached to the top of the wings to harvest energy from sunlight. Flight testing has been performed and the power output of the piezoelectric and photovoltaic devices has been examined.

  2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Cadastral Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manyoky, M.; Theiler, P.; Steudler, D.; Eisenbeiss, H.

    2011-09-01

    This paper presents the investigation of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for use in cadastral surveying. Within the scope of a pilot study UAVs were tested for capturing geodata and compared with conventional data acquisition methods for cadastral surveying. Two study sites were therefore surveyed with a tachymeter-GNSS combination as well as a UAV system. The workflows of both methods were investigated and the resulting data were compared with the requirements of Swiss cadastral surveying. Concerning data acquisition and evaluation, the two systems are found to be comparable in terms of time expenditure, accuracy, and completeness. In conclusion, the UAV image orientation proved to be the limiting factor for the obtained accuracy due to the low- cost camera including camera calibration, image quality, and definition of the ground control points (natural or artificial). However, the required level of accuracy for cadastral surveying was reached. The advantage of UAV systems lies in their high flexibility and efficiency in capturing the surface of an area from a low flight altitude. In addition, further information such as orthoimages, elevation models and 3D objects can easily be gained from UAV images. Altogether, this project endorses the benefit of using UAVs in cadastral applications and the new opportunities they provide for cadastral surveying.

  3. Robust adaptive control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahveci, Nazli E.

    The objective of meeting higher endurance requirements remains a challenging task for any type and size of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). According to recent research studies significant energy savings can be realized through utilization of thermal currents. The navigation strategies followed across thermal regions, however, are based on rather intuitive assessments of remote pilots and lack any systematic path planning approaches. Various methods to enhance the autonomy of UAVs in soaring applications are investigated while seeking guarantees for flight performance improvements. The dynamics of the aircraft, small UAVs in particular, are affected by the environmental conditions, whereas unmodeled dynamics possibly become significant during aggressive flight maneuvers. Besides, the demanded control inputs might have a magnitude range beyond the limits dictated by the control surface actuators. The consequences of ignoring these issues can be catastrophic. Supporting this claim NASA Dryden Flight Research Center reports considerable performance degradation and even loss of stability in autonomous soaring flight tests with the subsequent risk of an aircraft crash. The existing control schemes are concluded to suffer from limited performance. Considering the aircraft dynamics and the thermal characteristics we define a vehicle-specific trajectory optimization problem to achieve increased cross-country speed and extended range of flight. In an environment with geographically dispersed set of thermals of possibly limited lifespan, we identify the similarities to the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) and provide both exact and approximate guidance algorithms for the navigation of automated UAVs. An additional stochastic approach is used to quantify the performance losses due to incorrect thermal data while dealing with random gust disturbances and onboard sensor measurement inaccuracies. One of the main contributions of this research is a novel adaptive control design with anti-windup compensation. Our analysis on the indirect adaptive scheme reveals that the perturbation terms due to parameter errors do not cause any unbounded signals in the closed-loop. The stability of the adaptive system is established, and the properties of the proposed control scheme are demonstrated through simulations on a UAV model with input magnitude saturation constraints. The robust adaptive control design is further developed to extend our results to rate-saturated systems.

  4. Exploration of Titan Using Vertical Lift Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. A.

    2001-01-01

    Autonomous vertical lift aerial vehicles (such as rotorcraft or powered-lift vehicles) hold considerable potential for supporting planetary science and exploration missions. Vertical lift aerial vehicles would have the following advantages/attributes for planetary exploration: (1) low-speed and low-altitude detailed aerial surveys; (2) remote-site sample return to lander platforms; (3) precision placement of scientific probes; (4) soft landing capability for vehicle reuse (multiple flights) and remote-site monitoring; (5) greater range, speed, and access to hazardous terrain than a surface rover; and (6) greater resolution of surface details than an orbiter or balloons. Exploration of Titan presents an excellent opportunity for the development and usage of such vehicles. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems for Disaster Relief: Tornado Alley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeBusk, Wesley M.

    2009-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle systems are currently in limited use for public service missions worldwide. Development of civil unmanned technology in the United States currently lags behind military unmanned technology development in part because of unresolved regulatory and technological issues. Civil unmanned aerial vehicle systems have potential to augment disaster relief and emergency response efforts. Optimal design of aerial systems for such applications will lead to unmanned vehicles which provide maximum potentiality for relief and emergency response while accounting for public safety concerns and regulatory requirements. A case study is presented that demonstrates application of a civil unmanned system to a disaster relief mission with the intent on saving lives. The concept utilizes unmanned aircraft to obtain advanced warning and damage assessments for tornados and severe thunderstorms. Overview of a tornado watch mission architecture as well as commentary on risk, cost, need for, and design tradeoffs for unmanned aerial systems are provided.

  6. Radiation surveillance using an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Pöllänen, Roy; Toivonen, Harri; Peräjärvi, Kari; Karhunen, Tero; Ilander, Tarja; Lehtinen, Jukka; Rintala, Kimmo; Katajainen, Tuure; Niemelä, Jarkko; Juusela, Marko

    2009-02-01

    Radiation surveillance equipment was mounted in a small unmanned aerial vehicle. The equipment consists of a commercial CsI detector for count rate measurement and a specially designed sampling unit for airborne radioactive particles. Field and flight tests were performed for the CsI detector in the area where (137)Cs fallout from the Chernobyl accident is 23-45 kBq m(-2). A 3-GBq (137)Cs point source could be detected at the altitude of 50 m using a flight speed of 70 km h(-1) and data acquisition interval of 1s. Respective response for (192)Ir point source is 1 GBq. During the flight, the detector reacts fast to ambient external dose rate rise of 0.1 microSv h(-1), which gives for the activity concentration of (131)I less than 1 kB qm(-3). Operation of the sampler equipped with different type of filters was investigated using wind-tunnel experiments and field tests with the aid of radon progeny. Air flow rate through the sampler is 0.2-0.7 m(3)h(-1) at a flight speed of 70 km h(-1) depending on the filter type in question. The tests showed that the sampler is able to collect airborne radioactive particles. Minimum detectable concentration for transuranium nuclides, such as (239)Pu, is of the order of 0.2 Bq m(-3) or less when alpha spectrometry with no radiochemical sample processing is used for activity determination immediately after the flight. When a gamma-ray spectrometer is used, minimum detectable concentrations for several fission products such as (137)Cs and (131)I are of the order of 1 Bq m(-3). PMID:19046635

  7. Real time target allocation in cooperative unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudleppanavar, Ganesh

    The prolific development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) in recent years has the potential to provide tremendous advantages in military, commercial and law enforcement applications. While safety and performance take precedence in the development lifecycle, autonomous operations and, in particular, cooperative missions have the ability to significantly enhance the usability of these vehicles. The success of cooperative missions relies on the optimal allocation of targets while taking into consideration the resource limitation of each vehicle. The task allocation process can be centralized or decentralized. This effort presents the development of a real time target allocation algorithm that considers available stored energy in each vehicle while minimizing the communication between each UAV. The algorithm utilizes a nearest neighbor search algorithm to locate new targets with respect to existing targets. Simulations show that this novel algorithm compares favorably to the mixed integer linear programming method, which is computationally more expensive. The implementation of this algorithm on Arduino and Xbee wireless modules shows the capability of the algorithm to execute efficiently on hardware with minimum computation complexity.

  8. Vehicle detection in aerial surveillance using dynamic Bayesian networks.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Hsu-Yung; Weng, Chih-Chia; Chen, Yi-Ying

    2012-04-01

    We present an automatic vehicle detection system for aerial surveillance in this paper. In this system, we escape from the stereotype and existing frameworks of vehicle detection in aerial surveillance, which are either region based or sliding window based. We design a pixelwise classification method for vehicle detection. The novelty lies in the fact that, in spite of performing pixelwise classification, relations among neighboring pixels in a region are preserved in the feature extraction process. We consider features including vehicle colors and local features. For vehicle color extraction, we utilize a color transform to separate vehicle colors and nonvehicle colors effectively. For edge detection, we apply moment preserving to adjust the thresholds of the Canny edge detector automatically, which increases the adaptability and the accuracy for detection in various aerial images. Afterward, a dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) is constructed for the classification purpose. We convert regional local features into quantitative observations that can be referenced when applying pixelwise classification via DBN. Experiments were conducted on a wide variety of aerial videos. The results demonstrate flexibility and good generalization abilities of the proposed method on a challenging data set with aerial surveillance images taken at different heights and under different camera angles. PMID:22020682

  9. Application of Adaptive Autopilot Designs for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shin, Yoonghyun; Calise, Anthony J.; Motter, Mark A.

    2005-01-01

    This paper summarizes the application of two adaptive approaches to autopilot design, and presents an evaluation and comparison of the two approaches in simulation for an unmanned aerial vehicle. One approach employs two-stage dynamic inversion and the other employs feedback dynamic inversions based on a command augmentation system. Both are augmented with neural network based adaptive elements. The approaches permit adaptation to both parametric uncertainty and unmodeled dynamics, and incorporate a method that permits adaptation during periods of control saturation. Simulation results for an FQM-117B radio controlled miniature aerial vehicle are presented to illustrate the performance of the neural network based adaptation.

  10. Vehicle detection of parking lot with different resolution aerial images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Zezhong; Lu, Yufeng; Zhou, Guoqing; Liu, Yalan; Li, Xiaowen; Chen, Jinxi; Li, Jiang

    2014-11-01

    Vehicle detection is a very important task for intelligent transportation system. In this paper, a method with mathematical morphology and template matching is presented to detect the crowded vehicles of parking lot with high resolution aerial image. Our experimental results with high resolution aerial image showed that the graded image, with the spatial resolution of 1×1ft, could greatly reduce the calculation time, but with the same accuracy as the original image with the spatial resolution of 0.5×0.5ft .

  11. Neural dynamic optimization for autonomous aerial vehicle trajectory design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Peng; Verma, Ajay; Mayer, Richard J.

    2007-04-01

    Online aerial vehicle trajectory design and reshaping are crucial for a class of autonomous aerial vehicles such as reusable launch vehicles in order to achieve flexibility in real-time flying operations. An aerial vehicle is modeled as a nonlinear multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) system. The inputs include the control parameters and current system states that include velocity and position coordinates of the vehicle. The outputs are the new system states. An ideal trajectory control design system generates a series of control commands to achieve a desired trajectory under various disturbances and vehicle model uncertainties including aerodynamic perturbations caused by geometric damage to the vehicle. Conventional approaches suffer from the nonlinearity of the MIMO system, and the high-dimensionality of the system state space. In this paper, we apply a Neural Dynamic Optimization (NDO) based approach to overcome these difficulties. The core of an NDO model is a multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network, which generates the control parameters online. The inputs of the MLP are the time-variant states of the MIMO systems. The outputs of the MLP and the control parameters will be used by the MIMO to generate new system states. By such a formulation, an NDO model approximates the time-varying optimal feedback solution.

  12. Dead Slow: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Loitering in Battlespace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackmore, Tim

    2005-01-01

    Unmanned (or Uninhabited) Aerial Vehicles are a key part of the American military's so-called revolution in military affairs (RMA) as practiced over Iraq. They are also part of the drive to shift agency away from humans and toward machines. This article considers the ways in which humans have, in calling on high technologies to distance them from…

  13. FlyAR: augmented reality supported micro aerial vehicle navigation.

    PubMed

    Zollmann, Stefanie; Hoppe, Christof; Langlotz, Tobias; Reitmayr, Gerhard

    2014-04-01

    Micro aerial vehicles equipped with high-resolution cameras can be used to create aerial reconstructions of an area of interest. In that context automatic flight path planning and autonomous flying is often applied but so far cannot fully replace the human in the loop, supervising the flight on-site to assure that there are no collisions with obstacles. Unfortunately, this workflow yields several issues, such as the need to mentally transfer the aerial vehicle’s position between 2D map positions and the physical environment, and the complicated depth perception of objects flying in the distance. Augmented Reality can address these issues by bringing the flight planning process on-site and visualizing the spatial relationship between the planned or current positions of the vehicle and the physical environment. In this paper, we present Augmented Reality supported navigation and flight planning of micro aerial vehicles by augmenting the user’s view with relevant information for flight planning and live feedback for flight supervision. Furthermore, we introduce additional depth hints supporting the user in understanding the spatial relationship of virtual waypoints in the physical world and investigate the effect of these visualization techniques on the spatial understanding. PMID:24650983

  14. Dead Slow: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Loitering in Battlespace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackmore, Tim

    2005-01-01

    Unmanned (or Uninhabited) Aerial Vehicles are a key part of the American military's so-called revolution in military affairs (RMA) as practiced over Iraq. They are also part of the drive to shift agency away from humans and toward machines. This article considers the ways in which humans have, in calling on high technologies to distance them from

  15. Vehicle Technologies Program Overview

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2006-09-05

    Overview of the Vehicle Technologies Program including external assessment and market view; internal assessment, program history and progress; program justification and federal role; program vision, mission, approach, strategic goals, outputs, and outcomes; and performance goals.

  16. Low Cost Surveying Using AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, M.; Agüera, F.; Carvajal, F.

    2013-08-01

    Traditional manned airborne surveys are usually expensive and the resolution of the acquired images is often limited. The main advantage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system acting as a photogrammetric sensor platform over more traditional manned airborne system is the high flexibility that allows image acquisition from unconventional viewpoints, the low cost in comparison with classical aerial photogrammetry and the high resolution images obtained. Nowadays there is a necessity for surveying small areas and in these cases, it is not economical the use of normal large format aerial or metric cameras to acquire aerial photos, therefore, the use of UAV platforms can be very suitable. Also the large availability of digital cameras has strongly enhanced the capabilities of UAVs. The use of digital non metric cameras together with the UAV could be used for multiple applications such as aerial surveys, GIS, wildfire mapping, stability of landslides, crop monitoring, etc. The aim of this work was to develop a low cost and accurate methodology in the production of orthophotos and Digital Elevation Models (DEM). The study was conducted in the province of Almeria, south of Spain. The photogrammetric flight had an altitude of 50 m over ground, covering an area of 5.000 m2 approximately. The UAV used in this work was the md4-200, which is an electronic battery powered quadrocopter UAV developed by Microdrones GmbH, Germany. It had on-board a Pextax Optio A40 digital non metric camera with 12 Megapixels. It features a 3x optical zoom lens with a focal range covering angles of view equivalent to those of 37-111 mm lens in 35 mm format. The quadrocopter can be programmed to follow a route defined by several waypoints and actions and it has the ability for vertical take off and landing. Proper flight geometry during image acquisition is essential in order to minimize the number of photographs, avoid areas without a good coverage and make the overlaps homogeneous. The flight planning was done using the MdCockpit software, with the module waypoint editor. Flight route file was downloaded into the quadrocopter autonomous chip via cable. A total of twelve vertical images with a longitudinal and transversal overlapping of 60% and 50% respectively were taken. The digital camera was previously geometrically calibrated. Field control points covering the whole studied area were defined over the area of interest and their coordinates were measured by a GPS. Natural targets were used as field control points. The close range photogrammetric software Photomodeler Scanner v.7 was used in this work to calibrate the camera and to carry out the photogrammetric process. The software Golden Surfer was used to produce the DEM. The planimetric and the altimetric root mean square error (RMSE) were calculated in order to check the accuracy of the products. The RMSEx was 6 cm, the RMSEy was 4 cm and the RMSEy was 7 cm. Our preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of orthophotos and DEMs obtained from images captured from a quadrocopter using low cost photogrammetric software. A future work can be the comparison of the products obtained following the route used in this study where the images are taken vertically with the products obtained with an orbital route where the number of images will be diminished and the photos will be taken oblique.

  17. Application of Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor); Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the development of an application of Artificial Intelligence for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) control. The project was done as part of the requirements for a class in Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Nova southeastern University and as an adjunct to a project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility for a resilient, robust, and intelligent UAV flight control system. A method is outlined which allows a base level application for applying an AI method, Fuzzy Logic, to aspects of Control Logic for UAV flight. One element of UAV flight, automated altitude hold, has been implemented and preliminary results displayed. A low cost approach was taken using freeware, gnu, software, and demo programs. The focus of this research has been to outline some of the AI techniques used for UAV flight control and discuss some of the tools used to apply AI techniques. The intent is to succeed with the implementation of applying AI techniques to actually control different aspects of the flight of an UAV.

  18. Pressurized structures-based hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edge, Harris L.; Brown, Ainsmar; Collins, Jason

    2010-04-01

    This paper describes the initial results of an investigation into building unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with pressurized structures-based (PSB) technologies. Basically, the UAV will be constructed in such a way that a considerable percentage of its weight will be supported by or composed of inflatable structures containing air or helium. PSB technologies can be employed in any number of UAV designs. The goals of this research are to ascertain feasibility of UAV construction using PSB technology and finding methods and designs employing PSB technology to increase vehicle performance for missions of interest to the military.

  19. Vehicle Technologies Program Implementation

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2009-06-19

    The Vehicle Technologies Program takes a systematic approach to Program implementation. Elements of this approach include the evaluation of new technologies, competitive selection of projects and partners, review of Program and project improvement, project tracking, and portfolio management and adjustment.

  20. Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geis, Jack; Arnold, Jack H.

    1994-01-01

    Photovoltaic electric-powered flight is receiving a great deal of attention in the context of the United States' Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. This paper addresses some of the enabling technical areas and their potential solutions. Of particular interest are the long-duration, high-altitude class of UAV's whose mission it is to achieve altitudes between 60,000 and 100,000 feet, and to remain at those altitudes for prolonged periods performing various mapping and surveillance activities. Addressed herein are studies which reveal the need for extremely light-weight and efficient solar cells, high-efficiency electric motor-driven propeller modules, and power management and distribution control elements. Since the potential payloads vary dramatically in their power consumption and duty cycles, a typical load profile has been selected to provide commonality for the propulsion power comparisons. Since missions vary widely with respect to ground coverage requirements, from repeated orbiting over a localized target to long-distance routes over irregular terrain, we have also averaged the power requirements for on-board guidance and control power, as well as ground control and communication link utilization. In the context of the national technology reinvestment program, wherever possible we modeled components and materials which have been qualified for space and defense applications, yet are compatible with civilian UAV activities. These include, but are not limited to, solar cell developments, electric storage technology for diurnal operation, local and ground communications, power management and distribution, and control servo design. And finally, the results of tests conducted by Wright Laboratory on ultralight, highly efficient MOCVD GaAs solar cells purchased from EPI Materials Ltd. (EML) of the UK are presented. These cells were also used for modeling the flight characteristics of UAV aircraft.

  1. Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

    SciTech Connect

    Geis, J.; Arnold, J.H.

    1994-09-01

    Photovoltaic electric-powered flight is receiving a great deal of attention in the context of the United States` Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. This paper addresses some of the enabling technical areas and their potential solutions. Of particular interest are the long-duration, high-altitude class of UAV`s whose mission it is to achieve altitudes between 60,000 and 100,000 feet, and to remain at those altitudes for prolonged periods performing various mapping and surveillance activities. Addressed herein are studies which reveal the need for extremely light-weight and efficient solar cells, high-efficiency electric motor-driven propeller modules, and power management and distribution control elements. Since the potential payloads vary dramatically in their power consumption and duty cycles, a typical load profile has been selected to provide commonality for the propulsion power comparisons. Since missions vary widely with respect to ground coverage requirements, from repeated orbiting over a localized target to long-distance routes over irregular terrain, the authors have also averaged the power requirements for on-board guidance and control power, as well as ground control and communication link utilization. In the context of the national technology reinvestment program, wherever possible they modeled components and materials which have been qualified for space and defense applications, yet are compatible with civilian UAV activities. These include, but are not limited to, solar cell developments, electric storage technology for diurnal operation, local and ground communications, power management and distribution, and control servo design. And finally, the results of tests conducted by Wright Laboratory on ultralight, highly efficient MOCVD GaAs solar cells purchased from EPI Materials Ltd. (EML) of the UK are presented. These cells were also used for modeling the flight characteristics of UAV aircraft.

  2. Infrared microsensor payload for miniature unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostrzewa, Joseph; Meyer, William H.; Laband, Stan; Terre, William A.; Petrovich, Peter; Swanson, Kyle; Sundra, Carrie; Sener, Ward; Wilmott, Jay

    2003-09-01

    Miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a category of aircraft small enough to be transported, launched, operated, and retrieved by a crew of one or two. The concept is not new, having been in limited use by the U.S. military over the past fifteen years, but interest in potential applications is growing as size and cost of the vehicles come down. An application that is particularly significant to the military and law-enforcement agencies is remote reconnaissance, with one or more onboard sensors transmitting data back to the operator(s) in real time. Typically, a miniature UAV is capable of flying a pre-programmed route autonomously, with manual override as an option. At the conclusion of the mission, the vehicle returns for landing, after which it can be quickly disassembled and stowed until its next use. Thermal imaging extends the utility of miniature UAVs to operations in complete darkness and limited visibility, but historically thermal imagers have been too large and heavy for this application. That changed in 1999 with the introduction of Indigo System's AlphaTM camera, which established a new class of thermal imaging product termed the infrared "microsensor". Substantially smaller and lighter than any other infrared imaging product available at the time, AlphaTMwas the first camera that could be readily packaged into the nose of a miniature UAV. Its low power consumption was also a key enabling feature. Building upon the success of AlphaTM, Indigo then took the microsensor class a step further with its OmegaTM camera, which broke all the records established by AlphaTM for small size, weight, and power. OmegaTM has been successfully integrated into several miniature UAVs, including AeroVironment's Pointer and Raven, as well as the Snake Eye UAV manufactured by BAI Aerosystems. Aspects of the OmegaTM design that have led to its utility on these and other platforms are described, and future prospects for even smaller microsensors are discussed.

  3. Synthesis of the unmanned aerial vehicle remote control augmentation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomczyk, Andrzej

    2014-12-01

    Medium size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) usually flies as an autonomous aircraft including automatic take-off and landing phases. However in the case of the on-board control system failure, the remote steering is using as an emergency procedure. In this reason, remote manual control of unmanned aerial vehicle is used more often during take-of and landing phases. Depends on UAV take-off mass and speed (total energy) the potential crash can be very danger for airplane and environment. So, handling qualities of UAV is important from pilot-operator point of view. In many cases the dynamic properties of remote controlling UAV are not suitable for obtaining the desired properties of the handling qualities. In this case the control augmentation system (CAS) should be applied. Because the potential failure of the on-board control system, the better solution is that the CAS algorithms are placed on the ground station computers. The method of UAV handling qualities shaping in the case of basic control system failure is presented in this paper. The main idea of this method is that UAV reaction on the operator steering signals should be similar - almost the same - as reaction of the "ideal" remote control aircraft. The model following method was used for controller parameters calculations. The numerical example concerns the medium size MP-02A UAV applied as an aerial observer system.

  4. Synthesis of the unmanned aerial vehicle remote control augmentation system

    SciTech Connect

    Tomczyk, Andrzej

    2014-12-10

    Medium size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) usually flies as an autonomous aircraft including automatic take-off and landing phases. However in the case of the on-board control system failure, the remote steering is using as an emergency procedure. In this reason, remote manual control of unmanned aerial vehicle is used more often during take-of and landing phases. Depends on UAV take-off mass and speed (total energy) the potential crash can be very danger for airplane and environment. So, handling qualities of UAV is important from pilot-operator point of view. In many cases the dynamic properties of remote controlling UAV are not suitable for obtaining the desired properties of the handling qualities. In this case the control augmentation system (CAS) should be applied. Because the potential failure of the on-board control system, the better solution is that the CAS algorithms are placed on the ground station computers. The method of UAV handling qualities shaping in the case of basic control system failure is presented in this paper. The main idea of this method is that UAV reaction on the operator steering signals should be similar - almost the same - as reaction of the 'ideal' remote control aircraft. The model following method was used for controller parameters calculations. The numerical example concerns the medium size MP-02A UAV applied as an aerial observer system.

  5. Fuzzy C-Means Algorithm for Segmentation of Aerial Photography Data Obtained Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akinin, M. V.; Akinina, N. V.; Klochkov, A. Y.; Nikiforov, M. B.; Sokolova, A. V.

    2015-05-01

    The report reviewed the algorithm fuzzy c-means, performs image segmentation, give an estimate of the quality of his work on the criterion of Xie-Beni, contain the results of experimental studies of the algorithm in the context of solving the problem of drawing up detailed two-dimensional maps with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. According to the results of the experiment concluded that the possibility of applying the algorithm in problems of decoding images obtained as a result of aerial photography. The considered algorithm can significantly break the original image into a plurality of segments (clusters) in a relatively short period of time, which is achieved by modification of the original k-means algorithm to work in a fuzzy task.

  6. Fixed-Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle for Accurate Corridor Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehak, M.; Skaloud, J.

    2015-08-01

    In this study we present a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) equipped with precise position and attitude sensors that together with a pre-calibrated camera enables accurate corridor mapping. The design of the platform is based on widely available model components to which we integrate an open-source autopilot, customized mass-market camera and navigation sensors. We adapt the concepts of system calibration from larger mapping platforms to MAV and evaluate them practically for their achievable accuracy. We present case studies for accurate mapping without ground control points: first for a block configuration, later for a narrow corridor. We evaluate the mapping accuracy with respect to checkpoints and digital terrain model. We show that while it is possible to achieve pixel (3-5 cm) mapping accuracy in both cases, precise aerial position control is sufficient for block configuration, the precise position and attitude control is required for corridor mapping.

  7. Application of Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the development of an application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) control. The project was done as part of the requirements for a class in AI at NOVA Southeastearn University and a beginning project at NASA Wallops Flight Facility for a resilient, robust, and intelligent UAV flight control system. A method is outlined which allows a base level application for applying an Artificial Intelligence method, Fuzzy Logic, to aspects of Control Logic for UAV flight. One element of UAV flight, automated altitude hold, has been implemented and preliminary results displayed.

  8. Fuel Cells: A Real Option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Propulsion

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored. PMID:24600326

  9. Fuel cells: a real option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles propulsion.

    PubMed

    González-Espasandín, Óscar; Leo, Teresa J; Navarro-Arévalo, Emilio

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored. PMID:24600326

  10. Application of Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Uninhabitated Aerial Vehicle Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the development of an application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) control. The project was done as part of the requirements for a class in AI at NOVA southeastern University and a beginning project at NASA Wallops Flight Facility for a resilient, robust, and intelligent UAV flight control system. A method is outlined which allows a base level application for applying an Artificial Intelligence method, Fuzzy Logic, to aspects of Control Logic for UAV flight. One element of UAV flight, automated altitude hold, has been implemented and preliminary results displayed.

  11. Structural design and fabrication techniques of composite unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Daniel Stephen

    Popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles has grown substantially in recent years both in the private sector, as well as for government functions. This growth can be attributed largely to the increased performance of the technology that controls these vehicles, as well as decreasing cost and size of this technology. What is sometimes forgotten though, is that the research and advancement of the airframes themselves are equally as important as what is done with them. With current computer-aided design programs, the limits of design optimization can be pushed further than ever before, resulting in lighter and faster airframes that can achieve longer endurances, higher altitudes, and more complex missions. However, realization of a paper design is still limited by the physical restrictions of the real world and the structural constraints associated with it. The purpose of this paper is to not only step through current design and manufacturing processes of composite UAVs at Oklahoma State University, but to also focus on composite spars, utilizing and relating both calculated and empirical data. Most of the experience gained for this thesis was from the Cessna Longitude project. The Longitude is a 1/8 scale, flying demonstrator Oklahoma State University constructed for Cessna. For the project, Cessna required dynamic flight data for their design process in order to make their 2017 release date. Oklahoma State University was privileged enough to assist Cessna with the mission of supporting the validation of design of their largest business jet to date. This paper will detail the steps of the fabrication process used in construction of the Longitude, as well as several other projects, beginning with structural design, machining, molding, skin layup, and ending with final assembly. Also, attention will be paid specifically towards spar design and testing in effort to ease the design phase. This document is intended to act not only as a further development of current practices, but also as a step-by-step manual for those who aspire to make composite airframes, predominantly the Oklahoma State University MAE students who either are, or will be using these techniques on a daily basis.

  12. Toward autonomous avian-inspired grasping for micro aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Justin; Loianno, Giuseppe; Polin, Joseph; Sreenath, Koushil; Kumar, Vijay

    2014-06-01

    Micro aerial vehicles, particularly quadrotors, have been used in a wide range of applications. However, the literature on aerial manipulation and grasping is limited and the work is based on quasi-static models. In this paper, we draw inspiration from agile, fast-moving birds such as raptors, that are able to capture moving prey on the ground or in water, and develop similar capabilities for quadrotors. We address dynamic grasping, an approach to prehensile grasping in which the dynamics of the robot and its gripper are significant and must be explicitly modeled and controlled for successful execution. Dynamic grasping is relevant for fast pick-and-place operations, transportation and delivery of objects, and placing or retrieving sensors. We show how this capability can be realized (a) using a motion capture system and (b) without external sensors relying only on onboard sensors. In both cases we describe the dynamic model, and trajectory planning and control algorithms. In particular, we present a methodology for flying and grasping a cylindrical object using feedback from a monocular camera and an inertial measurement unit onboard the aerial robot. This is accomplished by mapping the dynamics of the quadrotor to a level virtual image plane, which in turn enables dynamically-feasible trajectory planning for image features in the image space, and a vision-based controller with guaranteed convergence properties. We also present experimental results obtained with a quadrotor equipped with an articulated gripper to illustrate both approaches. PMID:24852023

  13. Uncertainty management for aerial vehicles: Coordination, deconfliction, and disturbance rejection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panyakeow, Prachya

    The presented dissertation aims to develop control algorithms that deal with three types of uncertainties managements. First, we examine the situation when unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fly through uncertain environments that contain both stationary and moving obstacles. Moreover, a guarantee of collision avoidance is necessary when UAVs operate in close proximity of each other. Second, we look at the communication uncertainty among the network of cooperative UAVs and the efforts to establish and maintain the connectivity throughout their entire missions. Third, we explore the scenario when the aircraft flies through wind gust. The introduction of an appropriate control scheme to actively alleviate the gust loads can result into weight reduction and consequently lower the fuel cost. In the first part of this dissertation, we develop a deconfliction algorithm that guarantees collision avoidance between a pair of constant speed unicycle-type UAVs as well as convergence to the desired destination for each UAV in presence of static obstacles. We use a combination of navigation and swirling functions to direct the unicycle vehicles along the planned trajectories while avoiding inter-vehicle collisions. The main feature of our contribution is proposing means of designing a deconfliction algorithm for unicycle vehicles that more closely capture the dynamics of constant speed UAVs as opposed to double integrator models. Specifically, we consider the issue of UAV turn-rate constraints and proceed to explore the selection of key algorithmic parameters in order to minimize undesirable trajectories and overshoots induced by the avoidance algorithm. The avoidance and convergence analysis of the proposed algorithm is then performed for two cooperative UAVs and simulation results are provided to support the viability of the proposed framework for more general mission scenarios. For the uncertainty of the UAV network, we provides two approaches to establish connectivity among a collection of UAVs that are initially scattered in space. The goal is to find shortest trajectories that bring the UAVs to a connected formation where they are in the range of detection of one another and headed in the same direction to maintain the connectivity. Pontryagin Minimum Principle (PMP) is utilized to determine the control law and path synthesis for the UAVs under the turn-rate constraints. We introduce an algorithm to search for the optimal solution when the final network topology is specified; followed by a nonlinear programming method in which the final configuration is emerged from the optimization routine under the constraints that the final topology is connected. Each method has its own advantages based on the size of corporative networks. For the uncertainty due to gust turbulence, we choose a model predictive control (MPC) technique to address gust load alleviation (GLA) for a flexible aircraft. MPC is a discrete method based on repeated online optimization that allows direct consideration of control actuator constraints into the feedback computation. Gust alleviation systems are dependent on how the structural flexibility of the aircraft affects its dynamics. Hence, we develop a six-degree-of-freedom flexible aircraft model that can integrate rigid body dynamic with structural deflection. The structural stick-and-beam model is utilized for the calculation of aeroelastic mode shapes and airframe loads. Another important feature of MPC for GLA design is the ability to include the preview of gust information ahead of the aircraft nose into the prediction process. This helps raising the prediction accuracy and consequently improves the load alleviation performance. Finally, the aircraft is modified by the addition of the flap-array, a composition of small trailing edge flaps throughout the entire span of the wings. These flaps are used in conjunction with the distributed spoilers. With the availability of the control surfaces closer to the wing root, the MPC with flap-array can reduce the wing bending moment from different mode shapes and achieve better load alleviation performance than the original aircraft.

  14. Use of unmanned aerial vehicles for medical product transport.

    PubMed

    Thiels, Cornelius A; Aho, Johnathon M; Zietlow, Scott P; Jenkins, Donald H

    2015-01-01

    Advances in technology and decreasing costs have led to an increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the military and civilian sectors. The use of UAVs in commerce is restricted by US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, but the FAA is drafting new regulations that are expected to expand commercial applications. Currently, the transportation of medical goods in times of critical need is limited to wheeled motor vehicles and manned aircraft, options that can be costly and slow. This article explores the demand for, feasibility of, and risks associated with the use of UAVs to deliver medical products, including blood derivatives and pharmaceuticals, to hospitals, mass casualty scenes, and offshore vessels in times of critical demand. PMID:25733117

  15. Robust vehicle detection in low-resolution aerial imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahli, Samir; Ouyang, Yueh; Sheng, Yunlong; Lavigne, Daniel A.

    2010-04-01

    We propose a feature-based approach for vehicle detection in aerial imagery with 11.2 cm/pixel resolution. The approach is free of all constraints related to the vehicles appearance. The scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT) is used to extract keypoints in the image. The local structure in the neighbouring of the SIFT keypoints is described by 128 gradient orientation based features. A Support Vector Machine is used to create a model which is able to predict if the SIFT keypoints belong to or not to car structures in the image. The collection of SIFT keypoints with car label are clustered in the geometric space into subsets and each subset is associated to one car. This clustering is based on the Affinity Propagation algorithm modified to take into account specific spatial constraint related to geometry of cars at the given resolution.

  16. Unmanned aerial vehicles for rangeland mapping and monitoring: a comparison of two systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aerial photography from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) bridges the gap between ground-based observations and remotely sensed imagery from aerial and satellite platforms. UAVs can be deployed quickly and repeatedly, are less costly and safer than piloted aircraft, and can obtain very high-resolution...

  17. Vehicle Technologies Program Results

    SciTech Connect

    2009-06-19

    The Vehicle Technologies Program's progress is closely monitored by both internal and external organizations. The Program's results are detailed in a wide range of documents and tools that can be accessed through the PIR website. Descriptions of these materials are provided on this program results page.

  18. Development and prospect of unmanned aerial vehicles for agricultural production management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles have been developed and applied to support agricultural production management. Compared to piloted aircrafts, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can focus on small crop fields in lower flight altitude than regular airplanes to perform site-specific management with high precisi...

  19. Development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Site-Specific Crop Production Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been developed and applied to support the practice of precision agriculture. Compared to piloted aircrafts, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle can focus on much smaller crop fields with much lower flight altitude than regular airplanes to perform site-specific management ...

  20. Development of an unmanned aerial vehicle-based remote sensing system for site-specific management in precision agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. In agriculture, UAVs have been used for pest control and remote sensing. The objective of this research was to develop a UAV system to en...

  1. Reliability Assessment for Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, Paul Michael

    Existing low-cost unmanned aerospace systems are unreliable, and engineers must blend reliability analysis with fault-tolerant control in novel ways. This dissertation introduces the University of Minnesota unmanned aerial vehicle flight research platform, a comprehensive simulation and flight test facility for reliability and fault-tolerance research. An industry-standard reliability assessment technique, the failure modes and effects analysis, is performed for an unmanned aircraft. Particular attention is afforded to the control surface and servo-actuation subsystem. Maintaining effector health is essential for safe flight; failures may lead to loss of control incidents. Failure likelihood, severity, and risk are qualitatively assessed for several effector failure modes. Design changes are recommended to improve aircraft reliability based on this analysis. Most notably, the control surfaces are split, providing independent actuation and dual-redundancy. The simulation models for control surface aerodynamic effects are updated to reflect the split surfaces using a first-principles geometric analysis. The failure modes and effects analysis is extended by using a high-fidelity nonlinear aircraft simulation. A trim state discovery is performed to identify the achievable steady, wings-level flight envelope of the healthy and damaged vehicle. Tolerance of elevator actuator failures is studied using familiar tools from linear systems analysis. This analysis reveals significant inherent performance limitations for candidate adaptive/reconfigurable control algorithms used for the vehicle. Moreover, it demonstrates how these tools can be applied in a design feedback loop to make safety-critical unmanned systems more reliable. Control surface impairments that do occur must be quickly and accurately detected. This dissertation also considers fault detection and identification for an unmanned aerial vehicle using model-based and model-free approaches and applies those algorithms to experimental faulted and unfaulted flight test data. Flight tests are conducted with actuator faults that affect the plant input and sensor faults that affect the vehicle state measurements. A model-based detection strategy is designed and uses robust linear filtering methods to reject exogenous disturbances, e.g. wind, while providing robustness to model variation. A data-driven algorithm is developed to operate exclusively on raw flight test data without physical model knowledge. The fault detection and identification performance of these complementary but different methods is compared. Together, enhanced reliability assessment and multi-pronged fault detection and identification techniques can help to bring about the next generation of reliable low-cost unmanned aircraft.

  2. Vision-Based SLAM System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Munguía, Rodrigo; Urzua, Sarquis; Bolea, Yolanda; Grau, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The present paper describes a vision-based simultaneous localization and mapping system to be applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The main contribution of this work is to propose a novel estimator relying on an Extended Kalman Filter. The estimator is designed in order to fuse the measurements obtained from: (i) an orientation sensor (AHRS); (ii) a position sensor (GPS); and (iii) a monocular camera. The estimated state consists of the full state of the vehicle: position and orientation and their first derivatives, as well as the location of the landmarks observed by the camera. The position sensor will be used only during the initialization period in order to recover the metric scale of the world. Afterwards, the estimated map of landmarks will be used to perform a fully vision-based navigation when the position sensor is not available. Experimental results obtained with simulations and real data show the benefits of the inclusion of camera measurements into the system. In this sense the estimation of the trajectory of the vehicle is considerably improved, compared with the estimates obtained using only the measurements from the position sensor, which are commonly low-rated and highly noisy. PMID:26999131

  3. Vision-Based SLAM System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Munguía, Rodrigo; Urzua, Sarquis; Bolea, Yolanda; Grau, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    The present paper describes a vision-based simultaneous localization and mapping system to be applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The main contribution of this work is to propose a novel estimator relying on an Extended Kalman Filter. The estimator is designed in order to fuse the measurements obtained from: (i) an orientation sensor (AHRS); (ii) a position sensor (GPS); and (iii) a monocular camera. The estimated state consists of the full state of the vehicle: position and orientation and their first derivatives, as well as the location of the landmarks observed by the camera. The position sensor will be used only during the initialization period in order to recover the metric scale of the world. Afterwards, the estimated map of landmarks will be used to perform a fully vision-based navigation when the position sensor is not available. Experimental results obtained with simulations and real data show the benefits of the inclusion of camera measurements into the system. In this sense the estimation of the trajectory of the vehicle is considerably improved, compared with the estimates obtained using only the measurements from the position sensor, which are commonly low-rated and highly noisy. PMID:26999131

  4. Vehicle change detection from aerial imagery using detection response maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhaohui H.; Leotta, Mathew; Hoogs, Anthony; Blue, Rusty; Neuroth, Robert; Vasquez, Juan; Perera, Amitha; Turek, Matthew; Blasch, Erik

    2014-06-01

    Image change detection has long been used to detect significant events in aerial imagery, such as the arrival or departure of vehicles. Usually only the underlying structural changes are of interest, particularly for movable objects, and the challenge is to differentiate the changes of intelligence value (change detections) from incidental appearance changes (false detections). However, existing methods for automated change detection continue to be challenged by nuisance variations in operating conditions such as sensor (camera exposure, camera viewpoints), targets (occlusions, type), and the environment (illumination, shadows, weather, seasons). To overcome these problems, we propose a novel vehicle change detection method based on the detection response maps (DRM). The detector serves as an advanced filter that normalizes the images being compared specifically for object level change detection (OLCD). In contrast to current methods that compare pixel intensities, the proposed DRM-OLCD method is more robust to nuisance changes and variations in image appearance. We demonstrate object-level change detection for vehicle appearing and disappearing in electro-optical (EO) visual imagery.

  5. Aerial surveys and tagging of free-drifting icebergs using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGill, P. R.; Reisenbichler, K. R.; Etchemendy, S. A.; Dawe, T. C.; Hobson, B. W.

    2011-06-01

    Ship-based observations of free-drifting icebergs are hindered by the dangers of calving ice. To improve the efficacy and safety of these studies, new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were developed and then deployed in the Southern Ocean. These inexpensive UAVs were launched and recovered from a ship by scientific personal with a few weeks of flight training. The UAVs sent real-time video back to the ship, allowing researchers to observe conditions in regions of the icebergs not visible from the ship. In addition, the UAVs dropped newly developed global positioning system (GPS) tracking tags, permitting researchers to record the precise position of the icebergs over time. The position reports received from the tags show that the motion of free-drifting icebergs changes rapidly and is a complex combination of both translation and rotation.

  6. A new robust control for minirotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

    Mokhtari, M Rida; Cherki, Brahim

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a new robust control based on finite-time Lyapunov stability controller and proved with backstepping method for the position and the attitude of a small rotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicle subjected to bounded uncertainties and disturbances. The dynamical motion equations are obtained by the Newton-Euler formalism. The proposed controller combines the advantage of the backstepping approach with finite-time convergence techniques to generate a control laws to guarantee the faster convergence of the state variables to their desired values in short time and compensate for the bounded disturbances. A formal proof of the closed-loop stability and finite-time convergence of tracking errors is derived using the Lyapunov function technique. Simulation results are presented to corroborate the effectiveness and the robustness of the proposed control method. PMID:25677710

  7. Surface classification via unmanned aerial vehicles gripper finger deflection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Hoosear, Christopher A.

    The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain the feasibility of using strain gauges attached to a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) gripper to determine, upon impact, the hardness of a landing site. We design and fabricate a four finger gripper that uses a rotary component to convert the rotational motion of a servo to the linear motion of the finger assemblies. We functionally test a gripper prototype made from rapid-prototype material. We conduct three experiments to test the gripper's functionality. The first experiment tests the gripper's ability to grasp, lift, and release a centered payload, and the gripper performed with overall success rates of 91%, 100%, and 87% respectively. The second experiment tests the gripper's ability to self-align, lift and release the payload and the gripper performed with overall success rates of 99%, 100%, and 96% respectively. The third experiment tests the functional durability of the gripper, and it performed without error for 5000 open/close cycles.

  8. Unmanned aerial vehicle measurements of volcanic carbon dioxide fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGonigle, A. J. S.; Aiuppa, A.; Giudice, G.; Tamburello, G.; Hodson, A. J.; Gurrieri, S.

    2008-03-01

    We report the first measurements of volcanic gases with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The data were collected at La Fossa crater, Vulcano, Italy, during April 2007, with a helicopter UAV of 3 kg payload, carrying an ultraviolet spectrometer for remotely sensing the SO2 flux (8.5 Mg d-1), and an infrared spectrometer, and electrochemical sensor assembly for measuring the plume CO2/SO2 ratio; by multiplying these data we compute a CO2 flux of 170 Mg d-1. Given the deeper exsolution of carbon dioxide from magma, and its lower solubility in hydrothermal systems, relative to SO2, the ability to remotely measure CO2 fluxes is significant, with promise to provide more profound geochemical insights, and earlier eruption forecasts, than possible with SO2 fluxes alone: the most ubiquitous current source of remotely sensed volcanic gas data.

  9. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in atmospheric research and satellite validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnikov, Nikolay; Borisov, Yuriy; Akmulin, Dimitry; Chekulaev, Igor; Efremov, Denis; Sitnikova, Vera; Ulanovsky, Alexey; Popovicheva, Olga

    The perspectives of the development of methods and facilities based on UAV for atmospheric investigations are considered. Some aspects of these methods applications are discussed. Developments of the experimental samples of UAV onboard equipment for measurements of atmospheric parameters carried out in Central Aerological Observatory are presented. Hardware system for the UAV is developed. The results of measurements of the spatial distributions of the thermodynamic parameters and the concentrations of some gas species onboard of remotely piloted and unmanned aerial vehicles obtained in field tests are presented. The development can be used for satellite data validation, as well as operative environmental monitoring of contaminated areas in particular, chemical plants, natural and industrial disasters territories, areas and facilities for space purposes , etc.

  10. Mapping infectious disease landscapes: unmanned aerial vehicles and epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Fornace, Kimberly M; Drakeley, Chris J; William, Timothy; Espino, Fe; Cox, Jonathan

    2014-11-01

    The potential applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have generated intense interest across many fields. UAVs offer the potential to collect detailed spatial information in real time at relatively low cost and are being used increasingly in conservation and ecological research. Within infectious disease epidemiology and public health research, UAVs can provide spatially and temporally accurate data critical to understanding the linkages between disease transmission and environmental factors. Using UAVs avoids many of the limitations associated with satellite data (e.g., long repeat times, cloud contamination, low spatial resolution). However, the practicalities of using UAVs for field research limit their use to specific applications and settings. UAVs fill a niche but do not replace existing remote-sensing methods. PMID:25443854

  11. Mission control of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles: a workload analysis.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Stephen R; Wickens, Christopher D; Chang, Dervon

    2005-01-01

    With unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 36 licensed pilots flew both single-UAV and dual-UAV simulated military missions. Pilots were required to navigate each UAV through a series of mission legs in one of the following three conditions: a baseline condition, an auditory autoalert condition, and an autopilot condition. Pilots were responsible for (a) mission completion, (b) target search, and (c) systems monitoring. Results revealed that both the autoalert and the autopilot automation improved overall performance by reducing task interference and alleviating workload. The autoalert system benefited performance both in the automated task and mission completion task, whereas the autopilot system benefited performance in the automated task, the mission completion task, and the target search task. Practical implications for the study include the suggestion that reliable automation can help alleviate task interference and reduce workload, thereby allowing pilots to better handle concurrent tasks during single- and multiple-UAV flight control. PMID:16435690

  12. Development of the unmanned aerial vehicle flight recorder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walendziuk, Wojciech; Kwasniewski, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    This work presents a telemetric flight recorder which can be used in unmanned aerial vehicles. The device can store GPS position and altitude, measured with the use of pressure sensor HP03M, a flying platform. The most important subassembly of the recorder is an M2M family device H24 modem developed by Telit company. The modem interface communicates with the use of UART interface and AT commands. The autonomic work is provided by a microcontroller which is master component of the recorder. The ATmega 664P-AU from AVR family microcontrollers developed by Atmel is used. The functionality of the measurement system was developed in such a way that a GSM module can send current position to the base station on demand. In the paper the general description of the device and achieved results of tests are presented.

  13. Optimal flights of unmanned aerial vehicles utilizing wind energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Ying

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are attractive for a wide range of applications where human presence is dangerous or undesirable. Endurance is an important performance attribute in many UAV missions. While UAV flight endurance can be improved through advances in aerodynamics and engine design, it is equally important to examine operational strategies that can enhance UAV flight endurance and other performance. Wind energy may be used to greatly enhance the flight endurance and performances of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Glider pilots commonly use wind to improve range, endurance, or cross-country speed. Compared with a glider, UAVs have ad vantages in utilizing energy in atmosphere. By using proper strategies to extract wind energy in the long-duration flights, a UAV's fuel consumption can be reduced and the performance can be extended. The objective of this research is to investigate the potential benefits of utilizing wind energy and develop optimal wind energy efficient flight trajectories for UAVs. In this thesis, the potential benefits and features of the autonomous soaring flights are studied. UAVs are modelled with point-mass equations of motion. Practical constraints from UAV performance and operational constraints are considered. UAV flights through various wind patterns including wind gradients, thermals and downbursts are studied. Linear wind gradient models, two-dimensional thermal models and three-dimensional vortex ring downburst models are used for the calculation of optimal trajectories. UAV flights through wind fields are formulated as nonlinear optimal control problems that minimize the overall fuel consumption. These problems are converted into parameter optimizations and numerical solutions are obtained for a wide range of wind conditions and UAV performance parameters. Basic features and special flight patterns needed for wind energy flights are discovered. Results indicate that significant improvements in UAV endurance can be achieved by properly utilizing wind energy. Further research is proposed for the application of optimal flight in wind.

  14. Real-time aerial video exploitation station for small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregga, Jason B.; Pope, Art; Kielmeyer, Kathy; Ran, Yang

    2008-04-01

    SET Corporation, under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory, Sensors Directorate, is building a Real-time Aerial Video Exploitation (RAVE) Station for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAVs). Users of SUAVs have in general been underserved by the exploitation community because of the unique challenges of operating in the SUAV environment. SUAVs are often used by small teams without the benefits of dedicated personnel, equipment, and time for exploitation. Thus, effective exploitation tools for these users must have sufficiently automated capabilities to keep demands on the team's labor low, with the ability to process video and display results in real-time on commonly-found ruggedized laptops. The RAVE Station provides video stabilization, mosaicking, moving target indicators (MTI), tracking, and target classification, and displays the results in several different display modes. This paper focuses on features of the RAVE Station implementation that make it efficient, low-cost, and easy to use. The software architecture is a pipeline model, allowing each processing module to tap off the pipe, and to add new information back into the stream, keeping redundancy to a minimum. The software architecture is also open, allowing new algorithms to be developed and plugged in. Frame-to-frame registration is performed by a feature-tracking algorithm which employs RANSAC to discard outlying matches. MTI is performed via a fast and robust three frame differencing algorithm. The user interface and exploitation functions are simple, easy to learn and use. RAVE is a capable exploitation tool that meets the needs of SUAV users despite their challenging environment.

  15. Routing and Allocation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with Communication Considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabo, Chelsea

    Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) teams are anticipated to provide much needed support for human intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery intelligence, and open source intelligence through algorithms, software, and automation. Therefore, it is necessary to have autonomous algorithms that route multiple UAVs effectively and efficiently throughout missions and that these are realizable in the real-world given the associated uncertainties. Current routing strategies ignore communication constraints altogether. In reality, communication can be restricted by bandwidth, line-of-sight, maximum communication ranges, or a need for uninterrupted transmission. Generating autonomous algorithms that work effectively around these communication constraints is key for the future of UAV surveillance applications. In this work, both current and new routing strategies for UAVS are analyzed to determine how communications impact efficiency of information return. It is shown that under certain communication conditions, a new approach on routing can be more efficient than typically adopted strategies. This new approach defines and presents a new formulation based on a minimum delivery latency objective function. The problem is formulated such that information is not considered delivered until it is returned back to a high-bandwidth connection (depot) which is common when communication is restricted. The size of the region is shown to be dependent upon distance between requests, UAV bandwidth, UAV velocity, and data size, but it was shown that for large-sized data, long distances, and low bandwidth, it is generally better to route UAVs with this new minimum latency objective. With the added decision of when to deliver information to a high-bandwidth connection, an already computationally complex problem grows even faster. Because of scaling issues, a heuristic algorithm was developed that was constructed by analyzing the optimal solution. The algorithm is a cluster-first, route-second approach, but differs from conventional Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) solutions in that the number of clusters is not necessarily equal to the number of vehicles. Because of this, a unique approach to clustering is adopted to form clusters using hierarchical agglomerative clustering and fuzzy logic. Based on a detailed Monte Carlo analysis, the heuristic algorithm showed near-optimal (within ˜5%) results calculable in real-time (allowing it to be used in dynamic scenarios too) and scaled to much larger problem sizes. Furthermore, the performance was analyzed under varying degrees of dynamism and arrival rates. Results showed good performance, and found the boundaries for the regions of light and heavy load cases for a single vehicle to be about 0.3 and 4 requests an hour, respectively. Finally, both static and dynamic cases were validated in flight testing, highlighting the usability of this approach.

  16. An Improved SIFT Algorithm for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J. M.; Yan, D. M.; Wang, G.; Zhang, L.

    2014-03-01

    The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform has the benefits of low cost and convenience compared with satellites. Recently, UAVs have shown a wide range of applications such as land use change, mineral resources management and local topographic mapping. Because of the instability of the UAV air gesture, an image matching method is necessary to match different images of an object or scene. Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features are invariant to image scaling, rotation and translation. However, the main drawback of a SIFT algorithm is its significant memory consumption and low computational speed, particularly in the case of high-resolution imagery. In this study, in order to overcome these drawbacks, we have analysed the construction of the scale-space in the SIFT algorithm and selected new parameters to construct the SIFT scale-space to improve the memory consumption and computational speed for the processing of UAV imagery. Here, we propose a restriction on the number of octaves and levels for Gaussian image pyramids. Our experiment shows that the proposed algorithm effectively reduces memory consumption and significantly improves the operational efficiency of the feature point extraction and matching under the premise of maintaining the precision of the extracted feature points.

  17. Detecting Changes in Terrain Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahman, Zia-ur; Hines, Glenn D.; Logan, Michael J.

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used for more than the thrill they bring to model airplane enthusiasts. Their flexibility and low cost have made them a viable option for low-altitude reconnaissance. In a recent effort, we acquired video data from a small UAV during several passes over the same flight path. The objective of the exercise was to determine if objects had been added to the terrain along the flight path between flight passes. Several issues accrue to this simple-sounding problem: (1) lighting variations may cause false detection of objects because of changes in shadow orientation and strength between passes; (2) variations in the flight path due to wind-speed, and heading change may cause misalignment of gross features making the task of detecting changes between the frames very difficult; and (3) changes in the aircraft orientation and altitude lead to a change in size of the features from frame-to-frame making a comparison difficult. In this paper, we discuss our efforts to perform this change detection, and the lessons that we learned from this exercise.

  18. Tracking of atmospheric release of pollution using unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Šmídl, Václav; Hofman, Radek

    2013-03-01

    Tracking of an atmospheric release of pollution is usually based on measurements provided by stationary networks, occasionally complemented with deployment of mobile sensors. In this paper, we extend the existing concept to the case where the sensors are carried onboard of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The decision theoretic framework is used to design an unsupervised algorithm that navigates the UAVs to minimize the selected loss function. A particle filter with a problem-tailored proposal function was used as the underlying data assimilation procedure. A range of simulated twin experiments was performed on the problem of tracking an accidental release of radiation from a nuclear power plant in realistic settings. The main uncertainty was in the released activity and in parametric bias of the numerical weather forecast. It was shown that the UAVs can complement the existing stationary network to improve the accuracy of data assimilation. Moreover, two autonomously navigated UAVs alone were shown to provide assimilation results comparable to those obtained using the stationary network with more than thirty sensors.

  19. Uncooled infrared development for small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitt, Timothy S.; Wood, Sam B.; Waddle, Caleb E.; Edwards, William D.; Yeske, Ben S.

    2010-04-01

    The US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is developing a micro-uncooled infrared (IR) capability for small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS). In 2007, AMRDEC procured several uncooled microbolometers for lab and field test evaluations, and static tower tests involving specific target sets confirmed initial modeling and simulation predictions. With these promising results, AMRDEC procured two captive flight test (CFT) vehicles and, in 2008, completed numerous captive flights to capture imagery with the micro-uncooled infrared sensors. Several test configurations were used to build a comprehensive data set. These configurations included variations in look-down angles, fields of view (FOV), environments, altitudes, and target scenarios. Data collected during these field tests is also being used to develop human tracking algorithms and image stabilization software by other AMRDEC personnel. Details of these ongoing efforts will be presented in this paper and will include: 1) onboard digital data recording capabilities; 2) analog data links for visual verification of imagery; 3) sensor packaging and design; which include both infrared and visible cameras; 4) field test and data collection results; 5) future plans; 6) potential applications. Finally, AMRDEC has recently acquired a 17 μm pitch detector array. The paper will include plans to test both 17 μm and 25 μm microbolometer technologies simultaneously in a side-by-side captive flight comparison.

  20. Lightweight photovoltaic module development for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Nowlan, M.J.; Maglitta, J.C.; Lamp, T.R.

    1998-07-01

    Lightweight photovoltaic modules are being developed for powering high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Terrestrial crystalline silicon solar cell and module technologies are being applied to minimize module cost, with modifications to improve module specific power (W/kg) and power density (W/m{sup 2}). New module processes are being developed for assembling standard thickness (320 mm) and thin (125 mm) solar cells, thin (50 to 100 mm) encapsulant films, and thin (25 mm) cover films. In comparison, typical terrestrial modules use 300 to 400 mm thick solar cells, 460 mm thick encapsulants, and 3.2 mm thick glass covers. The use of thin, lightweight materials allows the fabrication of modules with specific powers ranging from 120 to 200 W/kg, depending on cell thickness and efficiency, compared to 15 W/kg or less for conventional terrestrial modules. High efficiency designs based on ultra-thin (5 mm) GaAs cells have also been developed, with the potential for achieving substantially higher specific powers. Initial design, development, and module assembly work is completed. Prototype modules were fabricated in sizes up to 45 cm x 99 cm. Module materials and processes are being evaluated through accelerated environmental testing, including thermal cycling, humidity-freeze cycling, mechanical cycling, and exposure to UV and visible light.

  1. Thermal soaring flight of birds and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

    Akos, Zsuzsa; Nagy, Máté; Leven, Severin; Vicsek, Tamás

    2010-12-01

    Thermal soaring saves much energy, but flying large distances in this form represents a great challenge for birds, people and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The solution is to make use of the so-called thermals, which are localized, warmer regions in the atmosphere moving upward with a speed exceeding the descent rate of birds and planes. Saving energy by exploiting the environment more efficiently is an important possibility for autonomous UAVs as well. Successful control strategies have been developed recently for UAVs in simulations and in real applications. This paper first presents an overview of our knowledge of the soaring flight and strategy of birds, followed by a discussion of control strategies that have been developed for soaring UAVs both in simulations and applications on real platforms. To improve the accuracy of the simulation of thermal exploitation strategies we propose a method to take into account the effect of turbulence. Finally, we propose a new GPS-independent control strategy for exploiting thermal updrafts. PMID:21098957

  2. Hierarchical Motion Planning for Autonomous Aerial and Terrestrial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowlagi, Raghvendra V.

    Autonomous mobile robots---both aerial and terrestrial vehicles---have gained immense importance due to the broad spectrum of their potential military and civilian applications. One of the indispensable requirements for the autonomy of a mobile vehicle is the vehicle's capability of planning and executing its motion, that is, finding appropriate control inputs for the vehicle such that the resulting vehicle motion satisfies the requirements of the vehicular task. The motion planning and control problem is inherently complex because it involves two disparate sub-problems: (1) satisfaction of the vehicular task requirements, which requires tools from combinatorics and/or formal methods, and (2) design of the vehicle control laws, which requires tools from dynamical systems and control theory. Accordingly, this problem is usually decomposed and solved over two levels of hierarchy. The higher level, called the geometric path planning level, finds a geometric path that satisfies the vehicular task requirements, e.g., obstacle avoidance. The lower level, called the trajectory planning level, involves sufficient smoothening of this geometric path followed by a suitable time parametrization to obtain a reference trajectory for the vehicle. Although simple and efficient, such hierarchical decomposition suffers a serious drawback: the geometric path planner has no information of the kinematical and dynamical constraints of the vehicle. Consequently, the geometric planner may produce paths that the trajectory planner cannot transform into a feasible reference trajectory. Two main ideas appear in the literature to remedy this problem: (a) randomized sampling-based planning, which eliminates the geometric planner altogether by planning in the vehicle state space, and (b) geometric planning supported by feedback control laws. The former class of methods suffer from a lack of optimality of the resultant trajectory, while the latter class of methods makes a restrictive assumption concerning the vehicle kinematical model. We propose a hierarchical motion planning framework based on a novel mode of interaction between these two levels of planning. This interaction rests on the solution of a special shortest-path problem on graphs, namely, one using costs defined on multiple edge transitions in the path instead of the usual single edge transition costs. These costs are provided by a local trajectory generation algorithm, which we implement using model predictive control and the concept of effective target sets for simplifying the non-convex constraints involved in the problem. The proposed motion planner ensures "consistency" between the two levels of planning, i.e., a guarantee that the higher level geometric path is always associated with a kinematically and dynamically feasible trajectory. The main contributions of this thesis are: 1. A motion planning framework based on history-dependent costs (H-costs) in cell decomposition graphs for incorporating vehicle dynamical constraints: this framework offers distinct advantages in comparison with the competing approaches of discretization of the state space, of randomized sampling-based motion planning, and of local feedback-based, decoupled hierarchical motion planning, 2. An efficient and flexible algorithm for finding optimal H-cost paths, 3. A precise and general formulation of a local trajectory problem (the tile motion planning problem) that allows independent development of the discrete planner and the trajectory planner, while maintaining "compatibility" between the two planners, 4. A local trajectory generation algorithm using mpc, and the application of the concept of effective target sets for a significant simplification of the local trajectory generation problem, 5. The geometric analysis of curvature-bounded traversal of rectangular channels, leading to less conservative results in comparison with a result reported in the literature, and also to the efficient construction of effective target sets for the solution of the tile motion planning problem, 6. A wavelet-based multi-resolution path planning scheme, and a proof of completeness of the proposed scheme: such proofs are altogether absent from other works on multi-resolution path planning, 7. A technique for extracting all information about cells---namely, the locations, the sizes, and the associated image intensities---directly from the set of significant detail coefficients considered for path planning at a given iteration, and 8. The extension of the multi-resolution path planning scheme to include vehicle dynamical constraints using the aforementioned history-dependent costs approach. The future work includes an implementation of the proposed framework involving a discrete planner that solves classical planning problems more general than the single-query path planning problem considered thus far, and involving trajectory generation schemes for realistic vehicle dynamical models such as the bicycle model.

  3. The remote characterization of vegetation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, A.; Laliberte, A.; Winters, C.; Maxwell, C.; Steele, C.

    2008-12-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can fly in place of piloted aircraft to gather remote sensing information on vegetation characteristics. The type of sensors flown depends on the instrument payload capacity available, so that, depending on the specific UAV, it is possible to obtain video, aerial photographic, multispectral and hyperspectral radiometric, LIDAR, and radar data. The characteristics of several small UAVs less than 55lbs (25kg)) along with some payload instruments will be reviewed. Common types of remote sensing coverage available from a small, limited-payload UAV are video and hyperspatial, digital photography. From evaluation of these simple types of remote sensing data, we conclude that UAVs can play an important role in measuring and monitoring vegetation health and structure of the vegetation/soil complex in rangelands. If we fly our MLB Bat-3 at an altitude of 700ft (213m), we can obtain a digital photographic resolution of 6cm. The digital images acquired cover an area of approximately 29,350sq m. Video imaging is usually only useful for monitoring the flight path of the UAV in real time. In our experiments with the 6cm resolution data, we have been able to measure vegetation patch size, crown width, gap sizes between vegetation, percent vegetation and bare soil cover, and type of vegetation. The UAV system is also being tested to acquire height of the vegetation canopy using shadow measurements and a digital elevation model obtained with stereo images. Evaluation of combining the UAV digital photography with LIDAR data of the Jornada Experimental Range in south central New Mexico is ongoing. The use of UAVs is increasing and is becoming a very promising tool for vegetation assessment and change, but there are several operational components to flying UAVs that users need to consider. These include cost, a whole set of, as yet, undefined regulations regarding flying in the National Air Space(NAS), procedures to gain approval for flying in the NAS(FAA Certificate of Authorization), and training(remote control piloting, UAV-specific instruction, FAA ground school and testing, FAA observer procedures, FAA medical Class 2 exam, and a private pilot's license). The relevance and need of all these to developing a UAV capability will be explained. While working through the necessary requirements above, we have also learned that we need to know how to handle extremely large and easily acquired data sets as well as to develop tools to orthorectify and mosaic individual UAV images for analysis.

  4. Cooperative Surveillance and Pursuit Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unattended Ground Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Las Fargeas, Jonathan; Kabamba, Pierre; Girard, Anouck

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers the problem of path planning for a team of unmanned aerial vehicles performing surveillance near a friendly base. The unmanned aerial vehicles do not possess sensors with automated target recognition capability and, thus, rely on communicating with unattended ground sensors placed on roads to detect and image potential intruders. The problem is motivated by persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and base defense missions. The problem is formulated and shown to be intractable. A heuristic algorithm to coordinate the unmanned aerial vehicles during surveillance and pursuit is presented. Revisit deadlines are used to schedule the vehicles' paths nominally. The algorithm uses detections from the sensors to predict intruders' locations and selects the vehicles' paths by minimizing a linear combination of missed deadlines and the probability of not intercepting intruders. An analysis of the algorithm's completeness and complexity is then provided. The effectiveness of the heuristic is illustrated through simulations in a variety of scenarios. PMID:25591168

  5. Cooperative surveillance and pursuit using unmanned aerial vehicles and unattended ground sensors.

    PubMed

    Las Fargeas, Jonathan; Kabamba, Pierre; Girard, Anouck

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers the problem of path planning for a team of unmanned aerial vehicles performing surveillance near a friendly base. The unmanned aerial vehicles do not possess sensors with automated target recognition capability and, thus, rely on communicating with unattended ground sensors placed on roads to detect and image potential intruders. The problem is motivated by persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and base defense missions. The problem is formulated and shown to be intractable. A heuristic algorithm to coordinate the unmanned aerial vehicles during surveillance and pursuit is presented. Revisit deadlines are used to schedule the vehicles' paths nominally. The algorithm uses detections from the sensors to predict intruders' locations and selects the vehicles' paths by minimizing a linear combination of missed deadlines and the probability of not intercepting intruders. An analysis of the algorithm's completeness and complexity is then provided. The effectiveness of the heuristic is illustrated through simulations in a variety of scenarios. PMID:25591168

  6. Measurements from an Aerial Vehicle: A New Tool for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, Henry S.; Levine, Joel S.; Croom, Mark A.; Edwards, William C.; Qualls, Garry D.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.

    2004-01-01

    Aerial vehicles fill a unique planetary science measurement gap, that of regional-scale, near-surface observation, while providing a fresh perspective for potential discovery. Aerial vehicles used in planetary exploration bridge the scale and resolution measurement gaps between orbiters (global perspective with limited spatial resolution) and landers (local perspective with high spatial resolution) thus complementing and extending orbital and landed measurements. Planetary aerial vehicles can also survey scientifically interesting terrain that is inaccessible or hazardous to landed missions. The use of aerial assets for performing observations on Mars, Titan, or Venus will enable direct measurements and direct follow-ons to recent discoveries. Aerial vehicles can be used for remote sensing of the interior, surface and atmosphere of Mars, Venus and Titan. Types of aerial vehicles considered are airplane "heavier than air" and airships and balloons "lighter than air". Interdependencies between the science measurements, science goals and objectives, and platform implementation illustrate how the proper balance of science, engineering, and cost, can be achieved to allow for a successful mission. Classification of measurement types along with how those measurements resolve science questions and how these instruments are accommodated within the mission context are discussed.

  7. An optical water vapor sensor for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Timothy A. Berkoff; Paul L. Kebabian; Robert A. McClatchy; Charles E. Kolb; Andrew Freedman

    1998-12-01

    The water vapor sensor developed by Aerodyne Research, based on the optical absorption of light at {approximately}935 nm, has been successfully demonstrated on board the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Gulfstream-1 research aircraft during the Department of Energy's ARM Intensive Operations Period in August 1998. Data taken during this field campaign show excellent agreement with a chilled mirror and Lyman-alpha hygrometers and measurements confirm the ability to measure rapid, absolute water vapor fluctuations with a high degree of instrument stability and accuracy, with a noise level as low 10 ppmv (1 Hz measurement bandwidth). The construction of this small, lightweight sensor contains several unique elements which result in several significant advantages when compared to other techniques. First, the low power consumption Argon discharge lamp provides an optical beam at a fixed wavelength without a need for temperature or precision current control. The multi-pass absorption cell developed for this instrument provides a compact, low cost method that can survive deployment in the field. Fiber-optic cables, which are used to convey to light between the absorption cell, light source, and detection modules enable remote placement of the absorption cell from the opto-electronics module. Finally, the sensor does not use any moving parts which removes a significant source of potential malfunction. The result is an instrument which maintained its calibration throughout the field measurement campaign, and was not affected by high vibration and large uncontrolled temperature excursions. We believe that the development of an accurate, fast response water vapor monitor described in this report will open up new avenues of aerial-vehicle-based atmospheric research which have been relatively unexplored due to the lack of suitable low-cost, light-weight instrumentation.

  8. Evaluation of Bare Ground on Rangelands using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Robert P. Breckenridge; Maxine Dakins

    2011-01-01

    Attention is currently being given to methods that assess the ecological condition of rangelands throughout the United States. There are a number of different indicators that assess ecological condition of rangelands. Bare Ground is being considered by a number of agencies and resource specialists as a lead indicator that can be evaluated over a broad area. Traditional methods of measuring bare ground rely on field technicians collecting data along a line transect or from a plot. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide an alternative to collecting field data, can monitor a large area in a relative short period of time, and in many cases can enhance safety and time required to collect data. In this study, both fixed wing and helicopter UAVs were used to measure bare ground in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem. The data were collected with digital imagery and read using the image analysis software SamplePoint. The approach was tested over seven different plots and compared against traditional field methods to evaluate accuracy for assessing bare ground. The field plots were located on the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho in locations where there is very little disturbance by humans and the area is grazed only by wildlife. The comparison of fixed-wing and helicopter UAV technology against field estimates shows good agreement for the measurement of bare ground. This study shows that if a high degree of detail and data accuracy is desired, then a helicopter UAV may be a good platform. If the data collection objective is to assess broad-scale landscape level changes, then the collection of imagery with a fixed-wing system is probably more appropriate.

  9. Hybrid Vehicle Program. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1984-06-01

    This report summarizes the activities on the Hybrid Vehicle Program. The program objectives and the vehicle specifications are reviewed. The Hybrid Vehicle has been designed so that maximum use can be made of existing production components with a minimum compromise to program goals. The program status as of the February 9-10 Hardware Test Review is presented, and discussions of the vehicle subsystem, the hybrid propulsion subsystem, the battery subsystem, and the test mule programs are included. Other program aspects included are quality assurance and support equipment. 16 references, 132 figures, 47 tables.

  10. Terrain mapping and control of unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Yeonsik

    In this thesis, methods for terrain mapping and control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are proposed. First, robust obstacle detection and tracking algorithm are introduced to eliminate the clutter noise uncorrelated with the real obstacle. This is an important problem since most types of sensor measurements are vulnerable to noise. In order to eliminate such noise, a Kalman filter-based interacting multiple model (IMM) algorithm is employed to effectively detect obstacles and estimate their positions precisely. Using the outcome of the IMM-based obstacle detection algorithm, a new method of building a probabilistic occupancy grid map is proposed based on Bayes rule in probability theory. Since the proposed map update law uses the outputs of the IMM-based obstacle detection algorithm, simultaneous tracking of moving targets and mapping of stationary obstacles are possible. This can be helpful especially in a noisy outdoor environment where different types of obstacles exist. Another feature of the algorithm is its capability to eliminate clutter noise as well as measurement noise. The proposed algorithm is simulated in Matlab using realistic sensor models. The results show close agreement with the layout of real obstacles. An efficient method called "quadtree" is used to process massive geographical information in a convenient manner. The algorithm is evaluated in a realistic simulation environment called RIPTIDE, which the NASA Ames Research Center developed to access the performance of complicated software for UAVs. Supposing that a UAV is equipped with abovementioned obstacle detection and mapping algorithm, the control problem of a small fixed-wing UAV is studied. A Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC is designed as a high level controller for the fixed-wing UAV using a kinematic model of the UAV. The kinematic model is employed because of the assumption that there exist low level controls on the UAV. The UAV dynamics are nonlinear with input constraints which is the main challenge explored in this thesis. The control objective of the NMPC is determined to track a desired line, and the analysis of the designed NMPC's stability is followed to find the conditions that can assure stability. Then, the control objective is extended to track adjoined multiple line segments with obstacle avoidance capability. In simulation, the performance of the NMPC is superb with fast convergence and small overshoot. The computation time is not a burden for a fixed-wing UAV controller with a Pentium level on-board computer that provides a reasonable control update rate.

  11. Design of a GaAs/Ge Solar Array for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheiman, David A.; Brinker, David J.; Bents, David J.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    1995-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are being proposed for many applications including surveillance, mapping and atmospheric studies. These applications require a lightweight, low speed, medium to long duration airplane. Due to the weight, speed, and altitude constraints imposed on such aircraft, solar array generated electric power is a viable alternative to air-breathing engines. Development of such aircraft is currently being funded under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program. NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) is currently building a Solar Electric Airplane to demonstrate UAV technology. This aircraft utilizes high efficiency Applied Solar Energy Corporation (ASEC) GaAs/Ge space solar cells. The cells have been provided by the Air Force through the ManTech Office. Expected completion of the plane is early 1995, with the airplane currently undergoing flight testing using battery power.

  12. Design of a GaAs/Ge solar array for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Scheiman, D.A.; Colozza, A.J.; Brinker, D.J.; Bents, D.J.

    1994-12-31

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are being proposed for many applications including surveillance, mapping and atmospheric studies. These applications require a lightweight, low speed, medium to long duration airplane. Due to the weight, speed, and altitude constraints imposed on such aircraft, solar array generated electric power is a viable alternative to air-breathing engines. Development of such aircraft is currently being funded under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program. NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) is currently building a Solar Electric Airplane to demonstrate UAV technology. This aircraft utilizes high efficiency Applied Solar Energy Corporation (ASEC) GaAs/Ge space solar cells. The cells have been provided by the Air Force through the ManTech Office. Expected completion of the plane is early 1995, with the airplane currently undergoing flight testing using battery power.

  13. Design of a GaAs/Ge solar array for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Scheiman, D.A.; Brinker, D.J.; Bents, D.J.; Colozza, A.J.

    1995-03-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are being proposed for many applications including surveillance, mapping and atmospheric studies. These applications require a lightweight, low speed, medium to long duration airplane. Due to the weight, speed, and altitude constraints imposed on such aircraft, solar array generated electric power is a viable alternative to air-breathing engines. Development of such aircraft is currently being funded under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program. NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) is currently building a Solar Electric Airplane to demonstrate UAV technology. This aircraft utilizes high efficiency Applied Solar Energy Corporation (ASEC) GaAs/Ge space solar cells. The cells have been provided by the Air Force through the ManTech Office. Expected completion of the plane is early 1995, with the airplane currently undergoing flight testing using battery power.

  14. Meteorological and Remote Sensing Applications of High Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoenung, S. M.; Wegener, S. S.

    1999-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are maturing in performance and becoming available for routine use in environmental applications including weather reconnaissance and remote sensing. This paper presents a discussion of UAV characteristics and unique features compared with other measurement platforms. A summary of potential remote sensing applications is provided, along with details for four types of tropical cyclone missions. Capabilities of platforms developed under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program are reviewed, including the Altus, Perseus, and solar- powered Pathfinder, all of which have flown to over 57,000 ft (17 km). In many scientific missions, the science objectives drive the experimental design, thus defining the sensor payload, aircraft performance, and operational requirements. Some examples of science missions and the requisite UAV / payload system are given. A discussion of technology developments needed to fully mature UAV systems for routine operational use is included, along with remarks on future science and commercial UAV business opportunities.

  15. Hardware Implementation of COTS Avionics System on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Platforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeh, Yoo-Hsiu; Kumar, Parth; Ishihara, Abraham; Ippolito, Corey

    2010-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can serve as low cost and low risk platforms for flight testing in Aeronautics research. The NASA Exploration Aerial Vehicle (EAV) and Experimental Sensor-Controlled Aerial Vehicle (X-SCAV) UAVs were developed in support of control systems research at NASA Ames Research Center. The avionics hardware for both systems has been redesigned and updated, and the structure of the EAV has been further strengthened. Preliminary tests show the avionics operate properly in the new configuration. A linear model for the EAV also was estimated from flight data, and was verified in simulation. These modifications and results prepare the EAV and X-SCAV to be used in a wide variety of flight research projects.

  16. Data processing programs for aerial gamma-ray data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duval1, Joseph S.

    1985-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) uses computer programs to process aerial gamma-ray data; some do editing and data manipulation to allow for corrections. Programs to convert flight-line data to latitude-longitude coordinates are included. Plotting programs include contour plotting, profile plots, and photographic raster plots.

  17. The feasibility of unmanned aerial vehicle-based acoustic atmospheric tomography.

    PubMed

    Finn, Anthony; Rogers, Kevin

    2015-08-01

    A technique for remotely monitoring the near-surface air temperature and wind fields up to altitudes of 1 km is presented and examined. The technique proposes the measurement of sound spectra emitted by the engine of a small unmanned aerial vehicle using sensors located on the aircraft and the ground. By relating projected and observed Doppler shifts in frequency and converting them into effective sound speed values, two- and three-dimensional spatially varying atmospheric temperature and wind velocity fields may be reconstructed using tomography. The feasibility and usefulness of the technique relative to existing unmanned aerial vehicle-based meteorological techniques using simulation and trials is examined. PMID:26328703

  18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): a new tool in counterterrorism operations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dörtbudak, Mehmet F.

    2015-05-01

    Terrorism is not a new phenomenon to the world, yet it remains difficult to define and counter. Countering terrorism requires several measures that must be taken simultaneously; however, counterterrorism strategies of many countries mostly depend on military measures. In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the United States (U.S.) has started and led the campaign of Global War on Terrorism. They have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and have encountered insurgencies run by terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and its affiliates. The U.S. made the utilization of Air and Space Power very intensively during these operations. In order to implement operations; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets were used to collect the necessary information. Before the successful insertion of a small number of U.S. Special Operation Force (SOF) teams into Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force attacked al-Qaeda and Taliban's targets such as infrastructure, airfields, ground forces, command-control facilities etc. As soon as the U.S. troops got on the ground and started to marshal to Kabul, the Air Force supported them by attacking jointly determined targets. The Air Force continued to carry out the missions and played a significant role to achieve the objective of operation during all the time. This is not the only example of utilization of Air and Space Power in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. All around the world, many countries have also made the utilization of Air Power in different missions ranging from ISR to attacking. Thinking that terrorism has a psychological dimension and losing a pilot during operations may result in decreasing the population support to operations, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) started to be used by practitioners and took priority over other assets. Although UAVs have been on the theatre for a long time used for ISR mission in conventional conflicts, with the advent of drones, UAVs have also started to be used for attack missions in counterterrorism operations. In this study, it is aimed to determine whether UAVs are appropriate assets that can be used in counterterrorism operations. The study starts by examining the term terrorism and counterterrorism and discusses the role of the Air and Space Power in counterterrorism operations. After proposing that UAVs are appropriate assets for counterterrorism operations, it continues by explaining types and common usage concepts of UAVs. The advantages and disadvantages of UAVs are put forward from the counterterrorism operations' perspectives. It finally examines the utilization of UAVs in counterterrorism operations. In this context, as much as obtained from open sources, countries' roadmaps, usage concepts, experience, and current structure are examined to determine whether UAVs are appropriate assets in counterterrorism operations. When the advantages of UAVs and the disadvantages of manned systems are analyzed, other findings of our survey will show us that UAVs will be increasingly used in counterterrorism operations

  19. Feasibility of Turing-Style Tests for Autonomous Aerial Vehicle "Intelligence"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.

    2007-01-01

    A new approach is suggested to define and evaluate key metrics as to autonomous aerial vehicle performance. This approach entails the conceptual definition of a "Turing Test" for UAVs. Such a "UAV Turing test" would be conducted by means of mission simulations and/or tailored flight demonstrations of vehicles under the guidance of their autonomous system software. These autonomous vehicle mission simulations and flight demonstrations would also have to be benchmarked against missions "flown" with pilots/human-operators in the loop. In turn, scoring criteria for such testing could be based upon both quantitative mission success metrics (unique to each mission) and by turning to analog "handling quality" metrics similar to the well-known Cooper-Harper pilot ratings used for manned aircraft. Autonomous aerial vehicles would be considered to have successfully passed this "UAV Turing Test" if the aggregate mission success metrics and handling qualities for the autonomous aerial vehicle matched or exceeded the equivalent metrics for missions conducted with pilots/human-operators in the loop. Alternatively, an independent, knowledgeable observer could provide the "UAV Turing Test" ratings of whether a vehicle is autonomous or "piloted." This observer ideally would, in the more sophisticated mission simulations, also have the enhanced capability of being able to override the scripted mission scenario and instigate failure modes and change of flight profile/plans. If a majority of mission tasks are rated as "piloted" by the observer, when in reality the vehicle/simulation is fully- or semi- autonomously controlled, then the vehicle/simulation "passes" the "UAV Turing Test." In this regards, this second "UAV Turing Test" approach is more consistent with Turing s original "imitation game" proposal. The overall feasibility, and important considerations and limitations, of such an approach for judging/evaluating autonomous aerial vehicle "intelligence" will be discussed from a theoretical perspective.

  20. Stability and Control Properties of an Aeroelastic Fixed Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waszak, Martin R.; Jenkins, Luther N.; Ifju, Peter

    2001-01-01

    Micro aerial vehicles have been the subject of considerable interest and development over the last several years. The majority of current vehicle concepts rely on rigid fixed wings or rotors. An alternate design based on an aeroelastic membrane wing concept has also been developed that has exhibited desired characteristics in flight test demonstrations and competition. This paper presents results from a wind tunnel investigation that sought to quantify stability and control properties for a family of vehicles using the aeroelastic design. The results indicate that the membrane wing does exhibit potential benefits that could be exploited to enhance the design of future flight vehicles.

  1. US DOE aerial radiation monitoring programs

    SciTech Connect

    Jobst, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    EGandG Energy Measurements, Inc. operates the Remote Sensing Laboratory for the United States Department of Energy (USDOE). The Laboratory maintains eleven twin-engine aircraft, helicopters and fixed-wing, as aerial measurement platforms. It has a $23 million annual budget and 214 personnel operating at major facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. Remote sensing technologies include: large area radiological mapping, high altitude aerial photography, multispectral photography, multispectral aerial scanning, and airborne gas and particulate sampling. The Laboratory has developed a broad variety of remote sensing equipment; its personnel acquire, analyze, and report data to federal and state agencies. As a major technical resource of the USDOE, the Laboratory plays a key role in the federal response to a radiological emergency, particularly in the establishment of a Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC). Many sophisticated systems for acquisition and analysis are deployed to a FRMAC, along with an advanced communication system to link the participating local, state, and federal agencies. 6 figures.

  2. AVIATR - Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance A Titan Airplane Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, Jason W.; Lemke, Lawrence; Foch, Rick; McKay, Christopher P.; Beyer, Ross A.; Radebaugh, Jani; Atkinson, David H.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; LeMouelic, Stephane; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Gundlach, Jay; Giannini, Francesco; Bain, Sean; Flasar, F. Michael; Hurford, Terry; Anderson, Carrie M.; Merrison, Jon; Adamkovics, Mate; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Mitchell, Jonathan; Burr, Devon M.; Colaprete, Anthony; Schaller, Emily; Friedson, A. James; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Coradini, Angioletta; Adriani, Alberto; Sayanagi, Kunio M.; Malaska, Michael J.; Morabito, David; Reh, Kim

    2011-01-01

    We describe a mission concept for a stand-alone Titan airplane mission: Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance (AVIATR). With independent delivery and direct-to-Earth communications, AVIATR could contribute to Titan science either alone or as part of a sustained Titan Exploration Program. As a focused mission, AVIATR as we have envisioned it would concentrate on the science that an airplane can do best: exploration of Titan's global diversity. We focus on surface geology/hydrology and lower-atmospheric structure and dynamics. With a carefully chosen set of seven instruments-2 near-IR cameras, 1 near-IR spectrometer, a RADAR altimeter, an atmospheric structure suite, a haze sensor, and a raindrop detector-AVIATR could accomplish a significant subset of the scientific objectives of the aerial element of flagship studies. The AVIATR spacecraft stack is composed of a Space Vehicle (SV) for cruise, an Entry Vehicle (EV) for entry and descent, and the Air Vehicle (AV) to fly in Titan's atmosphere. Using an Earth-Jupiter gravity assist trajectory delivers the spacecraft to Titan in 7.5 years, after which the AVIATR AV would operate for a 1-Earth-year nominal mission. We propose a novel 'gravity battery' climb-then-glide strategy to store energy for optimal use during telecommunications sessions. We would optimize our science by using the flexibility of the airplane platform, generating context data and stereo pairs by flying and banking the AV instead of using gimbaled cameras. AVIATR would climb up to 14 km altitude and descend down to 3.5 km altitude once per Earth day, allowing for repeated atmospheric structure and wind measurements all over the globe. An initial Team-X run at JPL priced the AVIATR mission at FY10 $715M based on the rules stipulated in the recent Discovery announcement of opportunity. Hence we find that a standalone Titan airplane mission can achieve important science building on Cassini's discoveries and can likely do so within a New Frontiers budget.

  3. Vision-Aided Autonomous Landing and Ingress of Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brockers, Roland; Ma, Jeremy C.; Matthies, Larry H.; Bouffard, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Micro aerial vehicles have limited sensor suites and computational power. For reconnaissance tasks and to conserve energy, these systems need the ability to autonomously land at vantage points or enter buildings (ingress). But for autonomous navigation, information is needed to identify and guide the vehicle to the target. Vision algorithms can provide egomotion estimation and target detection using input from cameras that are easy to include in miniature systems.

  4. Beach monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: results of a multi-temporal study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casella, Elisa; Rovere, Alessio; Casella, Marco; Pedroncini, Andrea; Ferrari, Marco; Vacchi, Matteo; Firpo, Marco

    2015-04-01

    The application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and photogrammetry techniques in earth sciences is flourishing. In this study, we show how we applied small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to the study of topographic changes of a beach in Italy, NW Mediterranean Sea. We surveyed the same stretch of coastline three times in 5 months, obtaining ortophotos and digital elevation models of the beach using a structure from motion approach. We then calculated the difference in beach topography between each time step, and we related topography changes to both human and natural modifications of the beach morphology that can be inferred from aerial photos or wave data. We conclude that small drones have the potential to open new possibilities for beach monitoring studies, and can be successfully employed for multi-temporal monitoring studies at relatively low cost.

  5. Application of high resolution images from unmanned aerial vehicles for hydrology and range science

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A common problem in many natural resource disciplines is the lack of high-enough spatial resolution images that can be used for monitoring and modeling purposes. Advances have been made in the utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in hydrology and rangeland science. By utilizing low fligh...

  6. Texture and scale in object-based analysis of subdecimeter resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imagery acquired with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has great potential for incorporation into natural resource monitoring protocols due to their ability to be deployed quickly and repeatedly and to fly at low altitudes. While the imagery may have high spatial resolution, the spectral resolution i...

  7. Unmanned aerial vehicle: A unique platform for low-altitude remote sensing for crop management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) provide a unique platform for remote sensing to monitor crop fields that complements remote sensing from satellite, aircraft and ground-based platforms. The UAV-based remote sensing is versatile at ultra-low altitude to be able to provide an ultra-high-resolution imag...

  8. Acquisition, orthorectification, and object-based classification of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery for rangeland monitoring

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this paper, we examine the potential of using a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for rangeland inventory, assessment and monitoring. Imagery with 8-cm resolution was acquired over 290 ha in southwestern Idaho. We developed a semi-automated orthorectification procedure suitable for handling lar...

  9. Airborne Wireless Optical Communication System in Low Altitude Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and LEDs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Meiwei; Tong, Zheng; Yu, Xiangyu; Song, Yuhang; Lin, Aobo; Xu, Jing

    2016-02-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of airborne wireless optical communication system using an unmanned aerial vehicle and LEDs. Monte Carlo simulation method is used to evaluate the performance of the communication channel. Considering OOK modulation, we illustrate how the BER performance is affected by the link distance, the divergence angel and the deflection angel of the light source.

  10. Development of a PWM precision spraying controller for unmanned aerial vehicles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper presents a new pulse width modulation (PWM) controller for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) precision sprayer for agriculture using a TL494 fix-frequency pulse width modulator together with a data acquisition board and developed software. The PWM controller was implemented through the guidan...

  11. Rangeland resource assessment, monitoring, and management using unmanned aerial vehicle-based remote sensing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Civilian applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have rapidly been expanding recently. Thanks to military development many civil UAVs come via the defense sector. Although numerous UAVs can perform civilian tasks, the regulations imposed by FAA in the national airspace system and military e...

  12. Unmanned aerial vehicle-based remote sensing for rangeland assessment, monitoring, and management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rangeland comprises as much as 70% of the Earth’s land surface area. Much of this vast space is in very remote areas that are expensive and often impossible to access on the ground. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have great potential for rangeland management. UAVs have several advantages over satel...

  13. Survey on the novel hybrid aquatic-aerial amphibious aircraft: Aquatic unmanned aerial vehicle (AquaUAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xingbang; Wang, Tianmiao; Liang, Jianhong; Yao, Guocai; Liu, Miao

    2015-04-01

    The aquatic unmanned aerial vehicle (AquaUAV), a kind of vehicle that can operate both in the air and the water, has been regarded as a new breakthrough to broaden the application scenario of UAV. Wide application prospects in military and civil field are more than bright, therefore many institutions have focused on the development of such a vehicle. However, due to the significant difference of the physical properties between the air and the water, it is rather difficult to design a fully-featured AquaUAV. Until now, majority of partially-featured AquaUAVs have been developed and used to verify the feasibility of an aquatic-aerial vehicle. In the present work, we classify the current partially-featured AquaUAV into three categories from the scope of the whole UAV field, i.e., the seaplane UAV, the submarine-launched UAV, and the submersible UAV. Then the recent advancements and common characteristics of the three kinds of AquaUAVs are reviewed in detail respectively. Then the applications of bionics in the design of AquaUAV, the transition mode between the air and the water, the morphing wing structure for air-water adaptation, and the power source and the propulsion type are summarized and discussed. The tradeoff analyses for different transition methods between the air and the water are presented. Furthermore, it indicates that applying the bionics into the design and development of the AquaUAV will be essential and significant. Finally, the significant technical challenges for the AquaUAV to change from a conception to a practical prototype are indicated.

  14. Assessment of Photogrammetric Mapping Accuracy Based on Variation Flying Altitude Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udin, W. S.; Ahmad, A.

    2014-02-01

    Photogrammetry is the earliest technique used to collect data for topographic mapping. The recent development in aerial photogrammetry is the used of large format digital aerial camera for producing topographic map. The aerial photograph can be in the form of metric or non-metric imagery. The cost of mapping using aerial photogrammetry is very expensive. In certain application, there is a need to map small area with limited budget. Due to the development of technology, small format aerial photogrammetry technology has been introduced and offers many advantages. Currently, digital map can be extracted from digital aerial imagery of small format camera mounted on light weight platform such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This study utilizes UAV system for large scale stream mapping. The first objective of this study is to investigate the use of light weight rotary-wing UAV for stream mapping based on different flying height. Aerial photograph were acquired at 60% forward lap and 30% sidelap specifications. Ground control points and check points were established using Total Station technique. The digital camera attached to the UAV was calibrated and the recovered camera calibration parameters were then used in the digital images processing. The second objective is to determine the accuracy of the photogrammetric output. In this study, the photogrammetric output such as stereomodel in three dimensional (3D), contour lines, digital elevation model (DEM) and orthophoto were produced from a small stream of 200m long and 10m width. The research output is evaluated for planimetry and vertical accuracy using root mean square error (RMSE). Based on the finding, sub-meter accuracy is achieved and the RMSE value decreases as the flying height increases. The difference is relatively small. Finally, this study shows that UAV is very useful platform for obtaining aerial photograph and subsequently used for photogrammetric mapping and other applications.

  15. Use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for urban tree inventories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, Brian A.

    In contrast to standard aerial imagery, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) utilize recent technological advances to provide an affordable alternative for imagery acquisition. Increased value can be realized through clarity and detail providing higher resolution (2-5 cm) over traditional products. Many natural resource disciplines such as urban forestry will benefit from UAS. Tree inventories for risk assessment, biodiversity, planning, and design can be efficiently achieved with the UAS. Recent advances in photogrammetric processing have proved automated methods for three dimensional rendering of aerial imagery. Point clouds can be generated from images providing additional benefits. Association of spatial locational information within the point cloud can be used to produce elevation models i.e. digital elevation, digital terrain and digital surface. Taking advantage of this point cloud data, additional information such as tree heights can be obtained. Several software applications have been developed for LiDAR data which can be adapted to utilize UAS point clouds. This study examines solutions to provide tree inventory and heights from UAS imagery. Imagery taken with a micro-UAS was processed to produce a seamless orthorectified image. This image provided an accurate way to obtain a tree inventory within the study boundary. Utilizing several methods, tree height models were developed with variations in spatial accuracy. Model parameters were modified to offset spatial inconsistencies providing statistical equality of means. Statistical results (p = 0.756) with a level of significance (α = 0.01) between measured and modeled tree height means resulted with 82% of tree species obtaining accurate tree heights. Within this study, the UAS has proven to be an efficient tool for urban forestry providing a cost effective and reliable system to obtain remotely sensed data.

  16. Appendix J - GPRA06 vehicle technologies program

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2009-01-18

    The target market for the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) program include light vehicles (cars and light trucks) and heavy vehicles (trucks more than 10,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight).

  17. Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, Delma C., Jr.; Talay, Theodore A.; Austin, R. Eugene

    1996-01-01

    Industry/NASA Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Technology Program efforts are underway to design, test, and develop technologies and concepts for viable commercial launch systems that also satisfy national needs at acceptable recurring costs. Significant progress has been made in understanding the technical challenges of fully reusable launch systems and the accompanying management and operational approaches for achieving a low-cost program. This paper reviews the current status of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Program including the DC-XA, X-33 and X-34 flight systems and associated technology programs. It addresses the specific technologies being tested that address the technical and operability challenges of reusable launch systems including reusable cryogenic propellant tanks, composite structures, thermal protection systems, improved propulsion, and subsystem operability enhancements. The recently concluded DC-XA test program demonstrated some of these technologies in ground and flight tests. Contracts were awarded recently for both the X-33 and X-34 flight demonstrator systems. The Orbital Sciences Corporation X-34 flight test vehicle will demonstrate an air-launched reusable vehicle capable of flight to speeds of Mach 8. The Lockheed-Martin X-33 flight test vehicle will expand the test envelope for critical technologies to flight speeds of Mach 15. A propulsion program to test the X-33 linear aerospike rocket engine using a NASA SR-71 high speed aircraft as a test bed is also discussed. The paper also describes the management and operational approaches that address the challenge of new cost-effective, reusable launch vehicle systems.

  18. The Scout Launch Vehicle program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, L. R., Jr.; Urash, R. G.

    1981-01-01

    The Scout Launch Vehicle Program to utilize solid propellant rockets by the DOD and to provide a reliable, low cost vehicle for scientific and applications aircraft is discussed. The program's history is reviewed and a vehicle description is given. The Vandenberg Air Force Base and the San Marco launch sites are described, and capabilities such as payload weight, orbital inclinations, payload volume and mission integration time spans are discussed. Current and future plans for improvement, including larger heat shields and individual rocket motors are also reviewed.

  19. A fault-tolerant control architecture for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drozeski, Graham R.

    Research has presented several approaches to achieve varying degrees of fault-tolerance in unmanned aircraft. Approaches in reconfigurable flight control are generally divided into two categories: those which incorporate multiple non-adaptive controllers and switch between them based on the output of a fault detection and identification element, and those that employ a single adaptive controller capable of compensating for a variety of fault modes. Regardless of the approach for reconfigurable flight control, certain fault modes dictate system restructuring in order to prevent a catastrophic failure. System restructuring enables active control of actuation not employed by the nominal system to recover controllability of the aircraft. After system restructuring, continued operation requires the generation of flight paths that adhere to an altered flight envelope. The control architecture developed in this research employs a multi-tiered hierarchy to allow unmanned aircraft to generate and track safe flight paths despite the occurrence of potentially catastrophic faults. The hierarchical architecture increases the level of autonomy of the system by integrating five functionalities with the baseline system: fault detection and identification, active system restructuring, reconfigurable flight control; reconfigurable path planning, and mission adaptation. Fault detection and identification algorithms continually monitor aircraft performance and issue fault declarations. When the severity of a fault exceeds the capability of the baseline flight controller, active system restructuring expands the controllability of the aircraft using unconventional control strategies not exploited by the baseline controller. Each of the reconfigurable flight controllers and the baseline controller employ a proven adaptive neural network control strategy. A reconfigurable path planner employs an adaptive model of the vehicle to re-shape the desired flight path. Generation of the revised flight path is posed as a linear program constrained by the response of the degraded system. Finally, a mission adaptation component estimates limitations on the closed-loop performance of the aircraft and adjusts the aircraft mission accordingly. A combination of simulation and flight test results using two unmanned helicopters validates the utility of the hierarchical architecture.

  20. Action cameras and low-cost aerial vehicles in archaeology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballarin, M.; Balletti, C.; Guerra, F.

    2015-05-01

    This research is focused on the analysis of the potential of a close range aerial photogrammetry system, which is accessible both in economic terms and in terms of simplicity of use. In particular the Go Pro Hero3 Black Edition and the Parrot Ar. Drone 2.0 were studied. There are essentially two limitations to the system and they were found for both the instruments used. Indeed, the frames captured by the Go Pro are subject to great distortion and consequently pose numerous calibration problems. On the other hand, the limitation of the system lies in the difficulty of maintaining a flight configuration suitable for photogrammetric purposes in unfavourable environmental conditions. The aim of this research is to analyse how far the limitations highlighted can influence the precision of the survey and consequent quality of the results obtained. To this end, the integrated GoPro and Parrot system was used during a survey campaign on the Altilia archaeological site, in Molise. The data obtained was compared with that gathered by more traditional methods, such as the laser scanner. The system was employed in the field of archaeology because here the question of cost often has a considerable importance and the metric aspect is frequently subordinate to the qualitative and interpretative aspects. Herein one of the products of these systems; the orthophoto will be analysed, which is particularly useful in archaeology, especially in situations such as this dig in which there aren't many structures in elevation present. The system proposed has proven to be an accessible solution for producing an aerial documentation, which adds the excellent quality of the result to metric data for which the precision is known.

  1. Design and experiment for realization of laser wireless power transmission for small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Qi; Zhang, Dechen; Zhu, Dandi; Shi, Qianyun; Gu, Jian; Ai, Yong

    2015-10-01

    Currently various types of aircraft booming and maturing, however, their long-time navigational capability should be improved urgently. This paper aims at studying laser power beaming, which includes the technology of high-efficient photoelectric conversion and APT(acquiring, pointing and tracking) technology, to provide power for flying UAV(unmanned aerial vehicles) and improve their flight endurance. The experiment of testing different types of solar cells under various conditions has been done to choose the solar cell which has the highest photoelectric conversion rate and find its most sensitive wavelength. In addition, the charge management module has been chose on the base of the characteristics of lithium batteries. Besides, a laser APT system was designed and set up, at the same time FSM (Fast Scan Mirror) control program and digital image processing program were used to control the system. The success of the indoor experiment of scan-tracking and charging for the moving UAV model via laser proves that this system is workable. And in this experiment, the photoelectric conversion rate of the whole system is up to 17.55%.

  2. Aerial Vehicle Surveys of other Planetary Atmospheres and Surfaces: Imaging, Remote-sensing, and Autonomy Technology Requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Gregory; Ippolito, Corey; Alena, Rick

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review the anticipated imaging and remote-sensing technology requirements for aerial vehicle survey missions to other planetary bodies in our Solar system that can support in-atmosphere flight. In the not too distant future such planetary aerial vehicle (a.k.a. aerial explorers) exploration missions will become feasible. Imaging and remote-sensing observations will be a key objective for these missions. Accordingly, it is imperative that optimal solutions in terms of imaging acquisition and real-time autonomous analysis of image data sets be developed for such vehicles.

  3. International-Aerial Measuring System (I-AMS) Training Program

    SciTech Connect

    Wasiolek, Piotre T.; Malchor, Russell L.; Maurer, Richard J.; Adams, Henry L.

    2015-10-01

    Since the Fukushima reactor accident in 2011, there has been an increased interest worldwide in developing national capabilities to rapidly map and assess ground contamination resulting from nuclear reactor accidents. The capability to rapidly measure the size of the contaminated area, determine the activity level, and identify the radionuclides can aid emergency managers and decision makers in providing timely protective action recommendations to the public and first responders. The development of an aerial detection capability requires interagency coordination to assemble the radiation experts, detection system operators, and aviation aircrews to conduct the aerial measurements, analyze and interpret the data, and provide technical assessments. The Office of International Emergency Management and Cooperation (IEMC) at the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) sponsors an International - Aerial Measuring System (I-AMS) training program for partner nations to develop and enhance their response to radiological emergencies. An initial series of courses can be conducted in the host country to assist in developing an aerial detection capability. As the capability develops and expands, additional experience can be gained through advanced courses with the opportunity to conduct aerial missions over a broad range of radiation environments.

  4. Reusable launch vehicle technology program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, Delma C.; Talay, Theodore A.; Austin, R. Eugene

    Industry/NASA reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology program efforts are underway to design, test, and develop technologies and concepts for viable commercial launch systems that also satisfy national needs at acceptable recurring costs. Significant progress has been made in understanding the technical challenges of fully reusable launch systems and the accompanying management and operational approaches for achieving a low-cost program. This paper reviews the current status of the RLV technology program including the DC-XA, X-33 and X-34 flight systems and associated technology programs. It addresses the specific technologies being tested that address the technical and operability challenges of reusable launch systems including reusable cryogenic propellant tanks, composite structures, thermal protection systems, improved propulsion, and subsystem operability enhancements. The recently concluded DC-XA test program demonstrated some of these technologies in ground and flight tests. Contracts were awarded recently for both the X-33 and X-34 flight demonstrator systems. The Orbital Sciences Corporation X-34 flight test vehicle will demonstrate an air-launched reusable vehicle capable of flight to speeds of Mach 8. The Lockheed-Martin X-33 flight test vehicle will expand the test envelope for critical technologies to flight speeds of Mach 15. A propulsion program to test the X-33 linear aerospike rocket engine using a NASA SR-71 high speed aircraft as a test bed is also discussed. The paper also describes the management and operational approaches that address the challenge of new cost-effective, reusable launch vehicle systems.

  5. Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, Delma C., Jr.; Talay, Theodore A.; Austin, R. Eugene

    1997-01-01

    Industry/NASA reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology program efforts are underway to design, test, and develop technologies and concepts for viable commercial launch systems that also satisfy national needs at acceptable recurring costs. Significant progress has been made in understanding the technical challenges of fully reusable launch systems and the accompanying management and operational approaches for achieving a low cost program. This paper reviews the current status of the RLV technology program including the DC-XA, X-33 and X-34 flight systems and associated technology programs. It addresses the specific technologies being tested that address the technical and operability challenges of reusable launch systems including reusable cryogenic propellant tanks, composite structures, thermal protection systems, improved propulsion and subsystem operability enhancements. The recently concluded DC-XA test program demonstrated some of these technologies in ground and flight test. Contracts were awarded recently for both the X-33 and X-34 flight demonstrator systems. The Orbital Sciences Corporation X-34 flight test vehicle will demonstrate an air-launched reusable vehicle capable of flight to speeds of Mach 8. The Lockheed-Martin X-33 flight test vehicle will expand the test envelope for critical technologies to flight speeds of Mach 15. A propulsion program to test the X-33 linear aerospike rocket engine using a NASA SR-71 high speed aircraft as a test bed is also discussed. The paper also describes the management and operational approaches that address the challenge of new cost effective, reusable launch vehicle systems.

  6. Propane Vehicle Demonstration Grant Program

    SciTech Connect

    Jack Mallinger

    2004-08-27

    Project Description: Propane Vehicle Demonstration Grants The Propane Vehicle Demonstration Grants was established to demonstrate the benefits of new propane equipment. The US Department of Energy, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and the Propane Vehicle Council (PVC) partnered in this program. The project impacted ten different states, 179 vehicles, and 15 new propane fueling facilities. Based on estimates provided, this project generated a minimum of 1,441,000 new gallons of propane sold for the vehicle market annually. Additionally, two new off-road engines were brought to the market. Projects originally funded under this project were the City of Portland, Colorado, Kansas City, Impco Technologies, Jasper Engines, Maricopa County, New Jersey State, Port of Houston, Salt Lake City Newspaper, Suburban Propane, Mutual Liquid Propane and Ted Johnson.

  7. Automatic Vehicle Trajectory Extraction for Traffic Analysis from Aerial Video Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apeltauer, J.; Babinec, A.; Herman, D.; Apeltauer, T.

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents a new approach to simultaneous detection and tracking of vehicles moving through an intersection in aerial images acquired by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Detailed analysis of spatial and temporal utilization of an intersection is an important step for its design evaluation and further traffic inspection. Traffic flow at intersections is typically very dynamic and requires continuous and accurate monitoring systems. Conventional traffic surveillance relies on a set of fixed cameras or other detectors, requiring a high density of the said devices in order to monitor the intersection in its entirety and to provide data in sufficient quality. Alternatively, a UAV can be converted to a very agile and responsive mobile sensing platform for data collection from such large scenes. However, manual vehicle annotation in aerial images would involve tremendous effort. In this paper, the proposed combination of vehicle detection and tracking aims to tackle the problem of automatic traffic analysis at an intersection from visual data. The presented method has been evaluated in several real-life scenarios.

  8. Development of Bird-like Micro Aerial Vehicle with Flapping and Feathering Wing Motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maglasang, Jonathan; Goto, Norihiro; Isogai, Koji

    To investigate the feasibility of a highly efficient flapping system capable of avian maneuvers, such as rapid takeoff, hover and gliding, a full scale bird-like (ornithopter) flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle (MAV) shaped and patterned after a typical pigeon (Columba livia) has been designed and constructed. Both numerical and experimental methods have been used in the development of this vehicle. This flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle utilizes both the flapping and feathering motions of an avian wing by employing a novel flapping-feathering mechanism, which has been synthesized and constructed so as to best describe the properly coordinated flapping and feathering wing motions at phase angle difference of 90° in a horizontal steady level flight condition. This design allows high flapping and feathering amplitudes and is configurable for asymmetric wing motions which are desirable in high-speed flapping flight and maneuvering. The preliminary results indicate its viability as a practical and an efficient flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle.

  9. Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1992-05-01

    Kansas State University, with funding support from federal, state, public, and private companies, is participating in the Department of Energy's Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program. Through participation is this program, Kansas State is demonstrating, testing, and evaluating electric or hybrid vehicle technology. This participation will provide organizations the opportunity to examine the latest EHV prototypes under actual operating conditions. KSU proposes to purchase one electric or hybrid van and four electric cars during the first two years of this five year program. KSU has purchased one G-Van built by Conceptor Industries, Toronto, Canada and has initiated a procurement order to purchase two Soleq 1992 Ford EVcort stationwagons.

  10. Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Kansas State University, with funding support from federal, state, public, and private companies, is participating in the Department of Energy's Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program. Through participation is this program, Kansas State is demonstrating, testing, and evaluating electric or hybrid vehicle technology. This participation will provide organizations the opportunity to examine the latest EHV prototypes under actual operating conditions. KSU proposes to purchase one (1) electric or hybrid van and four (4) electric cars during the first two years of this five year program. KSU has purchased one G-Van built by Conceptor Industries, Toronto, Canada and has initiated a procurement order to purchase two (2) Soleq 1992 Ford EVcort stationwagons.

  11. Insect-Inspired Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thakoor, Sarita; Stange, G.; Srinivasan, M.; Chahl, Javaan; Hine, Butler; Zornetzer, Steven

    2005-01-01

    Flight-control and navigation systems inspired by the structure and function of the visual system and brain of insects have been proposed for a class of developmental miniature robotic aircraft called "biomorphic flyers" described earlier in "Development of Biomorphic Flyers" (NPO-30554), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 54. These form a subset of biomorphic explorers, which, as reported in several articles in past issues of NASA Tech Briefs ["Biomorphic Explorers" (NPO-20142), Vol. 22, No. 9 (September 1998), page 71; "Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems" (NPO-21142), Vol. 27, No. 5 (May 2003), page 54; and "Cooperative Lander-Surface/Aerial Microflyer Missions for Mars Exploration" (NPO-30286), Vol. 28, No. 5 (May 2004), page 36], are proposed small robots, equipped with microsensors and communication systems, that would incorporate crucial functions of mobility, adaptability, and even cooperative behavior. These functions are inherent to biological organisms but are challenging frontiers for technical systems. Biomorphic flyers could be used on Earth or remote planets to explore otherwise difficult or impossible to reach sites. An example of an exploratory task of search/surveillance functions currently being tested is to obtain high-resolution aerial imagery, using a variety of miniaturized electronic cameras. The control functions to be implemented by the systems in development include holding altitude, avoiding hazards, following terrain, navigation by reference to recognizable terrain features, stabilization of flight, and smooth landing. Flying insects perform these and other functions remarkably well, even though insect brains contains fewer than 10(exp -4) as many neurons as does the human brain. Although most insects have immobile, fixed-focus eyes and lack stereoscopy (and hence cannot perceive depth directly), they utilize a number of ingenious strategies for perceiving, and navigating in, three dimensions. Despite their lack of stereoscopy, insects infer distances to potential obstacles and other objects from image motion cues that result from their own motions in the environment. The concept of motion of texture in images as a source of motion cues is denoted generally as the concept of optic or optical flow. Computationally, a strategy based on optical flow is simpler than is stereoscopy for avoiding hazards and following terrain. Hence, this strategy offers the potential to design vision-based control computing subsystems that would be more compact, would weigh less, and would demand less power than would subsystems of equivalent capability based on a conventional stereoscopic approach.

  12. US Army remotely piloted vehicle supporting technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gossett, T. D.

    1981-01-01

    Essential technology programs that lead to the full scale engineering development of the Aquila Remotely Piloted Vehicle system for U.S. Army are described. The Aquila system uses a small recoverable and reusable RPV to provide target acquisition, designation, and aerial reconnaissance mission support for artillery and smart munitions. Developments that will provide growth capabilities to the Aquila RPV system, as well as future RPV mission concepts being considered by the U.S. Army are presented.

  13. Simulation and Flight Control of an Aeroelastic Fixed Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waszak, Martin; Davidson, John B.; Ifju, Peter G.

    2002-01-01

    Micro aerial vehicles have been the subject of continued interest and development over the last several years. The majority of current vehicle concepts rely on rigid fixed wings or rotors. An alternate design based on an aeroelastic membrane wing has also been developed that exhibits desired characteristics in flight test demonstrations, competition, and in prior aerodynamics studies. This paper presents a simulation model and an assessment of flight control characteristics of the vehicle. Linear state space models of the vehicle associated with typical trimmed level flight conditions and which are suitable for control system design are presented as well. The simulation is used as the basis for the design of a measurement based nonlinear dynamic inversion control system and outer loop guidance system. The vehicle/controller system is the subject of ongoing investigations of autonomous and collaborative control schemes. The results indicate that the design represents a good basis for further development of the micro aerial vehicle for autonomous and collaborative controls research.

  14. Monitoring agricultural crops using a light-weight hyperspectral mapping system for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooistra, Lammert; Suomalainen, Juha; Franke, Jappe; Bartholomeus, Harm; Mücher, Sander; Becker, Rolf

    2014-05-01

    Remote sensing has been identified as a key technology to allow near real-time detection and diagnosis of crop status at the field level. Although satellite based remote sensing techniques have already proven to be relevant for many requirements of crop inventory and monitoring, they might lack flexibility to support anomaly detection at specific moments over the growing season. Imagery taken from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are shown to be an effective alternative platform for crop monitoring, given their potential of high spatial and temporal resolution, and their high flexibility in image acquisition programming. In addition, several studies have shown that an increased spectral resolution as available from hyperspectral systems provide the opportunity to estimate biophysical properties like leaf-area-index (LAI), chlorophyll and leaf water content with improved accuracies. To investigate the opportunities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in operational crop monitoring, we have developed a light-weight hyperspectral mapping system (< 2 kg) suitable to be mounted on small UAVs. Its composed of an octocopter UAV-platform with a pushbroom spectrometer consisting of a spectrograph, an industrial camera functioning as frame grabber, storage device, and computer, a separate INS and finally a photogrammetric camera. The system is able to produce georeferenced and georectified hyperspectral data cubes in the 400-1000 nm spectral range at 10-50 cm resolution. The system is tested in a fertilization experiment for a potato crop on a 12 ha experimental field in the South of the Netherlands. In the experiment UAV-based hyperspectral images were acquired on a weekly basis together with field data on chlorophyll as indicator for the nitrogen situation of the crop and leaf area index (LAI) as indicator for biomass status. Initially, the quality aspects of the developed light-weight hyperspectral mapping system will presented with regard to its radiometric and geometric quality. Next we would like to present the relations between sensor derived spectral measurements and crop status variables for a time-series of measurements over the growing season. In addition, the spatial variation of crop characteristics within the field can be adopted for variable rate application of fertilizers within the field. The outcome of the experiments should guide the operational use of UAV based systems in precision agriculture systems.

  15. Cognitive integration of aerial and ground views in remote vehicle operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadwick, Roger A.; Gillan, Douglas J.

    2008-04-01

    Both unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are being used in increasingly complex roles as this technology matures. There are many proposals for the joint use of UAVs and UGVs working together to achieve mission goals. Due to the spatial perception difficulties commonly reported in UGV operations, it has been postulated that the operation of UGVs could benefit from the use of live aerial views in scenarios where this is possible. In a series of experimental studies we examine the cognitive task of integrating air and ground views. Integrating these views is a key cognitive task component in UGV operations which usually require that maps for navigation be integrated with imagery from ground view cameras. Whether aerial views are used or not, integration with map views is crucial. In this paper we discuss a series of experimental studies relevant to the cognitive integration of air and ground views in UGV scenarios. The integration of map and ground camera views may be facilitated by the use of live aerial views. In urban search scenarios the addition of an aerial view to a UGV operator's task does not appear to have any measurable negative consequences and improves localization performance.

  16. First results for an image processing workflow for hyperspatial imagery acquired with a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Very high-resolution images from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have great potential for use in rangeland monitoring and assessment, because the imagery fills the gap between ground-based observations and remotely sensed imagery from aerial or satellite sensors. However, because UAV imagery is ofte...

  17. A procedure for orthorectification of sub-decimeter resolution imagery obtained with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Digital aerial photography acquired with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has great value for resource management due to the flexibility and relatively low cost for image acquisition, and very high resolution imagery (5 cm) which allows for mapping bare soil and vegetation types, structure and patter...

  18. Real-time Estimation of the Gaseous Plume Using a Formation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demetriou, Michael; Egorova, Tatiana; Gatsonis, Nikolaos

    2015-11-01

    This work proposes an approach for the real-time estimation of gaseous plume caused by a source moving along an unknown trajectory using a formation of seven unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with concentration sensors onboard. The process of gas release is modeled with unsteady advection-diffusion equation and is solved numerically using a finite volume method (FVM) with total variation diminishing (TVD) scheme. The concentration estimator is based on the Luenberger observer. The UAVs are assumed to maintain a rigid flying formation throughout the process. The UAVs dynamics is described by the point-mass model of a fixed wing aircraft. The guidance of the leader UAV is coupled to the performance of the estimator through Lyapunov redesign methods. An appropriate choice of the Lyapunov functional results in the desired direction for the leader UAV, which is expressed in terms of the concentration estimation error and the error gradients at the sensors locations. For computational efficiency in the real-time applications the computational grid for the estimator is adapted dynamically to provide higher resolution near the flying formation. Numerical tests are implemented to illustrate the performance of the proposed approach. The work is supported by the Dynamics and Control Program at AFOSR, grant FA9550-12-1-0114.

  19. Mobile Stereo-Mapper a Portable Kit for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li-Chee-Ming, J.; Armenakis, C.; Lee, R.

    2011-09-01

    A low-cost portable light-weight mobile stereo-mapping system (MSMS) is under development in the GeoICT Lab, Geomatics Engineering program at York University. The MSMS is designed for remote operation on board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for navigation and rapid collection of 3D spatial data. Pose estimation of the camera sensors is based on single frequency RTK-GPS, loosely coupled in a Kalman filter with MEMS-based IMU. The attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) calculates orientation from the gyro data, aided by accelerometer and magnetometer data to compensate for gyro drift. Two low-cost consumer digital cameras are calibrated and time-synchronized with the GPS/IMU to provide direct georeferenced stereo vision, while a video camera is used for navigation. Object coordinates are determined using rigorous photogrammetric solutions supported by direct georefencing algorithms for accurate pose estimation of the camera sensors. Before the MSMS is considered operational its sensor components and the integrated system itself has to undergo a rigorous calibration process to determine systematic errors and biases and to determine the relative geometry of the sensors. In this paper, the methods and results for system calibration, including camera, boresight and leverarm calibrations are presented. An overall accuracy assessment of the calibrated system is given using a 3D test field.

  20. An Examination of Drag Reduction Mechanisms in Marine Animals, with Potential Applications to Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musick, John A.; Patterson, Mark R.; Dowd, Wesley W.

    2002-01-01

    Previous engineering research and development has documented the plausibility of applying biomimetic approaches to aerospace engineering. Past cooperation between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and NASA focused on the drag reduction qualities of the microscale dermal denticles of shark skin. This technology has subsequently been applied to submarines and aircraft. The present study aims to identify and document the three-dimensional geometry of additional macroscale morphologies that potentially confer drag reducing hydrodynamic qualities upon marine animals and which could be applied to enhance the range and endurance of Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Such morphologies have evolved over eons to maximize organismal energetic efficiency by reducing the energetic input required to maintain cruising speeds in the viscous marine environment. These drag reduction qualities are manifested in several groups of active marine animals commonly encountered by ongoing VIMS research programs: namely sharks, bony fishes such as tunas, and sea turtles. Through spatial data acquired by molding and digital imagery analysis of marine specimens provided by VIMS, NASA aims to construct scale models of these features and to test these potential drag reduction morphologies for application to aircraft design. This report addresses the efforts of VIMS and NASA personnel on this project between January and November 2001.

  1. Adaptive aerostructures: the first decade of flight on uninhabited aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Ronald M.

    2004-07-01

    Although many subscale aircraft regularly fly with adaptive materials in sensors and small components in secondary subsystems, only a handful have flown with adaptive aerostructures as flight critical, enabling components. This paper reviews several families of adaptive aerostructures which have enabled or significantly enhanced flightworthy uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs), including rotary and fixed wing aircraft, missiles and munitions. More than 40 adaptive aerostructures programs which have had a direct connection to flight test and/or production UAVs, ranging from hover through hypersonic, sea-level to exo-stratospheric are examined. Adaptive material type, design Mach range, test methods, aircraft configuration and performance of each of the designs are presented. An historical analysis shows the evolution of flightworthy adaptive aerostructures from the earliest staggering flights in 1994 to modern adaptive UAVs supporting live-fire exercises in harsh military environments. Because there are profound differences between bench test, wind tunnel test, flight test and military grade flightworthy adaptive aerostructures, some of the most mature industrial design and fabrication techniques in use today will be outlined. The paper concludes with an example of the useful load and performance expansions which are seen on an industrial, military-grade UAV through the use of properly designed, flight-hardened adaptive aerostructures.

  2. Human Systems Integration and Automation Issues in Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, Michael E.; Matsangas, Panagiotis

    2004-01-01

    The goal of this report is to identify Human System Integration (HSI) and automation issues that contribute to improved effectiveness and efficiency in the operation of U.S. military Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAVs). HSI issues relevant to SUAV operations are reviewed and observations from field trials are summarized. Short-term improvements are suggested research issues are identified and an overview is provided of automation technologies applicable to future SUAV design.

  3. Electric and hybrid vehicles program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-04-01

    This thirteenth annual report on the implementation of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-413), referred to as the Act, complies with the reporting requirements established in section 14 of the Act. In addition to informing Congress of the progress and plans of the Department of Energy's Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Program, this report is intended to serve as a communication link between the Department and all of the public and private interests involved in making the program a success. During FY 1989, significant progress was made in this program. There has been continuing interest shown by both the automobile manufacturers and supply sectors of our economy in electric and hybrid vehicles. The three major domestic automobile manufacturers all are devoting some effort towards electric vehicles. Their participation includes cost-shared contracts with Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute as well as independently funded activities. Research and development efforts in batteries and propulsion components continue to achieve significant progress in providing industry with technology that will result in vehicles that will be more economically competitive.

  4. Electric and hybrid vehicles program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1992-05-01

    The Department of Energy's (DOE) Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (EHV) Program is conducting research, development, testing, and evaluation activities to encourage the use of electricity and alternative fuels for transportation. This program supports the expanded DOE involvement as recommended in the National Energy Strategy. The transportation sector is the single largest user of petroleum; it consumed 63 percent of all petroleum used in the United States last year. Only a small fraction (5 percent) of electricity is generated from petroleum. Electric vehicles, which are themselves virtually pollution-free, could play a key role in helping to reduce both urban pollution and our dependence on petroleum imports. The program's goals are to develop, in cooperation with industry, the technology that will lead to the production and introduction of pollution-free electric vehicles into the Nation's transportation fleet and substitute domestic sources of energy for petroleum-based fuels. This report describes progress achieved in developing electric and hybrid vehicle technologies, beginning with highlights of recent accomplishments in FY-91. Detailed descriptions are provided of program activities during FY-91 in the areas of battery, fuel-cell, and propulsion system development, and testing and evaluation of new technology in fleet site operations and in laboratories. In accordance with the reporting requirements of the Act, this annual report contains a status report on incentives and use of foreign components and concludes with a list of publications resulting from the DOE program.

  5. Fault detection and multiclassifier fusion for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Weizhong

    2001-03-01

    UAVs demand more accurate fault accommodation for their mission manager and vehicle control system in order to achieve a reliability level that is comparable to that of a pilot aircraft. This paper attempts to apply multi-classifier fusion techniques to achieve the necessary performance of the fault detection function for the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works (LMSW) UAV Mission Manager. Three different classifiers that meet the design requirements of the fault detection of the UAAV are employed. The binary decision outputs from the classifiers are then aggregated using three different classifier fusion schemes, namely, majority vote, weighted majority vote, and Naieve Bayes combination. All of the three schemes are simple and need no retraining. The three fusion schemes (except the majority vote that gives an average performance of the three classifiers) show the classification performance that is better than or equal to that of the best individual. The unavoidable correlation between the classifiers with binary outputs is observed in this study. We conclude that it is the correlation between the classifiers that limits the fusion schemes to achieve an even better performance.

  6. An intelligent algorithm for unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhargave, Ashish; Ambrose, Barry; Lin, Freddie; Kazantzidis, Manthos

    2007-04-01

    An intelligent swarm-based guidance and path planning algorithm for the Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) provides the ability to efficiently carry out grid surveillance, taking into account specific UAV constraints such as maximum speed, maximum flight time and battery re-charging intervals to allow for continuous surveillance. The swarm-based flight planning is based on enhancements of distributed computing concepts that have been developed for NASA's launch danger zone protection. The algorithm is a modified version of an ant colony optimization theory describing ant food foraging. Ants initially follow random paths from the nest, but if food is found, the ant deposits a pheromone (modifying the local environment), which influences other ants to travel the same path. Once the food source is exhausted, the pheromone decays naturally, which causes the trail to disappear. When an ant is on an established trail, it may at any time decide to follow a new random path, allowing for new exploration. Using these concepts, in our system for UAV, we use two units, the Rendezvous unit and the Patrol unit. The Rendezvous units will act as pheromone deposit sites keeping a record of trails of interest (extra pheromone that decays over time), and obstacles (no pheromone). The search area is divided into a grid of areas. Each area unit is assigned a pheromone weight. The patrol unit picks an area unit based on a probabilistic formula consisting of parameters like the relative weight of trail intensity, area visibility to the unit, the distance of the patrol unit from the area, and the pheromone decay factor. Simulation of a UAV surveillance system based on the above algorithm showed that it has the ability to perform independently and reliably without human intervention, and the emergent nature of the algorithm has the ability to incorporate important aspects of unmanned surveillance.

  7. Vehicle Technologies Program Funding Opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    2011-12-13

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides funding opportunities for advanced vehicle technology projects that are aimed at removing technical and cost barriers. Much of the funding available to the Vehicle Technologies Program is distributed to private firms, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, Native American organizations, and individuals, through competitive solicitations. DOE is strongly committed to partnerships to help ensure the eventual market acceptance of the technologies being developed. New solicitations are announced regularly.

  8. Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to capture micro-topography of Antarctic moss beds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucieer, Arko; Turner, Darren; King, Diana H.; Robinson, Sharon A.

    2014-04-01

    Mosses, the dominant flora of East Antarctica, show evidence of drying in recent decades, likely due to the regional effects of climate change. Given the relatively small area that such moss beds occupy, new tools are needed to map and monitor these fragile ecosystems in sufficient detail. In this study, we collected low altitude aerial photography with a small multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Structure from Motion (SfM) computer vision techniques were applied to derive ultra-high resolution 3D models from multi-view aerial photography. A 2 cm digital surface model (DSM) and 1 cm orthophoto mosaic were derived from the 3D model and aerial photographs, respectively. The geometric accuracy of the orthophoto and DSM was 4 cm. A weighted contributing upstream area was derived with the D-infinity algorithm, based on the DSM and a snow cover map derived from the orthophoto. The contributing upstream area was used as a proxy for water availability from snowmelt, one of the key environmental drivers of moss health. A Monte Carlo simulation with 300 realisations was implemented to model the impact of error in the DSM on runoff direction. Significant correlations were found between these simulated water availability values and field measurements of moss health and water content. In the future ultra-high spatial resolution DSMs acquired with a UAV could thus be used to determine the impact of changing snow cover on the health and spatial distribution of polar vegetation non-destructively.

  9. Using advanced manufacturing to produce unmanned aerial vehicles: a feasibility study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Easter, Steven; Turman, Jonathan; Sheffler, David; Balazs, Michael; Rotner, Jonathan

    2013-05-01

    This paper reports on a feasibility study to explore the impact of advanced manufacturing on the production and maintenance of a 3D printed, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in theatre. Specifically, this report focuses on fused deposition modeling (FDM), the selective deposition of a molten thermoplastic. FDM is already a forward deployed technology, primarily used for printing custom tools and replacement parts. The authors ask if it is feasible to expand the printers' capacity to produce aerial platforms; the reduction in logistics and labor could significantly decrease costs per unit and enable far more platform customization and specialized deployment scenarios than are available in existing aircraft. The University of Virginia and The MITRE Corporation designed and built a prototype, 3D printed UAV for use as an aerial sensor platform. This report • Discusses the printed aerial platform, summarizes the design process, and compares printing methods • Describes the benefits and limitations to selecting FDM printers as the technology both for deployment as well as UAV design • Concludes with the current state and future expectations for FDM printing technologies relevant to UAV production. Our findings suggest that although 3D printing is not yet entirely field-ready, many of its advantages can already be realized.

  10. Small unmanned aerial vehicles for aeromagnetic surveys and their flights in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, Minoru; Higashino, Shin-Ichiro; Sakanaka, Shinya; Iwata, Naoyoshi; Nakamura, Norihiro; Hirasawa, Naohiko; Obara, Noriaki; Kuwabara, Mikio

    2014-12-01

    We developed small computer-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, Ant-Plane) using parts and technology designed for model airplanes. These UAVs have a maximum flight range of 300-500 km. We planned aeromagnetic and aerial photographic surveys using the UAVs around Bransfield Basin, Antarctica, beginning from King George Island. However, we were unable to complete these flights due to unsuitable weather conditions and flight restrictions. Successful flights were subsequently conducted from Livingston Island to Deception Island in December 2011. This flight covered 302.4 km in 3:07:08, providing aeromagnetic and aerial photographic data from an altitude of 780 m over an area of 9 × 18 km around the northern region of Deception Island. The resulting magnetic anomaly map of Deception Island displayed higher resolution than the marine anomaly maps published already. The flight to South Bay in Livingston Island successfully captured aerial photographs that could be used for assessment of glacial and sea-ice conditions. It is unclear whether the cost-effectiveness of the airborne survey by UAV is superior to that of manned flight. Nonetheless, Ant-Plane 6-3 proved to be highly cost-effective for the Deception Island flight, considering the long downtime of the airplane in the Antarctic storm zone.

  11. Heavy Vehicle Propulsion Materials Program

    SciTech Connect

    Diamond, S.; Johnson, D.R.

    1999-04-26

    The objective of the Heavy Vehicle Propulsion Materials Program is to develop the enabling materials technology for the clean, high-efficiency diesel truck engines of the future. The development of cleaner, higher-efficiency diesel engines imposes greater mechanical, thermal, and tribological demands on materials of construction. Often the enabling technology for a new engine component is the material from which the part can be made. The Heavy Vehicle Propulsion Materials Program is a partnership between the Department of Energy (DOE), and the diesel engine companies in the United States, materials suppliers, national laboratories, and universities. A comprehensive research and development program has been developed to meet the enabling materials requirements for the diesel engines of the future. Advanced materials, including high-temperature metal alloys, intermetallics, cermets, ceramics, amorphous materials, metal- and ceramic-matrix composites, and coatings, are investigated for critical engine applications.

  12. Challenges in collecting hyperspectral imagery of coastal waters using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    English, D. C.; Herwitz, S.; Hu, C.; Carlson, P. R., Jr.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Yates, K. K.; Ramsewak, D.

    2013-12-01

    Airborne multi-band remote sensing is an important tool for many aquatic applications; and the increased spectral information from hyperspectral sensors may increase the utility of coastal surveys. Recent technological advances allow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to be used as alternatives or complements to manned aircraft or in situ observing platforms, and promise significant advantages for field studies. These include the ability to conduct programmed flight plans, prolonged and coordinated surveys, and agile flight operations under difficult conditions such as measurements made at low altitudes. Hyperspectral imagery collected from UAVs should allow the increased differentiation of water column or shallow benthic communities at relatively small spatial scales. However, the analysis of hyperspectral imagery from airborne platforms over shallow coastal waters differs from that used for terrestrial or oligotrophic ocean color imagery, and the operational constraints and considerations for the collection of such imagery from autonomous platforms also differ from terrestrial surveys using manned aircraft. Multispectral and hyperspectral imagery of shallow seagrass and coral environments in the Florida Keys were collected with various sensor systems mounted on manned and unmanned aircrafts in May 2012, October 2012, and May 2013. The imaging systems deployed on UAVs included NovaSol's Selectable Hyperspectral Airborne Remote-sensing Kit (SHARK), a Tetracam multispectral imaging system, and the Sunflower hyperspectal imager from Galileo Group, Inc. The UAVs carrying these systems were Xtreme Aerial Concepts' Vision-II Rotorcraft UAV, MLB Company's Bat-4 UAV, and NASA's SIERRA UAV, respectively. Additionally, the Galileo Group's manned aircraft also surveyed the areas with their AISA Eagle hyperspectral imaging system. For both manned and autonomous flights, cloud cover and sun glint (solar and viewing angles) were dominant constraints on retrieval of quantitatively useful remote sensing reflectance from airborne imagery. Measurements collected near the water's surface or from adjacent shoreline areas are being used to refine the spectral corrections or assess the validity of the hyperspectral imagery. The imagery collected corroborates the importance of validation measurements, sensor selection, and radiative transfer models for the interpretation of UAV based imagery. The fieldwork and subsequent analysis show some of the technical challenges that exist for radiometric and atmospheric corrections, and the use of UAVs for coastal research.

  13. Implementation of AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System for Large Scale Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mah, S. B.; Cryderman, C. S.

    2015-08-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), digital cameras, powerful personal computers, and software have made it possible for geomatics professionals to capture aerial photographs and generate digital terrain models and orthophotographs without using full scale aircraft or hiring mapping professionals. This has been made possible by the availability of miniaturized computers and sensors, and software which has been driven, in part, by the demand for this technology in consumer items such as smartphones. The other force that is in play is the increasing number of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) people who are building UAVs as a hobby or for professional use. Building a UAV system for mapping is an alternative to purchasing a turnkey system. This paper describes factors to be considered when building a UAV mapping system, the choices made, and the test results of a project using this completed system.

  14. Holarchical Systems and Emotional Holons : Biologically-Inspired System Designs for Control of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ippolito, Corey; Plice, Laura; Pisanich, Greg

    2003-01-01

    The BEES (Bio-inspired Engineering for Exploration Systems) for Mars project at NASA Ames Research Center has the goal of developing bio-inspired flight control strategies to enable aerial explorers for Mars scientific investigations. This paper presents a summary of our ongoing research into biologically inspired system designs for control of unmanned autonomous aerial vehicle communities for Mars exploration. First, we present cooperative design considerations for robotic explorers based on the holarchical nature of biological systems and communities. Second, an outline of an architecture for cognitive decision making and control of individual robotic explorers is presented, modeled after the emotional nervous system of cognitive biological systems. Keywords: Holarchy, Biologically Inspired, Emotional UAV Flight Control

  15. 3D Tree Dimensionality Assessment Using Photogrammetry and Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Detailed, precise, three-dimensional (3D) representations of individual trees are a prerequisite for an accurate assessment of tree competition, growth, and morphological plasticity. Until recently, our ability to measure the dimensionality, spatial arrangement, shape of trees, and shape of tree components with precision has been constrained by technological and logistical limitations and cost. Traditional methods of forest biometrics provide only partial measurements and are labor intensive. Active remote technologies such as LiDAR operated from airborne platforms provide only partial crown reconstructions. The use of terrestrial LiDAR is laborious, has portability limitations and high cost. In this work we capitalized on recent improvements in the capabilities and availability of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), light and inexpensive cameras, and developed an affordable method for obtaining precise and comprehensive 3D models of trees and small groups of trees. The method employs slow-moving UAVs that acquire images along predefined trajectories near and around targeted trees, and computer vision-based approaches that process the images to obtain detailed tree reconstructions. After we confirmed the potential of the methodology via simulation we evaluated several UAV platforms, strategies for image acquisition, and image processing algorithms. We present an original, step-by-step workflow which utilizes open source programs and original software. We anticipate that future development and applications of our method will improve our understanding of forest self-organization emerging from the competition among trees, and will lead to a refined generation of individual-tree-based forest models. PMID:26393926

  16. Comparison of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Platforms for Assessing Vegetation Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Robert P. Breckenridge; Maxine Dakins; Stephen Bunting; Jerry Harbour; Sera White

    2011-09-01

    In this study, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quick and safe method for monitoring biotic resources was evaluated. Vegetation cover and the amount of bare ground are important factors in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems and assessment of rangeland health. Methods that improve speed and cost efficiency could greatly improve how biotic resources are monitored on western lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species (including sage grouse and pygmy rabbit). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluations. In this project, two UAV platforms, fixed wing and helicopter, were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess vegetation cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate percent cover for six different vegetation types (shrub, dead shrub, grass, forb, litter, and bare ground) and (2) locate sage grouse using representative decoys. The field plots were located on the Idaho National Engineering (INL) site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetation cover. A software program called SamplePoint was used along with visual inspection to evaluate percent cover for the six cover types. Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy. The comparison of fixed-wing and helicopter UAV technology against field estimates shows good agreement for the measurement of bare ground. This study shows that if a high degree of detail and data accuracy is desired, then a helicopter UAV may be a good platform to use. If the data collection objective is to assess broad-scale landscape level changes, then the collection of imagery with a fixed-wing system is probably more appropriate.

  17. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Assess Vegetative Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosytstems

    SciTech Connect

    Robert P. Breckenridge

    2005-09-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in conjunction with the University of Idaho, is evaluating novel approaches for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quicker and safer method for monitoring biotic resources. Evaluating vegetative cover is an important factor in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. In assessing vegetative cover, methods that improve accuracy and cost efficiency could revolutionize how biotic resources are monitored on western federal lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species, some of which are important indicator species (e.g., sage grouse). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluation of these ecosystems. In this project, two types of UAV platforms (fixed wing and helicopter) were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate total percent cover, (2) estimate percent cover for six different types of vegetation, and (3) locate sage grouse based on representative decoys. The field plots were located on the INL site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetative cover. A software program called SamplePoint developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) was used to evaluate the imagery for percent cover for the six vegetation types (bare ground, litter, shrubs, dead shrubs, grasses, and forbs). Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy.

  18. 3D Tree Dimensionality Assessment Using Photogrammetry and Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Gatziolis, Demetrios; Lienard, Jean F; Vogs, Andre; Strigul, Nikolay S

    2015-01-01

    Detailed, precise, three-dimensional (3D) representations of individual trees are a prerequisite for an accurate assessment of tree competition, growth, and morphological plasticity. Until recently, our ability to measure the dimensionality, spatial arrangement, shape of trees, and shape of tree components with precision has been constrained by technological and logistical limitations and cost. Traditional methods of forest biometrics provide only partial measurements and are labor intensive. Active remote technologies such as LiDAR operated from airborne platforms provide only partial crown reconstructions. The use of terrestrial LiDAR is laborious, has portability limitations and high cost. In this work we capitalized on recent improvements in the capabilities and availability of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), light and inexpensive cameras, and developed an affordable method for obtaining precise and comprehensive 3D models of trees and small groups of trees. The method employs slow-moving UAVs that acquire images along predefined trajectories near and around targeted trees, and computer vision-based approaches that process the images to obtain detailed tree reconstructions. After we confirmed the potential of the methodology via simulation we evaluated several UAV platforms, strategies for image acquisition, and image processing algorithms. We present an original, step-by-step workflow which utilizes open source programs and original software. We anticipate that future development and applications of our method will improve our understanding of forest self-organization emerging from the competition among trees, and will lead to a refined generation of individual-tree-based forest models. PMID:26393926

  19. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) associated DTM quality evaluation and hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Mei-Jen; Chen, Shao-Der; Chao, Yu-Jui; Chiang, Yi-Lin; Chang, Kuo-Jen

    2014-05-01

    Taiwan, due to the high seismicity and high annual rainfall, numerous landslides triggered every year and severe impacts affect the island. Concerning to the catastrophic landslides, the key information of landslide, including range of landslide, volume estimation and the subsequent evolution are important when analyzing the triggering mechanism, hazard assessment and mitigation. Thus, the morphological analysis gives a general overview for the landslides and been considered as one of the most fundamental information. We try to integrate several technologies, especially by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and multi-spectral camera, to decipher the consequence and the potential hazard, and the social impact. In recent years, the remote sensing technology improves rapidly, providing a wide range of image, essential and precious information. Benefited of the advancing of informatics, remote-sensing and electric technologies, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry mas been improve significantly. The study tries to integrate several methods, including, 1) Remote-sensing images gathered by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and by aerial photos taken in different periods; 2) field in-situ geologic investigation; 3) Differential GPS, RTK GPS and Ground LiDAR field in-site geoinfomatics measurements; 4) Construct the DTMs before and after landslide, as well as the subsequent periods using UAV and aerial photos; 5) Discrete element method should be applied to understand the geomaterial composing the slope failure, for predicting earthquake-induced and rainfall-induced landslides displacement. First at all, we evaluate the Microdrones MD4-1000 UAV airphotos derived Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The ground resolution of the DSM point cloud of could be as high as 10 cm. By integrated 4 ground control point within an area of 56 hectares, compared with LiDAR DSM and filed RTK-GPS surveying, the mean error is as low as 6cm with a standard deviation of 17cm. The quality of the UAV DSM could be as good as LiDAR data, and is ready for other applications. The quality of the data set provides not only geoinfomatics and GIS dataset of the hazards, but also for essential geomorphologic information for other study, and for hazard mitigation and planning, as well.

  20. Coordination Between Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: A Taxonomy and Optimization Perspective.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Xing; Xin, Bin; Fang, Hao

    2016-04-01

    The coordination between unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) is a proactive research topic whose great value of application has attracted vast attention. This paper outlines the motivations for studying the cooperative control of UAVs and UGVs, and attempts to make a comprehensive investigation and analysis on recent research in this field. First, a taxonomy for classification of existing unmanned aerial and ground vehicles systems (UAGVSs) is proposed, and a generalized optimization framework is developed to allow the decision-making problems for different types of UAGVSs to be described in a unified way. By following the proposed taxonomy, we show how different types of UAGVSs can be built to realize the goal of a common task, that is target tracking, and how optimization problems can be formulated for a UAGVS to perform specific tasks. This paper presents an optimization perspective to model and analyze different types of UAGVSs, and serves as a guidance and reference for developing UAGVSs. PMID:25898328

  1. Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1994-08-01

    This program, in cooperation with industry, is conducting research, development, testing, and evaluation activities to develop the technologies that would lead to production and introduction of low-and zero-emission electric and hybrid vehicles into the Nation's transportation fleet. This annual report describes program activities in the areas of advanced battery, fuel cell, and propulsion systems development. Testing and evaluation of new technology in fleet site operations and laboratories are also provided. Also presented is status on incentives (CAFE, 1992 Energy Policy Act) and use of foreign components, and a listing of publications by DOE, national laboratories, and contractors.

  2. Moments of Inertia - Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone (DROID)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haro, Helida C.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this research effort is to determine the most appropriate, cost efficient, and effective method to utilize for finding moments of inertia for the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone (DROID). A moment is a measure of the body's tendency to turn about its center of gravity (CG) and inertia is the resistance of a body to changes in its momentum. Therefore, the moment of inertia (MOI) is a body's resistance to change in rotation about its CG. The inertial characteristics of an UAV have direct consequences on aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, and control. Therefore, it is imperative to determine the precise inertial characteristics of the DROID.

  3. Moments of Inertia: Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone (DROID)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haro, Helida C.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this research effort is to determine the most appropriate, cost efficient, and effective method to utilize for finding moments of inertia for the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone (DROID). A moment is a measure of the body's tendency to turn about its center of gravity (CG) and inertia is the resistance of a body to changes in its momentum. Therefore, the moment of inertia (MOI) is a body's resistance to change in rotation about its CG. The inertial characteristics of an UAV have direct consequences on aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, and control. Therefore, it is imperative to determine the precise inertial characteristics of the DROID.

  4. Modeling and optimization of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles system architecture alternatives.

    PubMed

    Qin, Dongliang; Li, Zhifei; Yang, Feng; Wang, Weiping; He, Lei

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems have already been used in civilian activities, although very limitedly. Confronted different types of tasks, multi UAVs usually need to be coordinated. This can be extracted as a multi UAVs system architecture problem. Based on the general system architecture problem, a specific description of the multi UAVs system architecture problem is presented. Then the corresponding optimization problem and an efficient genetic algorithm with a refined crossover operator (GA-RX) is proposed to accomplish the architecting process iteratively in the rest of this paper. The availability and effectiveness of overall method is validated using 2 simulations based on 2 different scenarios. PMID:25140328

  5. Beam divergence changing mechanism for short-range inter-unmanned aerial vehicle optical communications.

    PubMed

    Heng, Kiang Huat; Zhong, Wen-De; Cheng, Tee Hiang; Liu, Ning; He, Yingjie

    2009-03-10

    The problems associated with using a single fixed beam divergence for short-range inter-unmanned aerial vehicle free-space optical communications are discussed. To overcome the problems, a beam divergence changing mechanism is proposed. Four different methods are then proposed to implement the beam divergence changing mechanism. The performance of these methods is evaluated in terms of transmission distance under adverse weather conditions. The results show that the performance is greatly improved when the beam divergence changing mechanism is used. PMID:19277090

  6. An Analysis of Fuel Cell Options for an All-electric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2007-01-01

    A study was conducted to assess the performance characteristics of both PEM and SOFC-based fuel cell systems for an all-electric high altitude, long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Primary and hybrid systems were considered. Fuel options include methane, hydrogen, and jet fuel. Excel-based models were used to calculate component mass as a function of power level and mission duration. Total system mass and stored volume as a function of mission duration for an aircraft operating at 65 kft altitude were determined and compared.

  7. On Board Data Acquisition System with Intelligent Transducers for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochala, Zdzisław

    2012-02-01

    This report presents conclusions from research project no. ON50900363 conducted at the Mechatronics Department, Military University of Technology in the years 2007-2010. As the main object of the study involved the preparation of a concept and the implementation of an avionics data acquisition system intended for research during flight of unmanned aerial vehicles of the mini class, this article presents a design of an avionics system and describes equipment solutions of a distributed measurement system intended for data acquisition consisting of intelligent transducers. The data collected during a flight controlled by an operator confirmed proper operation of the individual components of the data acquisition system.

  8. Modeling and Optimization of Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles System Architecture Alternatives

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiping; He, Lei

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems have already been used in civilian activities, although very limitedly. Confronted different types of tasks, multi UAVs usually need to be coordinated. This can be extracted as a multi UAVs system architecture problem. Based on the general system architecture problem, a specific description of the multi UAVs system architecture problem is presented. Then the corresponding optimization problem and an efficient genetic algorithm with a refined crossover operator (GA-RX) is proposed to accomplish the architecting process iteratively in the rest of this paper. The availability and effectiveness of overall method is validated using 2 simulations based on 2 different scenarios. PMID:25140328

  9. Brief Communication: The use of an unmanned aerial vehicle in a rockfall emergency scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giordan, D.; Manconi, A.; Facello, A.; Baldo, M.; dell'Anese, F.; Allasia, P.; Dutto, F.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in civilian/commercial contexts are becoming increasingly common, as well as for applications concerning anthropic and natural disasters. In this paper, we present the first results of a research project aimed at defining a possible methodology for the use of micro-UAVs in emergency scenarios relevant to rockfall phenomena. To develop and support the method presented herein, the results relevant to a rockfall emergency occurred on 7 March 2014 in the San Germano municipality (north-western Italy) are presented and discussed.

  10. Best practice for minimising unmanned aerial vehicle disturbance to wildlife in biological field research.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jarrod C; Koh, Lian Pin

    2016-05-23

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), colloquially referred to as 'drones', for biological field research is increasing [1-3]. Small, civilian UAVs are providing a viable, economical tool for ecology researchers and environmental managers. UAVs are particularly useful for wildlife observation and monitoring as they can produce systematic data of high spatial and temporal resolution [4]. However, this new technology could also have undesirable and unforeseen impacts on wildlife, the risks of which we currently have little understanding [5-7]. There is a need for a code of best practice in the use of UAVs to mitigate or alleviate these risks, which we begin to develop here. PMID:27218843

  11. Time-critical cooperative path-following control of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xargay Mata, Enric

    This thesis addresses the problem of steering a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) along desired 3D spatial paths while meeting stringent relative temporal constraints. A representative example is the challenging mission scenario where the UAVs are tasked to cooperatively execute collision-free maneuvers and arrive at their final destinations at the same time, or at different times so as to meet a desired inter-vehicle schedule. In the proposed framework, the UAVs are assigned nominal spatial paths and speed profiles along those, and then the vehicles are requested to execute cooperative path following, rather than "open-loop" trajectory-tracking maneuvers. This strategy yields robust behavior against external disturbances by allowing the UAVs to negotiate their speeds along the paths in response to information exchanged over a supporting inter-vehicle communications network. The proposed approach addresses explicitly the situation where each vehicle transmits coordination-relevant information to only a subset of the other vehicles, as determined by the time-varying communications topology. Furthermore, the thesis considers the case where the graph that captures the underlying communications topology is disconnected during some interval of time or even fails to be connected at all times. Conditions are given under which the complete time-critical cooperative path-following closed-loop system is stable and yields convergence of a conveniently defined cooperation error to a neighborhood of the origin. The thesis also derives lower bounds on the convergence rate of the coordination dynamics as a function of the quality of service of the supporting network, and proposes a coordination algorithm to improve the rate of convergence of the coordination dynamics in low-connectivity scenarios. Moreover, motivated by the exchange of information over networks with finite-rate communication links, the effect of quantization on vehicle coordination is also analyzed. Simulation and flight-test results verify the theoretical findings and demonstrate the efficacy of the multi-vehicle cooperative control framework adopted in this thesis.

  12. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Assessment of Controllability of Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, David A.; Ifju, Peter G.; Abdulrahim, Mujahid; Olipra, Scott

    2002-01-01

    In the last several years, we have developed unique types of micro air vehicles that utilize flexible structures and extensible covering materials. These MAVs can be operated with maximum dimensions as small as 6 inches and carry reasonable payloads, such as video cameras and transmitters. We recently demonstrated the potential of these vehicles by winning the Fourth International Micro Air Vehicle Competition, held at Ft. Huachucha, Arizona in May 2000. The pilots report that these vehicles have unusually smooth flying characteristics and are relatively easy to fly, both in the standard RC mode and "through the camera" when at greater distances. In comparison, they find that similar sized vehicles with more conventional rigid construction require much more input from the pilot just to maintain control. To make these subjective observations more quantitative, we have devised a system that can conveniently record a complete history of all the RC transmitter stick movements during a flight. Post-flight processing of the stick movement data allows for direct comparisons between different types of MAVs when flown by the same pilot, and also comparisons between pilots. Eventually, practical micro air vehicles will be autonomously controlled, but we feel that the smoothest flying and easiest to fly embodiments will also be the most successful in the long run. Comparisons between several types of micro air vehicles will be presented, along with interpretations of the data.

  13. Bears Show a Physiological but Limited Behavioral Response to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Ditmer, Mark A; Vincent, John B; Werden, Leland K; Tanner, Jessie C; Laske, Timothy G; Iaizzo, Paul A; Garshelis, David L; Fieberg, John R

    2015-08-31

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to revolutionize the way research is conducted in many scientific fields. UAVs can access remote or difficult terrain, collect large amounts of data for lower cost than traditional aerial methods, and facilitate observations of species that are wary of human presence. Currently, despite large regulatory hurdles, UAVs are being deployed by researchers and conservationists to monitor threats to biodiversity, collect frequent aerial imagery, estimate population abundance, and deter poaching. Studies have examined the behavioral responses of wildlife to aircraft (including UAVs), but with the widespread increase in UAV flights, it is critical to understand whether UAVs act as stressors to wildlife and to quantify that impact. Biologger technology allows for the remote monitoring of stress responses in free-roaming individuals, and when linked to locational information, it can be used to determine events or components of an animal's environment that elicit a physiological response not apparent based on behavior alone. We assessed effects of UAV flights on movements and heart rate responses of free-roaming American black bears. We observed consistently strong physiological responses but infrequent behavioral changes. All bears, including an individual denned for hibernation, responded to UAV flights with elevated heart rates, rising as much as 123 beats per minute above the pre-flight baseline. It is important to consider the additional stress on wildlife from UAV flights when developing regulations and best scientific practices. PMID:26279232

  14. Mapping of a river using close range photogrammetry technique and unmanned aerial vehicle system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Room, M. H. M.; Ahmad, A.

    2014-02-01

    Photogrammetry is a technique that can be used to record the information of any feature without direct contact. Nowadays, a combination of photogrammetry and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems is widely used for various applications, especially for large scale mapping. UAV systems offer several advantages in terms of cost and image resolution compared to terrestrial photogrammetry and remote sensing system. Therefore, a combination of photogrammetry and UAV created a new term which is UAV photogrammetry. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of a UAV system to map a river at very close distance. A digital camera is attached to the Hexacopter UAV and it is flown at 2 m above the ground surface to produce aerial photos. Then, the aerial photos are processed to create two photogrammetric products as output. These are mosaicked orthophoto and digital image. Both products are assessed (RSME). The RSME of X and Y coordinates are ±0.009 m and ±0.033 m respectively. As a conclusion, photogrammetry and the UAV system offer a reliable accuracy for mapping a river model and advantages in term of cost-efficient, high ground resolution and rapid data acquisition.

  15. Conceptual Design of a Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with 24-HR Endurance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredericks, William J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a conceptual design study for a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is able to carry a 25-lb science payload for 24 hr and is able to land and take off at elevations as high as 15,000 ft without human intervention. In addition to the science payload, this vehicle must be able to carry a satellite communication system, and the vehicle must be able to be transported in a standard full-size pickup truck and assembled by only two operators. This project started with a brainstorming phase to devise possible vehicle configurations that might satisfy the requirements. A down select was performed to select a near-term solution and two advanced vehicle concepts that are better suited to the intent of the mission. Sensitivity analyses were also performed on the requirements and the technology levels to obtain a better understanding of the design space. This study found that within the study assumptions the mission is feasible; the selected concepts are recommended for further development.

  16. Flight dynamic investigations of flying wing with winglet configured unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ro, Kapseong

    2006-05-01

    A swept wing tailless vehicle platform is well known in the radio control (RC) and sailing aircraft community for excellent spiral stability during soaring or thermaling, while exhibiting no Dutch roll behavior at high speed. When an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is subjected to fly a mission in a rugged mountainous terrain where air current or thermal up-drift is frequently present, this is great aerodynamic benefit over the conventional cross-tailed aircraft which requires careful balance between lateral and directional stability. Such dynamic characteristics can be studied through vehicle dynamic modeling and simulation, but it requires configuration aerodynamic data through wind tunnel experiments. Obtaining such data is very costly and time consuming, and it is not feasible especially for low cost and dispensable UAVs. On the other hand, the vehicle autonomy is quite demanding which requires substantial understanding of aircraft dynamic characteristics. In this study, flight dynamics of an UAV platform based on flying wing with a large winglet was investigated through analytical modeling and numerical simulation. Flight dynamic modeling software and experimental formulae were used to obtain essential configuration aerodynamic characteristics, and linear flight dynamic analysis was carried out to understand the effect of wing sweep angle and winglet size on the vehicle dynamic characteristics.

  17. Particle swarm optimization method for the control of a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belkadi, A.; Ciarletta, L.; Theilliol, D.

    2015-11-01

    This paper concerns a control approach of a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) based on virtual leader. Among others, optimization methods are used to develop the virtual leader control approach, particularly the particle swarm optimization method (PSO). The goal is to find optimal positions at each instant of each UAV to guarantee the best performance of a given task by minimizing a predefined objective function. The UAVs are able to organize themselves on a 2D plane in a predefined architecture, following a mission led by a virtual leader and simultaneously avoiding collisions between various vehicles of the group. The global proposed method is independent from the model or the control of a particular UAV. The method is tested in simulation on a group of UAVs whose model is treated as a double integrator. Test results for the different cases are presented.

  18. Transition aerodynamics for 20-percent-scale VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kjerstad, Kevin J.; Paulson, John W., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    An investigation was conducted in the Langley 14- by 22-Foot Subsonic Tunnel to establish a transition data base for an unmanned aerial vehicle utilizing a powered-lift ejector system and to evaluate alterations to the ejector system for improved vehicle performance. The model used in this investigation was a 20-percent-scale, blended-body, arrow-wing configuration with integrated twin rectangular ejectors. The test was conducted from hover through transition conditions with variations in angle of attack, angle of sideslip, free-stream dynamic pressure, nozzle pressure ratio, and model ground height. Force and moment data along with extensive surface pressure data were obtained. A laser velocimeter technique for measuring inlet flow velocities was demonstrated at a single flow condition, and also a low order panel method was successfully used to numerically simulate the ejector inlet flow.

  19. Catalytic pressurization of liquid hydrogen fuel tanks for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leachman, Jacob; Street, Melissa Jean; Graham, Teira

    2012-06-01

    As the use and applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) expand, the need for a lighter weight fuel allowing for longer duration flights has become the primary limiting factor in the advancement of these vehicles. To extend the operational envelope of UAV, onboard condensed hydrogen storage for missions exceeding one week is necessary. Currently, large spherical liquid hydrogen tanks that are pressurized with external helium tanks or electronic heating elements are utilized for this purpose. However, the mass, size, and power consumption of the fuel storage tank and fuel pressurization system significantly limit the flight envelope of UAV. In an effort to alleviate these issues, this paper investigates the technological feasibility of orthohydrogen-parahydrogen catalysis as a method of fuel pressurization. Typical pressurization requirements for takeoff, cruise, and landing are reviewed. Calculations of the catalyst system mass and response time are presented.

  20. Flight validation of an embedded structural health monitoring system for an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kressel, I.; Dorfman, B.; Botsev, Y.; Handelman, A.; Balter, J.; Pillai, A. C. R.; Prasad, M. H.; Gupta, N.; Joseph, A. M.; Sundaram, R.; Tur, M.

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents the design and flight validation of an embedded fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) based structural health monitoring (SHM) system for the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Nishant. The embedding of the sensors was integrated with the manufacturing process, taking into account the trimming of parts and assembly considerations. Reliable flight data were recorded on board the vehicle and analyzed so that deviations from normal structural behaviors could be identified, evaluated and tracked. Based on the data obtained, it was possible to track both the loads and vibration signatures by direct sensors’ cross correlation using principal component analysis (PCA) and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Sensor placement combined with proper ground calibration, enabled the distinction between strain and temperature readings. The start of a minor local structural temporary instability was identified during landing, proving the value of such continuous structural airworthy assessment for UAV structures.

  1. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Surveying Marine Fauna: A Dugong Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, Amanda; Kelly, Natalie; Peel, David

    2013-01-01

    Aerial surveys of marine mammals are routinely conducted to assess and monitor species’ habitat use and population status. In Australia, dugongs (Dugong dugon) are regularly surveyed and long-term datasets have formed the basis for defining habitat of high conservation value and risk assessments of human impacts. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may facilitate more accurate, human-risk free, and cheaper aerial surveys. We undertook the first Australian UAV survey trial in Shark Bay, western Australia. We conducted seven flights of the ScanEagle UAV, mounted with a digital SLR camera payload. During each flight, ten transects covering a 1.3 km2 area frequently used by dugongs, were flown at 500, 750 and 1000 ft. Image (photograph) capture was controlled via the Ground Control Station and the capture rate was scheduled to achieve a prescribed 10% overlap between images along transect lines. Images were manually reviewed post hoc for animals and scored according to sun glitter, Beaufort Sea state and turbidity. We captured 6243 images, 627 containing dugongs. We also identified whales, dolphins, turtles and a range of other fauna. Of all possible dugong sightings, 95% (CI = 90%, 98%) were subjectively classed as ‘certain’ (unmistakably dugongs). Neither our dugong sighting rate, nor our ability to identify dugongs with certainty, were affected by UAV altitude. Turbidity was the only environmental variable significantly affecting the dugong sighting rate. Our results suggest that UAV systems may not be limited by sea state conditions in the same manner as sightings from manned surveys. The overlap between images proved valuable for detecting animals that were masked by sun glitter in the corners of images, and identifying animals initially captured at awkward body angles. This initial trial of a basic camera system has successfully demonstrated that the ScanEagle UAV has great potential as a tool for marine mammal aerial surveys. PMID:24223967

  2. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveying marine fauna: a dugong case study.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Amanda; Kelly, Natalie; Peel, David

    2013-01-01

    Aerial surveys of marine mammals are routinely conducted to assess and monitor species' habitat use and population status. In Australia, dugongs (Dugong dugon) are regularly surveyed and long-term datasets have formed the basis for defining habitat of high conservation value and risk assessments of human impacts. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may facilitate more accurate, human-risk free, and cheaper aerial surveys. We undertook the first Australian UAV survey trial in Shark Bay, western Australia. We conducted seven flights of the ScanEagle UAV, mounted with a digital SLR camera payload. During each flight, ten transects covering a 1.3 km(2) area frequently used by dugongs, were flown at 500, 750 and 1000 ft. Image (photograph) capture was controlled via the Ground Control Station and the capture rate was scheduled to achieve a prescribed 10% overlap between images along transect lines. Images were manually reviewed post hoc for animals and scored according to sun glitter, Beaufort Sea state and turbidity. We captured 6243 images, 627 containing dugongs. We also identified whales, dolphins, turtles and a range of other fauna. Of all possible dugong sightings, 95% (CI = 90%, 98%) were subjectively classed as 'certain' (unmistakably dugongs). Neither our dugong sighting rate, nor our ability to identify dugongs with certainty, were affected by UAV altitude. Turbidity was the only environmental variable significantly affecting the dugong sighting rate. Our results suggest that UAV systems may not be limited by sea state conditions in the same manner as sightings from manned surveys. The overlap between images proved valuable for detecting animals that were masked by sun glitter in the corners of images, and identifying animals initially captured at awkward body angles. This initial trial of a basic camera system has successfully demonstrated that the ScanEagle UAV has great potential as a tool for marine mammal aerial surveys. PMID:24223967

  3. The effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles for local law enforcement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasque, Leighton

    This qualitative study was done to interview local law enforcement in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to determine if unmanned aerial vehicles could increase the safety of policy officers. Many police officers face dangerous scenarios on a daily basis; however, officers must also perform non-criminal related responsibilities that could put them in hazardous situations. UAVs have multiple capabilities that can decrease the number of hazards in an emergency situation whether it is environmental, traffic related, criminal activity, or investigations. Officers were interviewed to find whether or not unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) could be useful manpower on the police force. The study was also used to find whether or not officers foresee UAVs being used in law enforcement. The study revealed that UAVs could be used to add useful manpower to law enforcement based on the capabilities a UAV may have. Police officers cannot confirm whether or not they would be able to use a UAV until further research is conducted to examine the relation of costs to usage.

  4. Validation of Vehicle Candidate Areas in Aerial Images Using Color Co-Occurrence Histograms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leister, W.; Tuermer, S.; Reinartz, P.; Hoffmann, K. H.; Stilla, U.

    2013-10-01

    Traffic monitoring plays an important role in transportation management. In addition, airborne acquisition enables a flexible and realtime mapping for special traffic situations e.g. mass events and disasters. Also the automatic extraction of vehicles from aerial imagery is a common application. However, many approaches focus on the target object only. As an extension to previously developed car detection techniques, a validation scheme is presented. The focus is on exploiting the background of the vehicle candidates as well as their color properties in the HSV color space. Therefore, texture of the vehicle background is described by color co-occurrence histograms. From all resulting histograms a likelihood function is calculated giving a quantity value to indicate whether the vehicle candidate is correctly classified. Only a few robust parameters have to be determined. Finally, the strategy is tested with a dataset of dense urban areas from the inner city of Munich, Germany. First results show that certain regions which are often responsible for false positive detections, such as vegetation or road markings, can be excluded successfully.

  5. An Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Concept for Low-Altitude Geophysical Exploration in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, C. A.; Behar, A. E.

    2004-05-01

    A concept for a small, agile UAV platform for conducting geophysical mapping in the IPY and beyond has been explored. We have developed a framework concept for community input and feedback based on a low-cost, autonomous vehicle with onboard high-precision inertial navigation that performs vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The vehicle we have focused on is the GoldenEye-100, developed by Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (www.aurora.aero), which can carry a lightweight payload and achieve a range of 300-500 km (roundtrip). The VTOL capability would potentially allow flights to be launched from the helicopter deck of an icebreaker, and would remove the logistical burden of ensuring a hazard-free runway on the ice. Vehicle operations are controlled using a portable ground station. A payload concept has also been developed, indicating that the vehicle could easily carry a lightweight, compact magnetometer, camera and laser altimeter. Instruments developed for space missions exist that would enable a high performance system to be carried within the ~10 kg payload envelope. A gravity measurement system and radar sounder are also considered. A capable UAV platform for geophysical mapping would complement the existing aerial research platforms in Antarctica and has the potential to accelerate the exploration and monitoring of critical but remote areas in a cost-effective manner.

  6. Multi-disciplinary design optimization of subsonic fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles projected through 2025

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundlach, John Frederick, IV

    Through this research, a robust aircraft design methodology is developed for analysis and optimization of the Air Vehicle (AV) segment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems. The analysis functionality of the AV design is integrated with a Genetic Algorithm (GA) to form an integrated Multi-disciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) methodology for optimal AV design synthesis. This research fills the gap in integrated subsonic fixed-wing UAV AV MDO methods. No known single methodology captures all of the phenomena of interest over the wide range of UAV families considered here. Key advancements include: (1) parametric Low Reynolds Number (LRN) airfoil aerodynamics formulation, (2) UAV systems mass properties definition, (3) wing structural weight methods, (4) self-optimizing flight performance model, (5) automated geometry algorithms, and (6) optimizer integration. Multiple methods are provided for many disciplines to enable flexibility in functionality, level of detail, computational expediency, and accuracy. The AV design methods are calibrated against the High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) Global Hawk, Medium-Altitude Endurance (MAE) Predator, and Tactical Shadow 200 classes, which exhibit significant variations in mission performance requirements and scale from one another. All three UAV families show significant design gross weight reductions as technology improves. The overall technology synergy experienced 10--11 years after the initial technology year is 6.68% for Global Hawk, 7.09% for Predator, and 4.22% for the Shadow 200, which means that the technology trends interact favorably in all cases. The Global Hawk and Shadow 200 families exhibited niche behavior, where some vehicles attained higher aerodynamic performance while others attained lower structural mass fractions. The high aerodynamic performance Global Hawk vehicles had high aspect ratio wings with sweep, while the low structural mass fraction vehicles had straight, relatively low aspect ratios and smaller wing spans. The high aerodynamic performance Shadow 200 vehicles had relatively low wing loadings and large wing spans, while the lower structural mass fraction counterparts sought to minimize physical size. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  7. Sensor-driven area coverage for an autonomous fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Paull, Liam; Thibault, Carl; Nagaty, Amr; Seto, Mae; Li, Howard

    2014-09-01

    Area coverage with an onboard sensor is an important task for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with many applications. Autonomous fixed-wing UAVs are more appropriate for larger scale area surveying since they can cover ground more quickly. However, their non-holonomic dynamics and susceptibility to disturbances make sensor coverage a challenging task. Most previous approaches to area coverage planning are offline and assume that the UAV can follow the planned trajectory exactly. In this paper, this restriction is removed as the aircraft maintains a coverage map based on its actual pose trajectory and makes control decisions based on that map. The aircraft is able to plan paths in situ based on sensor data and an accurate model of the on-board camera used for coverage. An information theoretic approach is used that selects desired headings that maximize the expected information gain over the coverage map. In addition, the branch entropy concept previously developed for autonomous underwater vehicles is extended to UAVs and ensures that the vehicle is able to achieve its global coverage mission. The coverage map over the workspace uses the projective camera model and compares the expected area of the target on the ground and the actual area covered on the ground by each pixel in the image. The camera is mounted on a two-axis gimbal and can either be stabilized or optimized for maximal coverage. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation results and real hardware implementation on a fixed-wing UAV show the effectiveness of the approach. By including the already developed automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, we now have a fully automated and robust platform for performing aerial imagery surveys. PMID:25137689

  8. A Possibility of the Aeromagnetic Survey by a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Ant-Plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, M.

    2004-12-01

    Magnetic surveys by helicopters and airplanes are a useful technique to estimate the geological structure under the ice sheets in Antarctica. However, it is not easy to employ this due to the transportation of the planes, logistic supports, security, and financial problems. Members of Ant-Plane Project have investigated the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, Ant-Plane) for the solution of the problems. Recently the aeromagnetic survey is verified by a model airplane navigated by GPS and a magneto-resistant (MR) magnetometer. The airplane (Ant-Plane) consists of 2m wing length, 2-cycles and 2-cylinder 85cc gasoline engine, GPS navigation system by microcomputer and radio telemeter system. The total weight is 15kg including 2 litter fuels, the MR magnetometer, a video camera and an emergency parachute. The speed is 130 km/h and maximum height is 2000m. The magnetometer system consists of a 3- component MR magnetometer, GPS and data logger. Three components of magnetic field, latitude, longitude, altitude, number of satellite and time are recorded in every second during 3 hours. The sensitivity of the magnetometer is 7 nT and we use a total magnetic field intensity for magnetic analysis due to unknown heading of the plane. November 2003 we succeeded the magnetic survey by the Ant-Plane at the slope of Sakurajima Volcano, Kyushu, Japan. The plane rotated 9 times along the programmed route of about 4x1 km, total flight distance of 80 km, keeping the altitude of 700 m. Consequently we obtained almost similar field variation on the route. The maximum deviation of each course was less than 100 m. Therefore, we concluded that the aeromagnetic survey in the relatively large anomaly areas can be performed by Ant-Plane with the MR magnetometer system. Finally the plane flew up 1400m with a video camera to take the photo of active volcano Sakurajima (1117m). It succeeded to take photos of craters through steam from the volcano.

  9. Integrated reliability program for Scout research vehicle.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, B. V.; Welch, R. C.

    1967-01-01

    Integrated reliability program for Scout launch vehicle in terms of design specification, review functions, malfunction reporting, failed parts analysis, quality control, standardization and certification

  10. AVIATR—Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance. A Titan airplane mission concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, Jason W.; Lemke, Lawrence; Foch, Rick; McKay, Christopher P.; Beyer, Ross A.; Radebaugh, Jani; Atkinson, David H.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Gundlach, Jay; Giannini, Francesco; Bain, Sean; Flasar, F. Michael; Hurford, Terry; Anderson, Carrie M.; Merrison, Jon; Ádámkovics, Máté; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Mitchell, Jonathan; Burr, Devon M.; Colaprete, Anthony; Schaller, Emily; Friedson, A. James; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Coradini, Angioletta; Adriani, Alberto; Sayanagi, Kunio M.; Malaska, Michael J.; Morabito, David; Reh, Kim

    2012-03-01

    We describe a mission concept for a stand-alone Titan airplane mission: Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance (AVIATR). With independent delivery and direct-to-Earth communications, AVIATR could contribute to Titan science either alone or as part of a sustained Titan Exploration Program. As a focused mission, AVIATR as we have envisioned it would concentrate on the science that an airplane can do best: exploration of Titan's global diversity. We focus on surface geology/hydrology and lower-atmospheric structure and dynamics. With a carefully chosen set of seven instruments—2 near-IR cameras, 1 near-IR spectrometer, a RADAR altimeter, an atmospheric structure suite, a haze sensor, and a raindrop detector—AVIATR could accomplish a significant subset of the scientific objectives of the aerial element of flagship studies. The AVIATR spacecraft stack is composed of a Space Vehicle (SV) for cruise, an Entry Vehicle (EV) for entry and descent, and the Air Vehicle (AV) to fly in Titan's atmosphere. Using an Earth-Jupiter gravity assist trajectory delivers the spacecraft to Titan in 7.5 years, after which the AVIATR AV would operate for a 1-Earth-year nominal mission. We propose a novel `gravity battery' climb-then-glide strategy to store energy for optimal use during telecommunications sessions. We would optimize our science by using the flexibility of the airplane platform, generating context data and stereo pairs by flying and banking the AV instead of using gimbaled cameras. AVIATR would climb up to 14 km altitude and descend down to 3.5 km altitude once per Earth day, allowing for repeated atmospheric structure and wind measurements all over the globe. An initial Team-X run at JPL priced the AVIATR mission at FY10 715M based on the rules stipulated in the recent Discovery announcement of opportunity. Hence we find that a standalone Titan airplane mission can achieve important science building on Cassini's discoveries and can likely do so within a New Frontiers budget.

  11. Think City Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Ford Motor Company

    2005-03-01

    The THINK city Electric Vehicle (EV) Demonstration Program Project, initiated late 2001, has been successfully completed as of April 2005. US. Partners include Federal, State and Municipal agencies as well as commercial partners. Phase I, consisting of placement of the vehicles in demonstration programs, was completed in 2002. Phase II, the monitoring of these programs was completed in 2004. Phase III, the decommissioning and/or exporting of vehicles concluded in 2005. Phase I--the Program successfully assigned 192 EV's with customers (including Hertz) in the state of California, 109 in New York (including loaner and demo vehicles), 16 in Georgia, 7 to customers outside of the US and 52 in Ford's internal operations in Dearborn Michigan for a total of 376 vehicles. The Program was the largest operating Urban EV Demonstration Project in the United States. Phase II--the monitoring of the operational fleet was ongoing and completed in 2004, and all vehicles were returned throughout 2004 and 2005. The Department of Energy (DOE) was involved with the monitoring of the New York Power Authority/THINK Clean Commute Program units through partnership with Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (ETEC), which filed separate reports to DOE. The remainder of the field fleet was monitored through Ford's internal operations. Vehicles were retired from lease operation throughout the program for various operator reasons. Some of the vehicles were involved in re-leasing operations. At the end of the program, 376 vehicles had been involved, 372 of which were available for customer use while 4 were engineering prototype and study vehicles. Phase III--decommissioning and/or export of vehicles. In accordance with the NHTSA requirement, City vehicles could not remain in the United States past their three-year allowed program timeframe. At the end of leases, City vehicles have been decommissioned and/or exported to KamKorp in Norway.

  12. Locating chimpanzee nests and identifying fruiting trees with an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    van Andel, Alexander C; Wich, Serge A; Boesch, Christophe; Koh, Lian Pin; Robbins, Martha M; Kelly, Joseph; Kuehl, Hjalmar S

    2015-10-01

    Monitoring of animal populations is essential for conservation management. Various techniques are available to assess spatiotemporal patterns of species distribution and abundance. Nest surveys are often used for monitoring great apes. Quickly developing technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to complement these ground-based surveys, especially for covering large areas rapidly. Aerial surveys have been used successfully to detect the nests of orang-utans. It is unknown if such an approach is practical for African apes, which usually build their nests at lower heights, where they might be obscured by forest canopy. In this 2-month study, UAV-derived aerial imagery was used for two distinct purposes: testing the detectability of chimpanzee nests and identifying fruiting trees used by chimpanzees in Loango National Park (Gabon). Chimpanzee nest data were collected through two approaches: we located nests on the ground and then tried to detect them in UAV photos and vice versa. Ground surveys were conducted using line transects, reconnaissance trails, and opportunistic sampling during which we detected 116 individual nests in 28 nest groups. In complementary UAV images we detected 48% of the individual nests (68% of nest groups) in open coastal forests and 8% of individual nests (33% of nest groups) in closed canopy inland forests. The key factor for nest detectability in UAV imagery was canopy openness. Data on fruiting trees were collected from five line transects. In 122 UAV images 14 species of trees (N = 433) were identified, alongside 37 tree species (N = 205) in complementary ground surveys. Relative abundance of common tree species correlated between ground and UAV surveys. We conclude that UAVs have great potential as a rapid assessment tool for detecting chimpanzee presence in forest with open canopy and assessing fruit tree availability. UAVs may have limited applicability for nest detection in closed canopy forest. PMID:26179423

  13. Towards digital terrain modeling with unmanned aerial vehicles and SfM point clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anders, Niels; Masselink, Rens; Keesstra, Saskia

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are excellent tools for the acquisition of very high-resolution digital surface models using low altitude aerial photography and photogrammetric, 'Structure-from-Motion' (SfM), processing. Terrain reconstructions are produced by interpolating ground points after removal of non-ground points. While extremely detailed in non-vegetated areas, UAV point clouds are less suitable for terrain reconstructions of vegetated areas due to the inability of aerial photography to penetrate through vegetation for collecting ground points. This hinders for example detailed modeling of sediment transport on hillslopes towards vegetated lower areas and channels with riparian vegetation. We propose complementing UAV SfM point cloud data with alternative data sources to fill in the data gaps in vegetated areas. Firstly, SfM point clouds are classified into ground and non-ground points based on both color values and neighborhood statistics. Secondly, non-ground points are removed and data gaps are complemented with external data points. Thirdly, the combined point cloud is interpolated into a digital terrain model (DTM) using the natural neighbor interpolation technique. We demonstrate the methodology with three scenarios of terrain reconstructions in two study areas in North and Southeast Spain: i.e. a linear slope below sparsely distributed trees without the need of supplementary data points (1), and a gully with riparian vegetation combined with 5 m LiDAR data (2) or with manually measured dGPS data points (3). While the spatial resolution is significantly less below vegetated areas compared to non-vegetated areas, the results suggest significant improvements of the reconstructed topography, making the DTM more useful for soil erosion studies and sediment modeling.

  14. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System:. [Aerial Vehicle Reconnaissance and Exploration Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and hydrogen can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and hydrogen (deuterium, etc.) were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. Additional supporting analyses were conducted to illuminate vehicle sizing and orbital transportation issues. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. With these two additional gases, the potential for fueling small and large fleets of additional exploration and exploitation vehicles exists. Additional aerospacecraft or other aerial vehicles (UAVs, balloons, rockets, etc.) could fly through the outer planet atmospheres, for global weather observations, localized storm or other disturbance investigations, wind speed measurements, polar observations, etc. Deep-diving aircraft (built with the strength to withstand many atmospheres of pressure) powered by the excess hydrogen or helium 4 may be designed to probe the higher density regions of the gas giants. Outer planet atmospheric properties, atmospheric storm data, and mission planning for future outer planet UAVs are presented.

  15. Monocular Vision System for Fixed Altitude Flight of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Huang, Kuo-Lung; Chiu, Chung-Cheng; Chiu, Sheng-Yi; Teng, Yao-Jen; Hao, Shu-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    The fastest and most economical method of acquiring terrain images is aerial photography. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been investigated for this task. However, UAVs present a range of challenges such as flight altitude maintenance. This paper reports a method that combines skyline detection with a stereo vision algorithm to enable the flight altitude of UAVs to be maintained. A monocular camera is mounted on the downside of the aircraft's nose to collect continuous ground images, and the relative altitude is obtained via a stereo vision algorithm from the velocity of the UAV. Image detection is used to obtain terrain images, and to measure the relative altitude from the ground to the UAV. The UAV flight system can be set to fly at a fixed and relatively low altitude to obtain the same resolution of ground images. A forward-looking camera is mounted on the upside of the aircraft's nose. In combination with the skyline detection algorithm, this helps the aircraft to maintain a stable flight pattern. Experimental results show that the proposed system enables UAVs to obtain terrain images at constant resolution, and to detect the relative altitude along the flight path. PMID:26184213

  16. Monocular Vision System for Fixed Altitude Flight of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Kuo-Lung; Chiu, Chung-Cheng; Chiu, Sheng-Yi; Teng, Yao-Jen; Hao, Shu-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    The fastest and most economical method of acquiring terrain images is aerial photography. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been investigated for this task. However, UAVs present a range of challenges such as flight altitude maintenance. This paper reports a method that combines skyline detection with a stereo vision algorithm to enable the flight altitude of UAVs to be maintained. A monocular camera is mounted on the downside of the aircraft’s nose to collect continuous ground images, and the relative altitude is obtained via a stereo vision algorithm from the velocity of the UAV. Image detection is used to obtain terrain images, and to measure the relative altitude from the ground to the UAV. The UAV flight system can be set to fly at a fixed and relatively low altitude to obtain the same resolution of ground images. A forward-looking camera is mounted on the upside of the aircraft’s nose. In combination with the skyline detection algorithm, this helps the aircraft to maintain a stable flight pattern. Experimental results show that the proposed system enables UAVs to obtain terrain images at constant resolution, and to detect the relative altitude along the flight path. PMID:26184213

  17. Actions, Observations, and Decision-Making: Biologically Inspired Strategies for Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisanich, Greg; Ippolito, Corey; Plice, Laura; Young, Larry A.; Lau, Benton

    2003-01-01

    This paper details the development and demonstration of an autonomous aerial vehicle embodying search and find mission planning and execution srrategies inspired by foraging behaviors found in biology. It begins by describing key characteristics required by an aeria! explorer to support science and planetary exploration goals, and illustrates these through a hypothetical mission profile. It next outlines a conceptual bio- inspired search and find autonomy architecture that implements observations, decisions, and actions through an "ecology" of producer, consumer, and decomposer agents. Moving from concepts to development activities, it then presents the results of mission representative UAV aerial surveys at a Mars analog site. It next describes hardware and software enhancements made to a commercial small fixed-wing UAV system, which inc!nde a ncw dpvelopnent architecture that also provides hardware in the loop simulation capability. After presenting the results of simulated and actual flights of bioinspired flight algorithms, it concludes with a discussion of future development to include an expansion of system capabilities and field science support.

  18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Produce High-Resolution Seasonally-Relevant Imagery for Classifying Wetland Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcaccio, J. V.; Markle, C. E.; Chow-Fraser, P.

    2015-08-01

    With recent advances in technology, personal aerial imagery acquired with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has transformed the way ecologists can map seasonal changes in wetland habitat. Here, we use a multi-rotor (consumer quad-copter, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+) UAV to acquire a high-resolution (< 8 cm) composite photo of a coastal wetland in summer 2014. Using validation data collected in the field, we determine if a UAV image and SWOOP (Southwestern Ontario Orthoimagery Project) image (collected in spring 2010) differ in their classification of type of dominant vegetation type and percent cover of three plant classes: submerged aquatic vegetation, floating aquatic vegetation, and emergent vegetation. The UAV imagery was more accurate than available SWOOP imagery for mapping percent cover of submergent and floating vegetation categories, but both were able to accurately determine the dominant vegetation type and percent cover of emergent vegetation. Our results underscore the value and potential for affordable UAVs (complete quad-copter system < 3,000 CAD) to revolutionize the way ecologists obtain imagery and conduct field research. In Canada, new UAV regulations make this an easy and affordable way to obtain multiple high-resolution images of small (< 1.0 km2) wetlands, or portions of larger wetlands throughout a year.

  19. Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor/Systems for In-Flight Wing Shape Monitoring of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, Allen; Richards, Lance; Ko, William; Piazza, Anthony; Tran, Van

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing an in-flight wing shape measurement system based on fiber bragg grating sensors for use in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is shown. The topics include: 1) MOtivation; 2) Objective; 3) Background; 4) System Design; 5) Ground Testing; 6) Future Work; and 7) Conclusions

  20. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) for Surveillance and Remote Sensor Delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ifju, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) will be developed for tracking individuals, locating terrorist threats, and delivering remote sensors, for surveillance and chemical/biological agent detection. The tasks are: (1) Develop robust MAV platform capable of carrying sensor payload. (2) Develop fully autonomous capabilities for delivery of sensors to remote and distant locations. The current capabilities and accomplishments are: (1) Operational electric (inaudible) 6-inch MAVs with novel flexible wing, providing superior aerodynamic efficiency and control. (2) Vision-based flight stability and control (from on-board cameras).

  1. Research on the processing technology of low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Shihua; Liu, Yintao; Li, Feida; Zhou, Conglin; Huang, Qing; Xu, Hongwei

    2015-12-01

    The UAV system acts as one of the infrastructure of earth observation, with its mobility, high speed, flexibility, economy and other remarkable technical advantages, has been widely used in various fields of the national economic construction, such as agricultural monitoring, resource development, disaster emergency treatment. Taking an actual engineering as a case study in this paper, the method and the skill of making digital orthophoto map was stated by using the UASMaster, the professional UAV data processing software, based on the eBee unmanned aerial vehicle. Finally, the precision of the DOM was analyzed in detail through two methods, overlapping the DOM with the existing DLG of the region and contrasting the points of the existing DLG of 1:1000 scale with the corresponding checkpoints of the stereomodel.

  2. Differential-Evolution Control Parameter Optimization for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Path Planning.

    PubMed

    Kok, Kai Yit; Rajendran, Parvathy

    2016-01-01

    The differential evolution algorithm has been widely applied on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) path planning. At present, four random tuning parameters exist for differential evolution algorithm, namely, population size, differential weight, crossover, and generation number. These tuning parameters are required, together with user setting on path and computational cost weightage. However, the optimum settings of these tuning parameters vary according to application. Instead of trial and error, this paper presents an optimization method of differential evolution algorithm for tuning the parameters of UAV path planning. The parameters that this research focuses on are population size, differential weight, crossover, and generation number. The developed algorithm enables the user to simply define the weightage desired between the path and computational cost to converge with the minimum generation required based on user requirement. In conclusion, the proposed optimization of tuning parameters in differential evolution algorithm for UAV path planning expedites and improves the final output path and computational cost. PMID:26943630

  3. Design and test of a situation-augmented display for an unmanned aerial vehicle monitoring task.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jen-Li; Horng, Ruey-Yun; Chao, Chin-Jung

    2013-08-01

    In this study, a situation-augmented display for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) monitoring was designed, and its effects on operator performance and mental workload were examined. The display design was augmented with the knowledge that there is an invariant flight trajectory (formed by the relationship between altitude and velocity) for every flight, from takeoff to landing. 56 participants were randomly assigned to the situation-augmented display or a conventional display condition to work on 4 (number of abnormalities) x 2 (noise level) UAV monitoring tasks three times. Results showed that the effects of situation-augmented display on flight completion time and time to detect abnormalities were robust under various workload conditions, but error rate and perceived mental workload were unaffected by the display type. Results suggest that the UAV monitoring task is extremely difficult, and that display devices providing high-level situation-awareness may improve operator monitoring performance. PMID:24422345

  4. Identifying Contingency Requirements using Obstacle Analysis on an Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutz, Robyn R.; Nelson, Stacy; Patterson-Hine, Ann; Frost, Chad R.; Tal, Doron

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes experience using Obstacle Analysis to identify contingency requirements on an unpiloted aerial vehicle. A contingency is an operational anomaly, and may or may not involve component failure. The challenges to this effort were: ( I ) rapid evolution of the system while operational, (2) incremental autonomy as capabilities were transferred from ground control to software control and (3) the eventual safety-criticality of such systems as they begin to fly over populated areas. The results reported here are preliminary but show that Obstacle Analysis helped (1) identify new contingencies that appeared as autonomy increased; (2) identify new alternatives for handling both previously known and new contingencies; and (3) investigate the continued validity of existing software requirements for contingency handling. Since many mobile, intelligent systems are built using a development process that poses the same challenges, the results appear to have applicability to other similar systems.

  5. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis. The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).

  6. Design of a radiation surveillance unit for an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Kurvinen, K; Smolander, P; Pöllänen, R; Kuukankorpi, S; Kettunen, M; Lyytinen, J

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes a prototype of a compact environmental radiation surveillance instrument designed for a Ranger unmanned aerial vehicle. The instrument, which can be used for tracking a radioactive plume, mapping fallout and searching for point sources, consists of three different detector types (GM, NaI(Tl) and CZT) and an air sampling unit. In addition to the standard electronics for data acquisition, the system contains an onboard computer, a GPS receiver and environmental sensors, all enclosed in a single housing manufactured of fiberglass-reinforced composite material. The data collected during the flight is transmitted in real-time to the ground station via a TETRA radio network. The radiation surveillance unit is an independent module and as such can be used in, for example, airplanes, helicopters and cars. PMID:15748656

  7. Differential-Evolution Control Parameter Optimization for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Path Planning

    PubMed Central

    Kok, Kai Yit; Rajendran, Parvathy

    2016-01-01

    The differential evolution algorithm has been widely applied on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) path planning. At present, four random tuning parameters exist for differential evolution algorithm, namely, population size, differential weight, crossover, and generation number. These tuning parameters are required, together with user setting on path and computational cost weightage. However, the optimum settings of these tuning parameters vary according to application. Instead of trial and error, this paper presents an optimization method of differential evolution algorithm for tuning the parameters of UAV path planning. The parameters that this research focuses on are population size, differential weight, crossover, and generation number. The developed algorithm enables the user to simply define the weightage desired between the path and computational cost to converge with the minimum generation required based on user requirement. In conclusion, the proposed optimization of tuning parameters in differential evolution algorithm for UAV path planning expedites and improves the final output path and computational cost. PMID:26943630

  8. Optimal Beamforming and Performance Analysis of Wireless Relay Networks with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouyang, Jian; Lin, Min

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we investigate a wireless communication system employing a multi-antenna unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as the relay to improve the connectivity between the base station (BS) and the receive node (RN), where the BS-UAV link undergoes the correlated Rician fading while the UAV-RN link follows the correlated Rayleigh fading with large scale path loss. By assuming that the amplify-and-forward (AF) protocol is adopted at UAV, we first propose an optimal beamforming (BF) scheme to maximize the mutual information of the UAV-assisted dual-hop relay network, by calculating the BF weight vectors and the power allocation coefficient. Then, we derive the analytical expressions for the outage probability (OP) and the ergodic capacity (EC) of the relay network to evaluate the system performance conveniently. Finally, computer simulation results are provided to demonstrate the validity and efficiency of the proposed scheme as well as the performance analysis.

  9. Mathematical model of unmanned aerial vehicle used for endurance autonomous monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Chelaru, Teodor-Viorel; Chelaru, Adrian

    2014-12-10

    The paper purpose is to present some aspects regarding the control system of unmanned aerial vehicle - UAV, used to local observations, surveillance and monitoring interest area. The calculus methodology allows a numerical simulation of UAV evolution in bad atmospheric conditions by using nonlinear model, as well as a linear one for obtaining guidance command. The UAV model which will be presented has six DOF (degrees of freedom), and autonomous control system. This theoretical development allows us to build stability matrix, command matrix and control matrix and finally to analyse the stability of autonomous UAV flight. A robust guidance system, based on uncoupled state will be evaluated for different fly conditions and the results will be presented. The flight parameters and guidance will be analysed.

  10. Design of an air sampler for a small unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Peräjärvi, K; Lehtinen, J; Pöllänen, R; Toivonen, H

    2008-01-01

    In the aftermath of a nuclear accident or malevolent act, it is of paramount importance to have the capability to monitor airborne radioactive substances by collecting air samples. For potentially dangerous missions, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) has developed an air sampler to be used on a small unmanned aerial vehicle. When a Petrianov or Fluoropore filter is used in the sampler and the air velocity is 71 km h(-1), the air flow rate through the filter is 0.73 m(3) h(-1) or 0.23 m(3) h(-1), respectively. The present article introduces the developed air sampler using fluid dynamic simulations and wind tunnel data. The operation of the system was validated by collecting airborne radioactive aerosols from air. PMID:19091809

  11. Vision-Based Detection and Distance Estimation of Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Gökçe, Fatih; Üçoluk, Göktürk; Şahin, Erol; Kalkan, Sinan

    2015-01-01

    Detection and distance estimation of micro unmanned aerial vehicles (mUAVs) is crucial for (i) the detection of intruder mUAVs in protected environments; (ii) sense and avoid purposes on mUAVs or on other aerial vehicles and (iii) multi-mUAV control scenarios, such as environmental monitoring, surveillance and exploration. In this article, we evaluate vision algorithms as alternatives for detection and distance estimation of mUAVs, since other sensing modalities entail certain limitations on the environment or on the distance. For this purpose, we test Haar-like features, histogram of gradients (HOG) and local binary patterns (LBP) using cascades of boosted classifiers. Cascaded boosted classifiers allow fast processing by performing detection tests at multiple stages, where only candidates passing earlier simple stages are processed at the preceding more complex stages. We also integrate a distance estimation method with our system utilizing geometric cues with support vector regressors. We evaluated each method on indoor and outdoor videos that are collected in a systematic way and also on videos having motion blur. Our experiments show that, using boosted cascaded classifiers with LBP, near real-time detection and distance estimation of mUAVs are possible in about 60 ms indoors (1032×778 resolution) and 150 ms outdoors (1280×720 resolution) per frame, with a detection rate of 0.96 F-score. However, the cascaded classifiers using Haar-like features lead to better distance estimation since they can position the bounding boxes on mUAVs more accurately. On the other hand, our time analysis yields that the cascaded classifiers using HOG train and run faster than the other algorithms. PMID:26393599

  12. Vision-Based Detection and Distance Estimation of Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Gökçe, Fatih; Üçoluk, Göktürk; Şahin, Erol; Kalkan, Sinan

    2015-01-01

    Detection and distance estimation of micro unmanned aerial vehicles (mUAVs) is crucial for (i) the detection of intruder mUAVs in protected environments; (ii) sense and avoid purposes on mUAVs or on other aerial vehicles and (iii) multi-mUAV control scenarios, such as environmental monitoring, surveillance and exploration. In this article, we evaluate vision algorithms as alternatives for detection and distance estimation of mUAVs, since other sensing modalities entail certain limitations on the environment or on the distance. For this purpose, we test Haar-like features, histogram of gradients (HOG) and local binary patterns (LBP) using cascades of boosted classifiers. Cascaded boosted classifiers allow fast processing by performing detection tests at multiple stages, where only candidates passing earlier simple stages are processed at the preceding more complex stages. We also integrate a distance estimation method with our system utilizing geometric cues with support vector regressors. We evaluated each method on indoor and outdoor videos that are collected in a systematic way and also on videos having motion blur. Our experiments show that, using boosted cascaded classifiers with LBP, near real-time detection and distance estimation of mUAVs are possible in about 60 ms indoors (1032 × 778 resolution) and 150 ms outdoors (1280 × 720 resolution) per frame, with a detection rate of 0.96 F-score. However, the cascaded classifiers using Haar-like features lead to better distance estimation since they can position the bounding boxes on mUAVs more accurately. On the other hand, our time analysis yields that the cascaded classifiers using HOG train and run faster than the other algorithms. PMID:26393599

  13. Micro-aerial vehicle type wall-climbing robot mechanism for structural health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Jae-Uk; Kim, Donghoon; Kim, Jong-Heon; Myung, Hyun

    2013-04-01

    Currently, the maintenance or inspection of large structures is labor-intensive, so it has a problem of the large cost due to the staffing professionals and the risk for hard to reach areas. To solve the problem, the needs of wall-climbing robot are emerged. Infra-based wall-climbing robots to maintain an outer wall of building have high payload and safety. However, the infrastructure for the robot must be equipped on the target structure and the infrastructure isn't preferred by the architects since it can injure the exterior of the structure. These are the reasons of why the infra-based wall-climbing robot is avoided. In case of the non-infra-based wall-climbing robot, it is researched to overcome the aforementioned problems. However, most of the technologies are in the laboratory level since the payload, safety and maneuverability are not satisfactory. For this reason, aerial vehicle type wall-climbing robot is researched. It is a flying possible wallclimbing robot based on a quadrotor. It is a famous aerial vehicle robot using four rotors to make a thrust for flying. This wall-climbing robot can stick to a vertical wall using the thrust. After sticking to the wall, it can move with four wheels installed on the robot. As a result, it has high maneuverability and safety since it can restore the position to the wall even if it is detached from the wall by unexpected disturbance while climbing the wall. The feasibility of the main concept was verified through simulations and experiments using a prototype.

  14. An Evaluation on Different Number of Ground Control Points in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Photogrammetric Block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tahar, K. N.

    2013-08-01

    This paper presents a novel method of unmanned aerial vehicle image processing using photogrammetric technique. The study area consist different slope class which involves undulating area around the Skudai area, Malaysia. All photogrammetric methods were applied in this study including selection of test area, flight planning, camera calibration and image processing orientation. A new ground control point configurations is introduced in this study as a generic approach in unmanned aerial vehicle photogrammetric block. These configurations are used to determine the best photogrammetric results based on number of ground control points in the photogrammetric block during image processing. The objective of this study is to determine the best configuration for photogrammetric block in order to produce the best photogrammetric products. Photogrammetric image processing involves two main orientations which are known as interior orientation and exterior orientation. Interior orientation involves the parameters of camera in order to calibrate the image in the same position as during the image acquisition. Exterior orientation involves the measurement of tie points to tie up all images in the strips until photogrammetric block. In this study, six ground control point configurations were tested to determine the best photogrammetric results. In this study, two main photogrammetric results were produced namely digital orthophoto and digital elevation model. The verification results show that all configurations recorded coefficient percentage of more than 97% accuracy for the six configurations. The validation results conclude that ground control point plays an important role in photogrammetric block to acquire the accurate photogrammetric results. In this study eight and nine ground control point configurations are the best configurations among the others. Qualitatively, vector plot error for easting and northing coordinates can be viewed graphically to distinguish the error and direction for all configurations which has been proposed in this study.

  15. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Composite Materials for Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ifju, Peter G.; Ettinger, Scott; Jenkins, David; Martinez, Luis

    2002-01-01

    This paper will discuss the development of the University of Florida's Micro Air Vehicle concept. A series of flexible wing based aircraft that possess highly desirable flight characteristics were developed. Since computational methods to accurately model flight at the low Reynolds numbers associated with this scale are still under development, our effort has relied heavily on trial and error. Hence a time efficient method was developed to rapidly produce prototype designs. The airframe and wings are fabricated using a unique process that incorporates carbon fiber composite construction. Prototypes can be fabricated in around five man-hours, allowing many design revisions to be tested in a short period of time. The resulting aircraft are far more durable, yet lighter, than their conventional counterparts. This process allows for thorough testing of each design in order to determine what changes were required on the next prototype. The use of carbon fiber allows for wing flexibility without sacrificing durability. The construction methods developed for this project were the enabling technology that allowed us to implement our designs. The resulting aircraft were the winning entries in the International Micro Air Vehicle Competition for the past two years. Details of the construction method are provided in this paper along with a background on our flexible wing concept.

  16. Real-time Accurate Surface Reconstruction Pipeline for Vision Guided Planetary Exploration Using Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Almeida, Eduardo DeBrito

    2012-01-01

    This report discusses work completed over the summer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. A system is presented to guide ground or aerial unmanned robots using computer vision. The system performs accurate camera calibration, camera pose refinement and surface extraction from images collected by a camera mounted on the vehicle. The application motivating the research is planetary exploration and the vehicles are typically rovers or unmanned aerial vehicles. The information extracted from imagery is used primarily for navigation, as robot location is the same as the camera location and the surfaces represent the terrain that rovers traverse. The processed information must be very accurate and acquired very fast in order to be useful in practice. The main challenge being addressed by this project is to achieve high estimation accuracy and high computation speed simultaneously, a difficult task due to many technical reasons.

  17. Sitting in the Pilot's Seat; Optimizing Human-Systems Interfaces for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Queen, Steven M.; Sanner, Kurt Gregory

    2011-01-01

    One of the pilot-machine interfaces (the forward viewing camera display) for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle called the DROID (Dryden Remotely Operated Integrated Drone) will be analyzed for optimization. The goal is to create a visual display for the pilot that as closely resembles an out-the-window view as possible. There are currently no standard guidelines for designing pilot-machine interfaces for UAVs. Typically, UAV camera views have a narrow field, which limits the situational awareness (SA) of the pilot. Also, at this time, pilot-UAV interfaces often use displays that have a diagonal length of around 20". Using a small display may result in a distorted and disproportional view for UAV pilots. Making use of a larger display and a camera lens with a wider field of view may minimize the occurrences of pilot error associated with the inability to see "out the window" as in a manned airplane. It is predicted that the pilot will have a less distorted view of the DROID s surroundings, quicker response times and more stable vehicle control. If the experimental results validate this concept, other UAV pilot-machine interfaces will be improved with this design methodology.

  18. Outline of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (Ant-Plane) designed for Antarctic research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, Minoru; Hirasawa, Naohiko; the Ant-Plane Group

    As part of the Ant-Plane project for summertime scientific research and logistics in the coastal region of Antarctica, we developed six types of small autonomous UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, similar to drones; we term these vehicles ‘Ant-Planes’) based on four types of airframe. In test flights, Ant-Plane 2 cruised within 20 m accuracy along a straight course during calm weather at Sakurajima Volcano, Kyushu, Japan. During a period of strong winds (22 m/s) at Mt. Chokai, Akita Prefecture, Japan, Ant-Plane 2 maintained its course during a straight flight but deviated when turning leeward. An onboard 3-axis magneto-resistant magnetometer (400 g) recorded variations in the magnetic field to an accuracy of 10 nT during periods of calm wind, but strong magnetic noise was observed during high winds, especially head winds. Ant-Plane 4-1 achieved a continuous flight of 500 km, with a maximum flight altitude of 5690 m. The Ant-Plane can be used for various types of Antarctic research as a basic platform for airborne surveys, but further development of the techniques employed in takeoff and landing are required, as well as ready adjustment of the engine and the development of small onboard instruments with greater reliability.

  19. Cost and effectiveness analysis on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use at border security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yilmaz, Bahadır.

    2013-06-01

    Drones and Remotely Piloted Vehicles are types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. UAVs began to be used with the war of Vietnam, they had a great interest when Israel used them in Bekaa Valley Operations of 1982. UAVs have been used by different countries with different aims with the help of emerging technology and investments. In this article, in the context of areas of UAV usage in national security, benefits and disadvantages of UAVs are put forward. Particularly, it has been evaluated on the basis of cost-effectiveness by focusing the use of UAV in the border security. UAVs have been studied by taking cost analysis, procurement and operational costs into consideration. Analysis of effectiveness has been done with illegal passages of people and drugs from flight times of UAVs. Although the procurement cost of the medium-level UAVs is low, its operational costs are high. For this reason, the idea of less costly alternative systems have been revealed for the border security. As the costs are reduced to acceptable level involving national security and border security in future with high-technology products in their structure, it will continue to be used in an increasing proportion.

  20. Modeling and control for heave dynamics of a flexible wing micro aerial vehicle distributed parameter system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Lisa M.

    2011-07-01

    In recent years, much research has been motivated by the idea of biologically-inspired flight. It is a conjecture of the United States Air Force that incorporating characteristics of biological flight into air vehicles will significantly improve the maneuverability and performance of modern aircraft. Although there are studies which involve the aerodynamics, structural dynamics, modeling, and control of flexible wing micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), issues of control and vehicular modeling as a whole are largely unexplored. Modeling with such dynamics lends itself to systems of partial differential equations (PDEs) with nonlinearities, and limited control theory is available for such systems. In this work, a multiple component structure consisting of two Euler-Bernoulli beams connected to a rigid mass is used to model the heave dynamics of an aeroelastic wing MAV, which is acted upon by a nonlinear aerodynamic lift force. We seek to employ tools from distributed parameter modeling and linear control theory in an effort to achieve agile flight potential of flexible, morphable wing MAV airframes. Theoretical analysis of the model is conducted, which includes generating solutions to the eigenvalue problem for the system and determining well-posedness and the attainment of a C 0-semigroup for the linearly approximated model. In order to test the model's ability to track to a desired state and to gain insight into optimal morphing trajectories, two control objectives are employed on the model: target state tracking and morphing trajectory over time.

  1. Fault Tolerance Analysis of L1 Adaptive Control System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamoorthy, Kiruthika

    Trajectory tracking is a critical element for the better functionality of autonomous vehicles. The main objective of this research study was to implement and analyze L1 adaptive control laws for autonomous flight under normal and upset flight conditions. The West Virginia University (WVU) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flight simulation environment was used for this purpose. A comparison study between the L1 adaptive controller and a baseline conventional controller, which relies on position, proportional, and integral compensation, has been performed for a reduced size jet aircraft, the WVU YF-22. Special attention was given to the performance of the proposed control laws in the presence of abnormal conditions. The abnormal conditions considered are locked actuators (stabilator, aileron, and rudder) and excessive turbulence. Several levels of abnormal condition severity have been considered. The performance of the control laws was assessed over different-shape commanded trajectories. A set of comprehensive evaluation metrics was defined and used to analyze the performance of autonomous flight control laws in terms of control activity and trajectory tracking errors. The developed L1 adaptive control laws are supported by theoretical stability guarantees. The simulation results show that L1 adaptive output feedback controller achieves better trajectory tracking with lower level of control actuation as compared to the baseline linear controller under nominal and abnormal conditions.

  2. Control and display stations for simultaneous multiple dissimilar unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linne von Berg, Dale C.; Duncan, Michael D.; Howard, John G.; Kruer, Melvin R.; Lee, John N.

    2005-05-01

    The NRL Optical Sciences Division has developed and demonstrated ground and airborne-based control, display, and exploitation stations for simultaneous use of multiple dissimilar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems. The demonstrated systems allow operation on airborne and ground mobile platforms and allow for the control and exploitation of multiple on-board airborne and/or remote unmanned sensor systems simultaneously. The sensor systems incorporated into the control and display stations include visible and midwave infrared (EO/MWIR) panchromatic and visible through short wave infrared (VNIR-SWIR) hyperspectral (HSI) sensors of various operational types (including step-stare, push-broom, whisk-broom, and video). Demonstrated exploitation capabilities include real-time screening, sensor control, pre-flight and real-time payload/platform mission planning, geo-referenced imagery mosaicing, change detection, stereo imaging, moving target tracking, and networked dissemination to distributed exploitation nodes (man-pack, vehicle, and command centers). Results from real-time flight tests using ATR, Finder, and TERN UAV's are described.

  3. Approach for Autonomous Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Using Intelligent Agents for Knowledge Creation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a planned approach for Autonomous operation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A Hybrid approach will seek to provide Knowledge Generation through the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intelligent Agents (IA) for UAV control. The applications of several different types of AI techniques for flight are explored during this research effort. The research concentration is directed to the application of different AI methods within the UAV arena. By evaluating AI and biological system approaches. which include Expert Systems, Neural Networks. Intelligent Agents, Fuzzy Logic, and Complex Adaptive Systems, a new insight may be gained into the benefits of AI and CAS techniques applied to achieving true autonomous operation of these systems. Although flight systems were explored, the benefits should apply to many Unmanned Vehicles such as: Rovers. Ocean Explorers, Robots, and autonomous operation systems. A portion of the flight system is broken down into control agents that represent the intelligent agent approach used in AI. After the completion of a successful approach, a framework for applying an intelligent agent is presented. The initial results from simulation of a security agent for communication are presented.

  4. Approach for Autonomous Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Using Intelligent Agents for Knowledge Creation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a planned approach for Autonomous operation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A Hybrid approach will seek to provide Knowledge Generation thru the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intelligent Agents (IA) for UAV control. The application of many different types of AI techniques for flight will be explored during this research effort. The research concentration will be directed to the application of different AI methods within the UAV arena. By evaluating AI approaches, which will include Expert Systems, Neural Networks, Intelligent Agents, Fuzzy Logic, and Complex Adaptive Systems, a new insight may be gained into the benefits of AI techniques applied to achieving true autonomous operation of these systems thus providing new intellectual merit to this research field. The major area of discussion will be limited to the UAV. The systems of interest include small aircraft, insects, and miniature aircraft. Although flight systems will be explored, the benefits should apply to many Unmanned Vehicles such as: Rovers, Ocean Explorers, Robots, and autonomous operation systems. The flight system will be broken down into control agents that will represent the intelligent agent approach used in AI. After the completion of a successful approach, a framework of applying a Security Overseer will be added in an attempt to address errors, emergencies, failures, damage, or over dynamic environment. The chosen control problem was the landing phase of UAV operation. The initial results from simulation in FlightGear are presented.

  5. Balancing search and target response in cooperative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) teams.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yan; Liao, Yan; Minai, Ali A; Polycarpou, Marios M

    2006-06-01

    This paper considers a heterogeneous team of cooperating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) drawn from several distinct classes and engaged in a search and action mission over a spatially extended battlefield with targets of several types. During the mission, the UAVs seek to confirm and verifiably destroy suspected targets and discover, confirm, and verifiably destroy unknown targets. The locations of some (or all) targets are unknown a priori, requiring them to be located using cooperative search. In addition, the tasks to be performed at each target location by the team of cooperative UAVs need to be coordinated. The tasks must, therefore, be allocated to UAVs in real time as they arise, while ensuring that appropriate vehicles are assigned to each task. Each class of UAVs has its own sensing and attack capabilities, so the need for appropriate assignment is paramount. In this paper, an extensive dynamic model that captures the stochastic nature of the cooperative search and task assignment problems is developed, and algorithms for achieving a high level of performance are designed. The paper focuses on investigating the value of predictive task assignment as a function of the number of unknown targets and number of UAVs. In particular, it is shown that there is a tradeoff between search and task response in the context of prediction. Based on the results, a hybrid algorithm for switching the use of prediction is proposed, which balances the search and task response. The performance of the proposed algorithms is evaluated through Monte Carlo simulations. PMID:16761811

  6. Optimal Path Planning and Control of Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Area Coverage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Jiankun

    An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers onboard the vehicle, or remotely by a pilot on the ground, or by another vehicle. In recent years, UAVs have been used more commonly than prior years. The example includes areo-camera where a high speed camera was attached to a UAV which can be used as an airborne camera to obtain aerial video. It also could be used for detecting events on ground for tasks such as surveillance and monitoring which is a common task during wars. Similarly UAVs can be used for relaying communication signal during scenarios when regular communication infrastructure is destroyed. The objective of this thesis is motivated from such civilian operations such as search and rescue or wildfire detection and monitoring. One scenario is that of search and rescue where UAV's objective is to geo-locate a person in a given area. The task is carried out with the help of a camera whose live feed is provided to search and rescue personnel. For this objective, the UAV needs to carry out scanning of the entire area in the shortest time. The aim of this thesis to develop algorithms to enable a UAV to scan an area in optimal time, a problem referred to as "Coverage Control" in literature. The thesis focuses on a special kind of UAVs called "quadrotor" that is propelled with the help of four rotors. The overall objective of this thesis is achieved via solving two problems. The first problem is to develop a dynamic control model of quadrtor. In this thesis, a proportional-integral-derivative controller (PID) based feedback control system is developed and implemented on MATLAB's Simulink. The PID controller helps track any given trajectory. The second problem is to design a trajectory that will fulfill the mission. The planed trajectory should make sure the quadrotor will scan the whole area without missing any part to make sure that the quadrotor will find the lost person in the area. The generated trajectory should also be optimal. This is achieved via making some assumptions on the form of the trajectory and solving the optimization problem to obtain optimal parameters of the trajectory. The proposed techniques are validated with the help of numerous simulations.

  7. Small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) using onboard pre-processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Rick C.; Sadjadi, Firooz A.; Braegelmann, Jacob R.; Cordes, Aaron M.; Nelson, Ryan L.

    2008-04-01

    Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used in-theater to provide low-cost, low-profile aerial reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. However, inherent platform limitations on size, weight, and power restrict the ability to provide sensors and communications which can present high-resolution imagery to the end-user. This paper discusses methods to alleviate this restriction by performing on-board pre-processing of high resolution images and downlinking the post-processed imagery. This has the added benefit of reducing the workload for a warfighter who is already heavily taxed by other duties.

  8. Fault tolerant attitude sensing and force feedback control for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagadish, Chirag

    Two aspects of an unmanned aerial vehicle are studied in this work. One is fault tolerant attitude determination and the other is to provide force feedback to the joy-stick of the UAV so as to prevent faulty inputs from the pilot. Determination of attitude plays an important role in control of aerial vehicles. One way of defining the attitude is through Euler angles. These angles can be determined based on the measurements of the projections of the gravity and earth magnetic fields on the three body axes of the vehicle. Attitude determination in unmanned aerial vehicles poses additional challenges due to limitations of space, payload, power and cost. Therefore it provides for almost no room for any bulky sensors or extra sensor hardware for backup and as such leaves no room for sensor fault issues either. In the face of these limitations, this study proposes a fault tolerant computing of Euler angles by utilizing multiple different computation methods, with each method utilizing a different subset of the available sensor measurement data. Twenty-five such methods have been presented in this document. The capability of computing the Euler angles in multiple ways provides a diversified redundancy required for fault tolerance. The proposed approach can identify certain sets of sensor failures and even separate the reference fields from the disturbances. A bank-to-turn maneuver of the NASA GTM UAV is used to demonstrate the fault tolerance provided by the proposed method as well as to demonstrate the method of determining the correct Euler angles despite interferences by inertial acceleration disturbances. Attitude computation is essential for stability. But as of today most UAVs are commanded remotely by human pilots. While basic stability control is entrusted to machine or the on-board automatic controller, overall guidance is usually with humans. It is therefore the pilot who sets the command/references through a joy-stick. While this is a good compromise between complete automation and complete human control, it still poses some unique challenges. Pilots of manned aircraft are present inside the cockpit of the aircraft they fly and thus have a better feel of the flying environment and also the limitations of the flight. The same might not be true for UAV pilots stationed on the ground. A major handicap is that visual feedback is the only one available for the UAV pilot. An additional parameter like force feedback on the remote control joy-stick can help the UAV pilot to physically feel the limitation of the safe flight envelope. This can make the flying itself easier and safer. A method proposed here is to design a joy-stick assembly with an additional actuator. This actuator is controlled so as to generate a force feedback on the joy-stick. The control developed for this system is such that the actuator allows free movement for the pilot as long as the UAV is within the safe flight envelope. On the other hand, if it is outside this safe range, the actuator opposes the pilot's applied torque and prevents him/her from giving erroneous commands to the UAV.

  9. Aerial Explorers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Greg; Ippolito, Corey

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents recent results from a mission architecture study of planetary aerial explorers. In this study, several mission scenarios were developed in simulation and evaluated on success in meeting mission goals. This aerial explorer mission architecture study is unique in comparison with previous Mars airplane research activities. The study examines how aerial vehicles can find and gain access to otherwise inaccessible terrain features of interest. The aerial explorer also engages in a high-level of (indirect) surface interaction, despite not typically being able to takeoff and land or to engage in multiple flights/sorties. To achieve this goal, a new mission paradigm is proposed: aerial explorers should be considered as an additional element in the overall Entry, Descent, Landing System (EDLS) process. Further, aerial vehicles should be considered primarily as carrier/utility platforms whose purpose is to deliver air-deployed sensors and robotic devices, or symbiotes, to those high-value terrain features of interest.

  10. Configuration and specifications of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for early site specific weed management.

    PubMed

    Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; López-Granados, Francisca; De Castro, Ana Isabel; Peña-Barragán, José Manuel

    2013-01-01

    A new aerial platform has risen recently for image acquisition, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This article describes the technical specifications and configuration of a UAV used to capture remote images for early season site- specific weed management (ESSWM). Image spatial and spectral properties required for weed seedling discrimination were also evaluated. Two different sensors, a still visible camera and a six-band multispectral camera, and three flight altitudes (30, 60 and 100 m) were tested over a naturally infested sunflower field. The main phases of the UAV workflow were the following: 1) mission planning, 2) UAV flight and image acquisition, and 3) image pre-processing. Three different aspects were needed to plan the route: flight area, camera specifications and UAV tasks. The pre-processing phase included the correct alignment of the six bands of the multispectral imagery and the orthorectification and mosaicking of the individual images captured in each flight. The image pixel size, area covered by each image and flight timing were very sensitive to flight altitude. At a lower altitude, the UAV captured images of finer spatial resolution, although the number of images needed to cover the whole field may be a limiting factor due to the energy required for a greater flight length and computational requirements for the further mosaicking process. Spectral differences between weeds, crop and bare soil were significant in the vegetation indices studied (Excess Green Index, Normalised Green-Red Difference Index and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), mainly at a 30 m altitude. However, greater spectral separability was obtained between vegetation and bare soil with the index NDVI. These results suggest that an agreement among spectral and spatial resolutions is needed to optimise the flight mission according to every agronomical objective as affected by the size of the smaller object to be discriminated (weed plants or weed patches). PMID:23483997

  11. Autonomous soaring and surveillance in wind fields with an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Chen

    Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) play an active role in developing a low-cost, low-altitude autonomous aerial surveillance platform. The success of the applications needs to address the challenge of limited on-board power plant that limits the endurance performance in surveillance mission. This thesis studies the mechanics of soaring flight, observed in nature where birds utilize various wind patterns to stay airborne without flapping their wings, and investigates its application to small UAVs in their surveillance missions. In a proposed integrated framework of soaring and surveillance, a bird-mimicking soaring maneuver extracts energy from surrounding wind environment that improves surveillance performance in terms of flight endurance, while the surveillance task not only covers the target area, but also detects energy sources within the area to allow for potential soaring flight. The interaction of soaring and surveillance further enables novel energy based, coverage optimal path planning. Two soaring and associated surveillance strategies are explored. In a so-called static soaring surveillance, the UAV identifies spatially-distributed thermal updrafts for soaring, while incremental surveillance is achieved through gliding flight to visit concentric expanding regions. A Gaussian-process-regression-based algorithm is developed to achieve computationally-efficient and smooth updraft estimation. In a so-called dynamic soaring surveillance, the UAV performs one cycle of dynamic soaring to harvest energy from the horizontal wind gradient to complete one surveillance task by visiting from one target to the next one. A Dubins-path-based trajectory planning approach is proposed to maximize wind energy extraction and ensure smooth transition between surveillance tasks. Finally, a nonlinear trajectory tracking controller is designed for a full six-degree-of-freedom nonlinear UAV dynamics model and extensive simulations are carried to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed soaring and surveillance strategies.

  12. Integrating Terrestrial LIDAR with Point Clouds Created from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leslar, M.

    2015-08-01

    Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the purposes of conducting high-accuracy aerial surveying has become a hot topic over the last year. One of the most promising means of conducting such a survey involves integrating a high-resolution non-metric digital camera with the UAV and using the principals of digital photogrammetry to produce high-density colorized point clouds. Through the use of stereo imagery, precise and accurate horizontal positioning information can be produced without the need for integration with any type of inertial navigation system (INS). Of course, some form of ground control is needed to achieve this result. Terrestrial LiDAR, either static or mobile, provides the solution. Points extracted from Terrestrial LiDAR can be used as control in the digital photogrammetry solution required by the UAV. In return, the UAV is an affordable solution for filling in the shadows and occlusions typically experienced by Terrestrial LiDAR. In this paper, the accuracies of points derived from a commercially available UAV solution will be examined and compared to the accuracies achievable by a commercially available LIDAR solution. It was found that the LiDAR system produced a point cloud that was twice as accurate as the point cloud produced by the UAV's photogrammetric solution. Both solutions gave results within a few centimetres of the control field. In addition the about of planar dispersion on the vertical wall surfaces in the UAV point cloud was found to be multiple times greater than that from the horizontal ground based UAV points or the LiDAR data.

  13. Mapping Crop Status from AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Precision Agriculture Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, T.; Kujirai, T.; Watanabe, T.

    2012-07-01

    Remote sensing system mounted on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could provide a complementary means to the conventional satellite and aerial remote sensing solutions especially for the applications of precision agriculture. UAV remote sensing offers a great flexibility to quickly acquire field data in sufficient spatial and spectral resolution at low cost. However a major problem of UAV is the high instability due to the low-end equipments and difficult environment situation, and this leads to image sensor being mostly operated under a highly uncertain configuration. Thus UAV images exhibit considerable derivation in spatial orientation, large geometric and spectral distortion, and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). To achieve the objectives of agricultural mapping from UAV, we apply a micro-helicopter UAV with a multiple spectral camera mounted and develop a framework to process UAV images. A very important processing is to generate mosaic image which can be aligned with maps for later GIS integration. With appropriate geometric calibration applied, we first decompose a homography of consecutive image pairs into a rotational component and a simple perspective component, and apply a linear interpolation to the angle of the rotational component, followed by a linear matrix interpolation operator to the perspective component, and this results in an equivalent transformation but ensures a smooth evolution between two images. Lastly to demonstrate the potential of UAV images to precision agriculture application, we perform spectral processing to derive vegetation indices (VIs) maps of crop, and also show the comparison with satellite imagery. Through this paper, we demonstrate that it is highly feasible to generate quantitative mapping products such as crop stress maps from UAV images, and suggest that UAV remote sensing is very valuable for the applications of precision agriculture.

  14. Configuration and Specifications of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Early Site Specific Weed Management

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; López-Granados, Francisca; De Castro, Ana Isabel; Peña-Barragán, José Manuel

    2013-01-01

    A new aerial platform has risen recently for image acquisition, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This article describes the technical specifications and configuration of a UAV used to capture remote images for early season site- specific weed management (ESSWM). Image spatial and spectral properties required for weed seedling discrimination were also evaluated. Two different sensors, a still visible camera and a six-band multispectral camera, and three flight altitudes (30, 60 and 100 m) were tested over a naturally infested sunflower field. The main phases of the UAV workflow were the following: 1) mission planning, 2) UAV flight and image acquisition, and 3) image pre-processing. Three different aspects were needed to plan the route: flight area, camera specifications and UAV tasks. The pre-processing phase included the correct alignment of the six bands of the multispectral imagery and the orthorectification and mosaicking of the individual images captured in each flight. The image pixel size, area covered by each image and flight timing were very sensitive to flight altitude. At a lower altitude, the UAV captured images of finer spatial resolution, although the number of images needed to cover the whole field may be a limiting factor due to the energy required for a greater flight length and computational requirements for the further mosaicking process. Spectral differences between weeds, crop and bare soil were significant in the vegetation indices studied (Excess Green Index, Normalised Green-Red Difference Index and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), mainly at a 30 m altitude. However, greater spectral separability was obtained between vegetation and bare soil with the index NDVI. These results suggest that an agreement among spectral and spatial resolutions is needed to optimise the flight mission according to every agronomical objective as affected by the size of the smaller object to be discriminated (weed plants or weed patches). PMID:23483997

  15. D Modelling and Accuracy Assessment of Granite Quarry Using Unmmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Aguilera, D.; Fernández-Hernández, J.; Mancera-Taboada, J.; Rodríguez-Gonzálvez, P.; Hernández-López, D.; Felipe-García, B.; Gozalo-Sanz, I.; Arias-Perez, B.

    2012-07-01

    The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are automated systems whose main characteristic is that can be remotely piloted. This property is especially interesting in those civil engineering works in which the accuracy of the model is not reachable by common aerial or satellite systems, there is a difficult accessibility to the infrastructure due to location and geometry aspects, and the economic resources are limited. This paper aims to show the research, development and application of a UAV that will generate georeferenced spatial information at low cost, high quality, and high availability. In particular, a 3D modelling and accuracy assessment of granite quarry using UAV is applied. With regard to the image-based modelling pipeline, an automatic approach supported by open source tools is performed. The process encloses the well-known image-based modelling steps: calibration, extraction and matching of features; relative and absolute orientation of images and point cloud and surface generation. Beside this, an assessment of the final model accuracy is carried out by means of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), imaging total station (ITS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) in order to ensure its validity. This step follows a twofold approach: (i) firstly, using singular check points to provide a dimensional control of the model and (ii) secondly, analyzing the level of agreement between the realitybased 3D model obtained from UAV and the generated with TLS. The main goal is to establish and validate an image-based modelling workflow using UAV technology which can be applied in the surveying and monitoring of different quarries.

  16. Enabling high-quality observations of surface imperviousness for water runoff modelling from unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokarczyk, Piotr; Leitao, Joao Paulo; Rieckermann, Jörg; Schindler, Konrad; Blumensaat, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Modelling rainfall-runoff in urban areas is increasingly applied to support flood risk assessment particularly against the background of a changing climate and an increasing urbanization. These models typically rely on high-quality data for rainfall and surface characteristics of the area. While recent research in urban drainage has been focusing on providing spatially detailed rainfall data, the technological advances in remote sensing that ease the acquisition of detailed land-use information are less prominently discussed within the community. The relevance of such methods increase as in many parts of the globe, accurate land-use information is generally lacking, because detailed image data is unavailable. Modern unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) allow acquiring high-resolution images on a local level at comparably lower cost, performing on-demand repetitive measurements, and obtaining a degree of detail tailored for the purpose of the study. In this study, we investigate for the first time the possibility to derive high-resolution imperviousness maps for urban areas from UAV imagery and to use this information as input for urban drainage models. To do so, an automatic processing pipeline with a modern classification method is tested and applied in a state-of-the-art urban drainage modelling exercise. In a real-life case study in the area of Lucerne, Switzerland, we compare imperviousness maps generated from a consumer micro-UAV and standard large-format aerial images acquired by the Swiss national mapping agency (swisstopo). After assessing their correctness, we perform an end-to-end comparison, in which they are used as an input for an urban drainage model. Then, we evaluate the influence which different image data sources and their processing methods have on hydrological and hydraulic model performance. We analyze the surface runoff of the 307 individual sub-catchments regarding relevant attributes, such as peak runoff and volume. Finally, we evaluate the model's channel flow prediction performance through a cross-comparison with reference flow measured at the catchment outlet. We show that imperviousness maps generated using UAV imagery processed with modern classification methods achieve accuracy comparable with standard, off-the-shelf aerial imagery. In the examined case study, we find that the different imperviousness maps only have a limited influence on modelled surface runoff and pipe flows. We conclude that UAV imagery represents a valuable alternative data source for urban drainage model applications due to the possibility to flexibly acquire up-to-date aerial images at a superior quality and a competitive price. Our analyses furthermore suggest that spatially more detailed urban drainage models can even better benefit from the full detail of UAV imagery.

  17. Aerial imaging manages pipeline right-of-way programs

    SciTech Connect

    Jadkowski, M.A.; Convery, P.

    1996-02-01

    Pipeline companies that own and manage extensive rights-of-way corridors are facing ever-increasing regulatory pressures, operating issues and ongoing needs to remain competitive in today`s marketplace. The digital aerial rights-of-way monitoring system (DARMS) is a personal computer-based digital charge-coupled device (CCD) camera integrated with a high-capacity tape recorder. DARMS was developed through NASA by the Stennis Space Center for use in a Sewall aircraft. Sewall is responsible for its operational testing and developing the image products for pipeline monitoring. DARMS consists of a personal computer main control unit (MCU), a Kodak Megaplus 1.4-CCD camera head, a monochrome video monitor for in-flight operation, and an Exabyte 8500 8-millimeter tape recorder for image data storage. The system is designed to be operated in a small, unpressurized aircraft flown by a single pilot. The control program software provides a highly autonomous turnkey operation. After a mission has been flown, Exabyte tape is loaded onto a Sun workstation and the images are contrast-balanced and spatially enhanced using a mid-high filtering algorithm. Depending on client requirements, images also may be geo-referenced to a coordinate system or mosaicked together. The resulting image frames are indexed using their GPS location, delivered to the client and archived.

  18. National aerial photography program as a geographic information system resource

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Light, Donald L.

    1991-01-01

    The National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) is jointly funded by Federal agencies and States that choose to participate in a 50-50 cost sharing cooperative arrangement. The NAPP is designed to acquire black-and-white (B&W) or color infrared (CIR) photography at a scale of 1:40,000. The status of NAPP flying, now going into the first year of its second 5-year cycle, is reviewed to inform the user community of NAPP's coverage. The resolution, geometric quality and flight parameters are used to estimate the system's cartographic potential to produce orthophotoquads, digital elevation models, topographic maps and digital information to meet national map accuracy standards at 1:12,000 and 1:24,000-scale and serve as a geographic information system resource. Also, a technique is presented to compute the optimum scanning spot size (15 ??m) and storage required for converting the B&W or CIR photography to digital, machine-readable pixel form. The resulting digital NAPP data are suitable for a wide variety of new applications, including use in geographic information systems.

  19. Carlsbad Area Office vehicle safety program

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    The Carlsbad Area Office (CAO) Vehicle Safety Program (VSP) establishes the minimum requirements for CAO personnel to safely operate government vehicles and provides direction to effectively reduce the number of vehicle accidents, reduce the severity of vehicle accidents, and minimize vehicular property damage. This Program covers the operations of Government Services Administration (GSA) vehicles, rental or leased vehicles, and special purpose vehicles used at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the performance of work. Additionally, this Program encourages CAO employees to use safe driving habits while operating their privately owned vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles, or, as pedestrians, to be aware of the hazards associated with traffic in and around CAO facilities. Vehicle safety is a shared responsibility in this organization. At anytime a CAO employee witnesses an unsafe act relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, it is their responsibility to notify their Team Leader (TL) or Assistant Manager (AM), or contact the CAO Safety and Occupational Health Manager (SOHM). Employees are encouraged to participate in the Carlsbad Area Office Federal Employees Safety Committee (FESC) activities and goals in order to address vehicle safety concerns. The FESC is designed to be a forum for all federal employees to improve the health and safety of the organization. The VSP is an effective method of ensuring the health and safety of CAO employees during the operation of government vehicles. The human resources of the CAO are the most valuable assets of this organization and any lost manhours are difficult to replace. Safe driving habits and defensive driving methods should always be practiced to preserve the health and safety of all employees.

  20. CALFLT: A FORTRAN computer program to plot aerial radiometric data for the National Uranium Resource Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    LaBonte, E.; Zinkl, R.J.

    1982-09-01

    CALFLT is a FORTRAN program developed to plot aerial data for the Aerial Radiometric and Magnetic Survey (ARMS) portion of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program. It is an inexpensive way of displaying any aerial data for mineral exploration. A magnitude profile plot of the data points along a flightline is overlayed with one of five map projections at virtually any scale. The projections convert latitude/longitude into easting/northing coordinates which are then converted into (X,Y) locations, in plotter units, for plotting.

  1. A Space-Time Network-Based Modeling Framework for Dynamic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Routing in Traffic Incident Monitoring Applications.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jisheng; Jia, Limin; Niu, Shuyun; Zhang, Fan; Tong, Lu; Zhou, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    It is essential for transportation management centers to equip and manage a network of fixed and mobile sensors in order to quickly detect traffic incidents and further monitor the related impact areas, especially for high-impact accidents with dramatic traffic congestion propagation. As emerging small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) start to have a more flexible regulation environment, it is critically important to fully explore the potential for of using UAVs for monitoring recurring and non-recurring traffic conditions and special events on transportation networks. This paper presents a space-time network- based modeling framework for integrated fixed and mobile sensor networks, in order to provide a rapid and systematic road traffic monitoring mechanism. By constructing a discretized space-time network to characterize not only the speed for UAVs but also the time-sensitive impact areas of traffic congestion, we formulate the problem as a linear integer programming model to minimize the detection delay cost and operational cost, subject to feasible flying route constraints. A Lagrangian relaxation solution framework is developed to decompose the original complex problem into a series of computationally efficient time-dependent and least cost path finding sub-problems. Several examples are used to demonstrate the results of proposed models in UAVs' route planning for small and medium-scale networks. PMID:26076404

  2. A Space-Time Network-Based Modeling Framework for Dynamic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Routing in Traffic Incident Monitoring Applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jisheng; Jia, Limin; Niu, Shuyun; Zhang, Fan; Tong, Lu; Zhou, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    It is essential for transportation management centers to equip and manage a network of fixed and mobile sensors in order to quickly detect traffic incidents and further monitor the related impact areas, especially for high-impact accidents with dramatic traffic congestion propagation. As emerging small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) start to have a more flexible regulation environment, it is critically important to fully explore the potential for of using UAVs for monitoring recurring and non-recurring traffic conditions and special events on transportation networks. This paper presents a space-time network- based modeling framework for integrated fixed and mobile sensor networks, in order to provide a rapid and systematic road traffic monitoring mechanism. By constructing a discretized space-time network to characterize not only the speed for UAVs but also the time-sensitive impact areas of traffic congestion, we formulate the problem as a linear integer programming model to minimize the detection delay cost and operational cost, subject to feasible flying route constraints. A Lagrangian relaxation solution framework is developed to decompose the original complex problem into a series of computationally efficient time-dependent and least cost path finding sub-problems. Several examples are used to demonstrate the results of proposed models in UAVs’ route planning for small and medium-scale networks. PMID:26076404

  3. Rapid, repeat-sample monitoring of crustal deformations and environmental phenomena with the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. C.

    2006-12-01

    The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is a precision repeat-pass Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) mission being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Dryden Flight Research Center in support of NASAs Science Mission Directorate. UAVSARs unique ability to fly a repeatable flight path, along with an electronically steerable array, allows interferometric data to be obtained with accuracies measured in millimeters. Deploying the radar on an airborne platform will also allow for radar images to be collected and compared with images from the same area taken hours or even years later - providing for long-term trending and near-real-time notification of changes and deformations. UAVSARs data processing algorithms will provide for near-real time data reduction providing disaster planning and response teams with highly accurate data to aid in the prediction of, and response to, natural phenomena. UAVSAR data can be applied to increasing our understanding of the processes behind solid earth, cryosphere, carbon cycle and other areas of interest in earth science. Technologies developed for UAVSAR may also be applicable to a future earth-orbiting InSAR mission and possibly for missions to the Moon or Mars. The UAVSAR is expected to fly on a Gulfstream III aircraft this winter, followed by a flight test program lasting until the second half of 2007. Following radar calibration and data reduction activities, the platform will be ready for science users in the summer of 2008.

  4. Rapid, Repeat-sample Monitoring of Crustal Deformations and Environmental Phenomena with the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Robert C.

    2006-01-01

    The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is a precision repeat-pass Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) mission being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Dryden Flight Research Center in support of NASA s Science Mission Directorate. UAVSAR's unique ability to fly a repeatable flight path, along with an electronically steerable array, allows interferometric data to be obtained with accuracies measured in millimeters. Deploying the radar on an airborne platform will also allow for radar images to be collected and compared with images from the same area taken hours or even years later - providing for long-term trending and near real-time notification of changes and deformations. UAVSAR s data processing algorithms will provide for near-real time data reduction providing disaster planning and response teams with highly accurate data to aid in the prediction of, and response to, natural phenomena. UAVSAR data can be applied to increasing our understanding of the processes behind solid earth, cryosphere, carbon cycle and other areas of interest in earth science. Technologies developed for UAVSAR may also be applicable to a future earth-orbiting InSAR mission and possibly for missions to the Moon or Mars. The UAVSAR is expected to fly on a Gulfstream III aircraft this winter, followed by a flight test program lasting until the second half of 2007. Following radar calibration and data reduction activities, the platform will be ready for science users in the summer of 2008.

  5. Pedestrian Detection and Tracking from Low-Resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Thermal Imagery.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yalong; Wu, Xinkai; Yu, Guizhen; Xu, Yongzheng; Wang, Yunpeng

    2016-01-01

    Driven by the prominent thermal signature of humans and following the growing availability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more and more research efforts have been focusing on the detection and tracking of pedestrians using thermal infrared images recorded from UAVs. However, pedestrian detection and tracking from the thermal images obtained from UAVs pose many challenges due to the low-resolution of imagery, platform motion, image instability and the relatively small size of the objects. This research tackles these challenges by proposing a pedestrian detection and tracking system. A two-stage blob-based approach is first developed for pedestrian detection. This approach first extracts pedestrian blobs using the regional gradient feature and geometric constraints filtering and then classifies the detected blobs by using a linear Support Vector Machine (SVM) with a hybrid descriptor, which sophisticatedly combines Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG) and Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) features in order to achieve accurate detection. This research further proposes an approach for pedestrian tracking. This approach employs the feature tracker with the update of detected pedestrian location to track pedestrian objects from the registered videos and extracts the motion trajectory data. The proposed detection and tracking approaches have been evaluated by multiple different datasets, and the results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods. This research is expected to significantly benefit many transportation applications, such as the multimodal traffic performance measure, pedestrian behavior study and pedestrian-vehicle crash analysis. Future work will focus on using fused thermal and visual images to further improve the detection efficiency and effectiveness. PMID:27023564

  6. Data Acquisition (DAQ) system dedicated for remote sensing applications on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keleshis, C.; Ioannou, S.; Vrekoussis, M.; Levin, Z.; Lange, M. A.

    2014-08-01

    Continuous advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and the increased complexity of their applications raise the demand for improved data acquisition systems (DAQ). These improvements may comprise low power consumption, low volume and weight, robustness, modularity and capability to interface with various sensors and peripherals while maintaining the high sampling rates and processing speeds. Such a system has been designed and developed and is currently integrated on the Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations (APAESO/NEA-YΠOΔOMH/NEKΠ/0308/09) however, it can be easily adapted to any UAV or any other mobile vehicle. The system consists of a single-board computer with a dual-core processor, rugged surface-mount memory and storage device, analog and digital input-output ports and many other peripherals that enhance its connectivity with various sensors, imagers and on-board devices. The system is powered by a high efficiency power supply board. Additional boards such as frame-grabbers, differential global positioning system (DGPS) satellite receivers, general packet radio service (3G-4G-GPRS) modems for communication redundancy have been interfaced to the core system and are used whenever there is a mission need. The onboard DAQ system can be preprogrammed for automatic data acquisition or it can be remotely operated during the flight from the ground control station (GCS) using a graphical user interface (GUI) which has been developed and will also be presented in this paper. The unique design of the GUI and the DAQ system enables the synchronized acquisition of a variety of scientific and UAV flight data in a single core location. The new DAQ system and the GUI have been successfully utilized in several scientific UAV missions. In conclusion, the novel DAQ system provides the UAV and the remote-sensing community with a new tool capable of reliably acquiring, processing, storing and transmitting data from any sensor integrated on an UAV.

  7. Pedestrian Detection and Tracking from Low-Resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Thermal Imagery

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yalong; Wu, Xinkai; Yu, Guizhen; Xu, Yongzheng; Wang, Yunpeng

    2016-01-01

    Driven by the prominent thermal signature of humans and following the growing availability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more and more research efforts have been focusing on the detection and tracking of pedestrians using thermal infrared images recorded from UAVs. However, pedestrian detection and tracking from the thermal images obtained from UAVs pose many challenges due to the low-resolution of imagery, platform motion, image instability and the relatively small size of the objects. This research tackles these challenges by proposing a pedestrian detection and tracking system. A two-stage blob-based approach is first developed for pedestrian detection. This approach first extracts pedestrian blobs using the regional gradient feature and geometric constraints filtering and then classifies the detected blobs by using a linear Support Vector Machine (SVM) with a hybrid descriptor, which sophisticatedly combines Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG) and Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) features in order to achieve accurate detection. This research further proposes an approach for pedestrian tracking. This approach employs the feature tracker with the update of detected pedestrian location to track pedestrian objects from the registered videos and extracts the motion trajectory data. The proposed detection and tracking approaches have been evaluated by multiple different datasets, and the results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods. This research is expected to significantly benefit many transportation applications, such as the multimodal traffic performance measure, pedestrian behavior study and pedestrian-vehicle crash analysis. Future work will focus on using fused thermal and visual images to further improve the detection efficiency and effectiveness. PMID:27023564

  8. Low altitude unmanned aerial vehicle for characterising remediation effectiveness following the FDNPP accident.

    PubMed

    Martin, P G; Payton, O D; Fardoulis, J S; Richards, D A; Yamashiki, Y; Scott, T B

    2016-01-01

    On the 12th of March 2011, The Great Tōhoku Earthquake occurred 70 km off the eastern coast of Japan, generating a large 14 m high tsunami. The ensuing catalogue of events over the succeeding 12 d resulted in the release of considerable quantities of radioactive material into the environment. Important to the large-scale remediation of the affected areas is the accurate and high spatial resolution characterisation of contamination, including the verification of decontaminated areas. To enable this, a low altitude unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a lightweight gamma-spectrometer and height normalisation system was used to produce sub-meter resolution maps of contamination. This system provided a valuable method to examine both contaminated and remediated areas rapidly, whilst greatly reducing the dose received by the operator, typically in localities formerly inaccessible to ground-based survey methods. The characterisation of three sites within Fukushima Prefecture is presented; one remediated (and a site of much previous attention), one un-remediated and a third having been subjected to an alternative method to reduce emitted radiation dose. PMID:26410790

  9. Performance test of a 6 L liquid hydrogen fuel tank for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garceau, N. M.; Kim, S. Y.; Lim, C. M.; Cho, M. J.; Kim, K. Y.; Baik, J. H.

    2015-12-01

    A 6 L liquid hydrogen fuel tank has been designed, fabricated and tested to optimize boil-off rate and minimize weight for a 200 W light weight fuel cell in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The 200 W fuel cell required a maximum flow rate of 2.3 SLPM or less liquid hydrogen boil-off from the fuel tank. After looking at several different insulation schemes, the system was optimized as two concentric lightweight aluminum cylinders with high vacuum and multi-layer insulation in between. MLI thickness and support structures were designed to minimize the tank weight. For support, filling and feed gas to a fuel-cell, the system was designed with two G-10 CR tubes which connected the inner vessel to the outer shell. A secondary G10-CR support structure was also added to ensure stability and durability during a flight. After fabrication the fuel tank was filled with liquid hydrogen. A series of boil-off tests were performed in various operating conditions to confirm thermal performance of the fuel tank for a 200 W fuel cell.

  10. Spatial Quality Evaluation of Resampled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Imagery for Weed Mapping.

    PubMed

    Borra-Serrano, Irene; Peña, José Manuel; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco Javier; López-Granados, Francisca

    2015-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) combined with different spectral range sensors are an emerging technology for providing early weed maps for optimizing herbicide applications. Considering that weeds, at very early phenological stages, are similar spectrally and in appearance, three major components are relevant: spatial resolution, type of sensor and classification algorithm. Resampling is a technique to create a new version of an image with a different width and/or height in pixels, and it has been used in satellite imagery with different spatial and temporal resolutions. In this paper, the efficiency of resampled-images (RS-images) created from real UAV-images (UAV-images; the UAVs were equipped with two types of sensors, i.e., visible and visible plus near-infrared spectra) captured at different altitudes is examined to test the quality of the RS-image output. The performance of the object-based-image-analysis (OBIA) implemented for the early weed mapping using different weed thresholds was also evaluated. Our results showed that resampling accurately extracted the spectral values from high spatial resolution UAV-images at an altitude of 30 m and the RS-image data at altitudes of 60 and 100 m, was able to provide accurate weed cover and herbicide application maps compared with UAV-images from real flights. PMID:26274960

  11. Thermal Analysis on Cryogenic Liquid Hydrogen Tank on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen; Harpster, George; Hunter, James

    2007-01-01

    Thermal analyses are performed on the liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank designed for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) powered by solar arrays and a regenerative proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. A 14-day cruise mission at a 65,000 ft altitude is considered. Thermal analysis provides the thermal loads on the tank system and the boiling-off rates of LH2. Different approaches are being considered to minimize the boiling-off rates of the LH2. It includes an evacuated multilayer insulation (MLI) versus aerogel insulation on the LH2 tank and aluminum versus stainless steel spacer rings between the inner and outer tank. The resulting boil-off rates of LH2 provided by the one-dimensional model and three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) on the tank system are presented and compared to validate the results of the three-dimensional FEA. It concludes that heat flux through penetrations by conduction is as significant as that through insulation around the tank. The tank system with MLI insulation and stainless steel spacer rings result in the lowest boiling-off rate of LH2.

  12. Self-Contained Avionics Sensing and Flight Control System for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shams, Qamar A. (Inventor); Logan, Michael J. (Inventor); Fox, Robert L. (Inventor); Fox, legal representative, Christopher L. (Inventor); Fox, legal representative, Melanie L. (Inventor); Ingham, John C. (Inventor); Laughter, Sean A. (Inventor); Kuhn, III, Theodore R. (Inventor); Adams, James K. (Inventor); Babel, III, Walter C. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    A self-contained avionics sensing and flight control system is provided for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The system includes sensors for sensing flight control parameters and surveillance parameters, and a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Flight control parameters and location signals are processed to generate flight control signals. A Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is configured to provide a look-up table storing sets of values with each set being associated with a servo mechanism mounted on the UAV and with each value in each set indicating a unique duty cycle for the servo mechanism associated therewith. Each value in each set is further indexed to a bit position indicative of a unique percentage of a maximum duty cycle for the servo mechanism associated therewith. The FPGA is further configured to provide a plurality of pulse width modulation (PWM) generators coupled to the look-up table. Each PWM generator is associated with and adapted to be coupled to one of the servo mechanisms.

  13. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Luis F; Montes, Glen A; Puig, Eduard; Johnson, Sandra; Mengersen, Kerrie; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Surveying threatened and invasive species to obtain accurate population estimates is an important but challenging task that requires a considerable investment in time and resources. Estimates using existing ground-based monitoring techniques, such as camera traps and surveys performed on foot, are known to be resource intensive, potentially inaccurate and imprecise, and difficult to validate. Recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), artificial intelligence and miniaturized thermal imaging systems represent a new opportunity for wildlife experts to inexpensively survey relatively large areas. The system presented in this paper includes thermal image acquisition as well as a video processing pipeline to perform object detection, classification and tracking of wildlife in forest or open areas. The system is tested on thermal video data from ground based and test flight footage, and is found to be able to detect all the target wildlife located in the surveyed area. The system is flexible in that the user can readily define the types of objects to classify and the object characteristics that should be considered during classification. PMID:26784196

  14. Spatial Quality Evaluation of Resampled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Imagery for Weed Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Borra-Serrano, Irene; Peña, José Manuel; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco Javier; López-Granados, Francisca

    2015-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) combined with different spectral range sensors are an emerging technology for providing early weed maps for optimizing herbicide applications. Considering that weeds, at very early phenological stages, are similar spectrally and in appearance, three major components are relevant: spatial resolution, type of sensor and classification algorithm. Resampling is a technique to create a new version of an image with a different width and/or height in pixels, and it has been used in satellite imagery with different spatial and temporal resolutions. In this paper, the efficiency of resampled-images (RS-images) created from real UAV-images (UAV-images; the UAVs were equipped with two types of sensors, i.e., visible and visible plus near-infrared spectra) captured at different altitudes is examined to test the quality of the RS-image output. The performance of the object-based-image-analysis (OBIA) implemented for the early weed mapping using different weed thresholds was also evaluated. Our results showed that resampling accurately extracted the spectral values from high spatial resolution UAV-images at an altitude of 30 m and the RS-image data at altitudes of 60 and 100 m, was able to provide accurate weed cover and herbicide application maps compared with UAV-images from real flights. PMID:26274960

  15. Factors influencing efficiency of laser wireless power transmission system for micro unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoguang; Hua, Wenshen; Liu, Xun

    2014-12-01

    Micro unmanned aerial vehicle, mostly powered by electricity, plays an important role in many military and civil applications, e.g. military detection, communication relay et al. But restricted endurance ability severely limits its applications. To solve the problem, laser wireless power transmission system is proposed. However, overall efficiency of the system is quite low. This paper describes basic structure of laser wireless power transmission system and its working process. The system consists of two major modules: a high power laser source transmitting energy and a photovoltaic receiver converting optical energy into electricity. Then factors influencing efficiency of the system are analyzed. It suggests that electro-optical efficiency of laser, atmospheric impact on laser beam and photo-electric efficiency of photovoltaic receiver play significant role in overall efficiency of the system. Atmospheric impact on laser beam mostly derived from refraction, absorption, scattering and turbulence effects, leads to drop in energy and quality of laser beam. Efficiency of photovoltaic receiver is affected by photovoltaic materials. In addition, matching degree between intensity distribution of laser beam and layout of photovoltaic receiver also obviously influence efficiency of photovoltaic receiver. Experiment results suggest that under non-uniform laser beam illumination, efficiency of photovoltaic receiver mostly depends on layout of photovoltaic receiver. Through optimizing the layout of photovoltaic receiver based on intensity distribution of laser beam, output power is significantly improved. The analysis may help to take corresponding measures to alleviate negative effects of these factors and improve performance of laser wireless power transmission system.

  16. AKSED: adaptive knowledge-based system for event detection using collaborative unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X. Sean; Lee, Byung Suk; Sadjadi, Firooz

    2006-05-01

    Advances in sensor technology and image processing have made it possible to equip unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with economical, high-resolution, energy-efficient sensors. Despite the improvements, current UAVs lack autonomous and collaborative operation capabilities, due to limited bandwidth and limited on-board image processing abilities. The situation, however, is changing. In the next generation of UAVs, much image processing can be carried out onboard and communication bandwidth problem will improve. More importantly, with more processing power, collaborative operations among a team of autonomous UAVs can provide more intelligent event detection capabilities. In this paper, we present ideas for developing a system enabling target recognitions by collaborative operations of autonomous UAVs. UAVs are configured in three stages: manufacturing, mission planning, and deployment. Different sets of information are needed at different stages, and the resulting outcome is an optimized event detection code deployed onto a UAV. The envisioned system architecture and the contemplated methodology, together with problems to be addressed, are presented.

  17. Reinforcement Learning with Autonomous Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Cluttered Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tran, Loc; Cross, Charles; Montague, Gilbert; Motter, Mark; Neilan, James; Qualls, Garry; Rothhaar, Paul; Trujillo, Anna; Allen, B. Danette

    2015-01-01

    We present ongoing work in the Autonomy Incubator at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) exploring the efficacy of a data set aggregation approach to reinforcement learning for small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) flight in dense and cluttered environments with reactive obstacle avoidance. The goal is to learn an autonomous flight model using training experiences from a human piloting a sUAV around static obstacles. The training approach uses video data from a forward-facing camera that records the human pilot's flight. Various computer vision based features are extracted from the video relating to edge and gradient information. The recorded human-controlled inputs are used to train an autonomous control model that correlates the extracted feature vector to a yaw command. As part of the reinforcement learning approach, the autonomous control model is iteratively updated with feedback from a human agent who corrects undesired model output. This data driven approach to autonomous obstacle avoidance is explored for simulated forest environments furthering autonomous flight under the tree canopy research. This enables flight in previously inaccessible environments which are of interest to NASA researchers in Earth and Atmospheric sciences.

  18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Luis F.; Montes, Glen A.; Puig, Eduard; Johnson, Sandra; Mengersen, Kerrie; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2016-01-01

    Surveying threatened and invasive species to obtain accurate population estimates is an important but challenging task that requires a considerable investment in time and resources. Estimates using existing ground-based monitoring techniques, such as camera traps and surveys performed on foot, are known to be resource intensive, potentially inaccurate and imprecise, and difficult to validate. Recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), artificial intelligence and miniaturized thermal imaging systems represent a new opportunity for wildlife experts to inexpensively survey relatively large areas. The system presented in this paper includes thermal image acquisition as well as a video processing pipeline to perform object detection, classification and tracking of wildlife in forest or open areas. The system is tested on thermal video data from ground based and test flight footage, and is found to be able to detect all the target wildlife located in the surveyed area. The system is flexible in that the user can readily define the types of objects to classify and the object characteristics that should be considered during classification. PMID:26784196

  19. Experimental measurement of the aerodynamic charateristics of two-dimensional airfoils for an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velazquez, Luis; Nožička, Jiří; Vavřín, Jan

    2012-04-01

    This paper is part of the development of an airfoil for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with internal propulsion system; the investigation involves the analysis of the aerodynamic performance for the gliding condition of two-dimensional airfoil models which have been tested. This development is based on the modification of a selected airfoil from the NACA four digits family. The modification of this base airfoil was made in order to create a blowing outlet with the shape of a step on the suction surface since the UAV will have an internal propulsion system. This analysis involved obtaining the lift, drag and pitching moment coefficients experimentally for the situation where there is not flow through the blowing outlet, called the no blowing condition by means of wind tunnel tests. The methodology to obtain the forces experimentally was through an aerodynamic wire balance. Obtained results were compared with numerical results by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) from references and found in very good agreement. Finally, a selection of the airfoil with the best aerodynamic performance is done and proposed for further analysis including the blowing condition.

  20. Aerodynamic Analysis of Flexible Flapping Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle Using Quasi-Steady Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayakumar, Kolandapaiyan; Chandrasekhar, Uttam; Chandrashekhar, Nagaraj

    2016-04-01

    In recent times flexible flapping-wing aerodynamics has generated a great deal of interest and is the topic of contemporary research because of its potential application in micro aerial vehicles (MAVs). The prominent features of MAVs include low Reynolds Number, changing the camber of flapping wings, development of related mechanisms, study of the suitability airfoil shape selection and other parameters. Generally, low Reynolds Number is similar to that of an insect or a bird (103-105). The primary goal of this project work is to perform CFD analysis on flexible flapping wing MAVs in order to estimate the lift and drag by using engineering methods such as quasi-steady approach. From the wind tunnel data, 3-D deformation is obtained. For CFD analysis, two types of quasi-steady methods are considered. The first method is to slice the wing section chord-wise and span wise at multiple regions, frame by frame, and obtain the 2-D corrugated camber section for each frame. This 2-D corrugated camber is analysed using CFD techniques and all the individual 2-D corrugated camber results are summed up frame by frame, to obtain the total lift and drag for one wing beat. The second method is to consider the 3D wing in entirety and perform the CFD analysis to obtain the lift and drag for five wing beat.

  1. Detecting pruning of individual stems using Airborne Laser Scanning data captured from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Luke; Watson, Christopher; Lucieer, Arko

    2014-08-01

    Modern forest management involves implementing optimal pruning regimes. These regimes aim to achieve the highest quality timber in the shortest possible rotation period. Although a valuable addition to forest management activities, tracking the application of these treatments in the field to ensure best practice management is not economically viable. This paper describes the use of Airborne Laser Scanner (ALS) data to track the rate of pruning in a Eucalyptus globulus stand. Data is obtained from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and we describe automated processing routines that provide a cost-effective alternative to field sampling. We manually prune a 500 m2 plot to 2.5 m above the ground at rates of between 160 and 660 stems/ha. Utilising the high density ALS data, we first derived crown base height (CBH) with an RMSE of 0.60 m at each stage of pruning. Variability in the measurement of CBH resulted in both false positive (mean rate of 11%) and false negative detection (3.5%), however, detected rates of pruning of between 96% and 125% of the actual rate of pruning were achieved. The successful automated detection of pruning within this study highlights the suitability of UAV laser scanning as a cost-effective tool for monitoring forest management activities.

  2. A Water Vapor Differential Absorption LIDAR Design for Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeYoung, Russell J.; Mead, Patricia F.

    2004-01-01

    This system study proposes the deployment of a water vapor Differential Absorption LIDAR (DIAL) system on an Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform. The Altair offers improved payload weight and volume performance, and longer total flight time as compared to other commercial UAV's. This study has generated a preliminary design for an Altair based water vapor DIAL system. The design includes a proposed DIAL schematic, a review of mechanical challenges such as temperature and humidity stresses on UAV deployed DIAL systems, an assessment of the available capacity for additional instrumentation (based on the proposed design), and an overview of possible weight and volume improvements associated with the use of customized electronic and computer hardware, and through the integration of advanced fiber-optic and laser products. The results of the study show that less than 17% of the available weight, less than 19% of the volume capacity, and approximately 11% of the electrical capacity is utilized by the proposed water vapor DIAL system on the Altair UAV.

  3. Real-Time Monitoring System Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Integrated with Sensor Observation Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witayangkurn, A.; Nagai, M.; Honda, K.; Dailey, M.; Shibasaki, R.

    2011-09-01

    The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is an emerging technology being adapted for a wide range of applications. Real-time monitoring is essential to enhance the effectiveness of UAV applications. Sensor networks are networks constructed from various sensor nodes. International standard such as OGC's SOS (Sensor Observation Service) makes it possible to share sensor data with other systems as well as to provide accessibility to globally distributed users. In this paper, we propose a system combining UAV technology and sensor network technology to use an UAV as a mobile node of sensor network so that the sensor data from UAV is published and shared real-time. A UAV can extend the observation range of a sensor network to remote areas where it is usually difficult to access such as disaster area. We constructed a UAV system using remote-controlled helicopter and various sensors such as GPS, gyrocompass, laser range finder, Digital camera and Thermometer. Furthermore, we extended the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) and Sensor Service Grid (SSG) to support mobile sensor nodes. Then, we conducted experiments of flying the helicopter over an area of the interest. During the flight, the system measured environmental data using its sensors and captured images of the ground. The data was sent to a SOS node as the ground station via Wi-Fi which was published using SSG to give real- time access to globally distributed users.

  4. Control and navigation system for a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Ruiyong; Zhou, Zhaoying; Zhang, Wendong; Sang, Shengbo; Li, Pengwei

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a flight control and navigation system for a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with low-cost micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors. The system is designed under the inner loop and outer loop strategy. The trajectory tracking navigation loop is the outer loop of the attitude loop, while the attitude control loop is the outer loop of the stabilization loop. The proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control was adopted for stabilization and attitude control. The three-dimensional (3D) trajectory tracking control of a UAV could be approximately divided into lateral control and longitudinal control. The longitudinal control employs traditional linear PID feedback to achieve the desired altitude of the UAV, while the lateral control uses a non-linear control method to complete the desired trajectory. The non-linear controller can automatically adapt to ground velocity change, which is usually caused by gust disturbance, thus the UAV has good wind resistance characteristics. Flight tests and survey missions were carried out with our self-developed delta fixed-wing UAV and MEMS-based autopilot to confirm the effectiveness and practicality of the proposed navigation method.

  5. Portable ammonia-borane-based H2 power-pack for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Jung-Eun; Kim, Yujong; Kim, Yongmin; Kim, Kibeom; Lee, Jin Hee; Lee, Dae Hyung; Kim, Yeongcheon; Shin, Seock Jae; Kim, Dong-Min; Kim, Sung-Yug; Kim, Taegyu; Yoon, Chang Won; Nam, Suk Woo

    2014-05-01

    An advanced ammonia borane (AB)-based H2 power-pack is designed to continually drive an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for 57 min using a 200-We polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In a flight test with the UAV platform integrated with the developed power-pack, pure hydrogen with an average flow rate of 3.8 L(H2) min-1 is generated by autothermal H2-release from AB with tetraethylene glycol dimethylether (T4EGDE) as a promoter. During take-off, a hybridized power management system (PMS) consisting of the fuel cell and an auxiliary lithium-ion battery supplies 500 We at full power simultaneously, while the fuel cell alone provides 150-200 We and further recharges the auxiliary battery upon cruising. Gaseous byproducts identified by in situ Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy during AB dehydrogenation are sequestrated using a mixed absorbent in an H2 purification system. In addition, a real-time monitoring system is employed to determine the remaining filter capacity of the purifier at a ground control system for rapidly responding unpredictable circumstances during flight. Separate experiments are conducted to screen potential materials and methods for enhancing filter capacity in the current H2 refining system. A prospective reactor concept for long-term fuel cell applications is proposed based on the results.

  6. On parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, J. Y.; Gonzalez, L. F.

    2012-05-01

    This paper presents a review of existing and current developments and the analysis of Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Systems (HEPS) for small fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Efficient energy utilisation on an UAV is essential to its functioning, often to achieve the operational goals of range, endurance and other specific mission requirements. Due to the limitations of the space available and the mass budget on the UAV, it is often a delicate balance between the onboard energy available (i.e. fuel) and achieving the operational goals. One technology with potential in this area is with the use of HEPS. In this paper, information on the state-of-art technology in this field of research is provided. A description and simulation of a parallel HEPS for a small fixed-wing UAV by incorporating an Ideal Operating Line (IOL) control strategy is described. Simulation models of the components in a HEPS were designed in the MATLAB Simulink environment. An IOL analysis of an UAV piston engine was used to determine the most efficient points of operation for this engine. The results show that an UAV equipped with this HEPS configuration is capable of achieving a fuel saving of 6.5%, compared to the engine-only configuration.

  7. Design of a reconfigurable liquid hydrogen fuel tank for use in the Genii unmanned aerial vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Adam, Patrick; Leachman, Jacob

    2014-01-29

    Long endurance flight, on the order of days, is a leading flight performance characteristic for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Liquid hydrogen (LH2) is well suited to providing multi-day flight times with a specific energy 2.8 times that of conventional kerosene based fuels. However, no such system of LH2 storage, delivery, and use is currently available for commercial UAVs. In this paper, we develop a light weight LH2 dewar for integration and testing in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell powered, student designed and constructed, Genii UAV. The fuel tank design is general for scaling to suit various UAV platforms. A cylindrical vacuum-jacketed design with removable end caps was chosen to incorporate various fuel level gauging, pressurizing, and slosh mitigation systems. Heat and mechanical loadings were modeled to compare with experimental results. Mass performance of the fuel tank is characterized by the fraction of liquid hydrogen to full tank mass, and the insulation performance was characterized by effective thermal conductivity and boil-off rate.

  8. Cultivated land information extraction from high-resolution unmanned aerial vehicle imagery data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lei; Cheng, Liang; Han, Wenquan; Zhong, Lishan; Li, Manchun

    2014-01-01

    The development of precision agriculture demands high accuracy and efficiency of cultivated land information extraction. Simultaneously, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been increasingly used for natural resource applications in recent years as a result of their greater availability, the miniaturization of sensors, and the ability to deploy UAVs relatively quickly and repeatedly at low altitudes. We examine the potential of utilizing a small UAV for the characterization, assessment, and monitoring of cultivated land. Because most UAV images lack spectral information, we propose a novel cultivated land information extraction method based on a triangulation for cultivated land information extraction (TCLE) method. Thus, the information on more spatial properties of a region is incorporated into the classification process. The TCLE comprises three main steps: image segmentation, triangulation construction, and triangulation clustering using AUTOCLUST. Experiments were conducted on three UAV images in Deyang, China, using TCLE and eCognition for cultivated land information extraction (ECLE). Experimental results show that TCLE, which does not require training samples and has a much higher level of automation, can obtain accuracies equivalent to ECLE. Comparing with ECLE, TCLE also extracts coherent cultivated land with much less noise. As such, cultivated land information extraction based on high-resolution UAV images can be effectively and efficiently conducted using the proposed method.

  9. Simultaneous observations of aerosol–cloud–albedo interactions with three stacked unmanned aerial vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, G. C.; Ramana, M. V.; Corrigan, C.; Kim, D.; Ramanathan, V.

    2008-01-01

    Aerosol impacts on climate change are still poorly understood, in part, because the few observations and methods for detecting their effects are not well established. For the first time, the enhancement in cloud albedo is directly measured on a cloud-by-cloud basis and linked to increasing aerosol concentrations by using multiple autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles to simultaneously observe the cloud microphysics, vertical aerosol distribution, and associated solar radiative fluxes. In the presence of long-range transport of dust and anthropogenic pollution, the trade cumuli have higher droplet concentrations and are on average brighter. Our observations suggest a higher sensitivity of radiative forcing by trade cumuli to increases in cloud droplet concentrations than previously reported owing to a constrained droplet radius such that increases in droplet concentrations also increase cloud liquid water content. This aerosol-cloud forcing efficiency is as much as −60 W m−2 per 100% percent cloud fraction for a doubling of droplet concentrations and associated increase of liquid water content. Finally, we develop a strategy for detecting aerosol–cloud interactions based on a nondimensional scaling analysis that relates the contribution of single clouds to albedo measurements and illustrates the significance of characterizing cloud morphology in resolving radiometric measurements. This study demonstrates that aerosol–cloud–albedo interactions can be directly observed by simultaneous observations below, in, and above the clouds. PMID:18499803

  10. Assessment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Imagery for Quantitative Monitoring of Wheat Crop in Small Plots

    PubMed Central

    Lelong, Camille C. D.; Burger, Philippe; Jubelin, Guillaume; Roux, Bruno; Labbé, Sylvain; Baret, Frédéric

    2008-01-01

    This paper outlines how light Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can be used in remote sensing for precision farming. It focuses on the combination of simple digital photographic cameras with spectral filters, designed to provide multispectral images in the visible and near-infrared domains. In 2005, these instruments were fitted to powered glider and parachute, and flown at six dates staggered over the crop season. We monitored ten varieties of wheat, grown in trial micro-plots in the South-West of France. For each date, we acquired multiple views in four spectral bands corresponding to blue, green, red, and near-infrared. We then performed accurate corrections of image vignetting, geometric distortions, and radiometric bidirectional effects. Afterwards, we derived for each experimental micro-plot several vegetation indexes relevant for vegetation analyses. Finally, we sought relationships between these indexes and field-measured biophysical parameters, both generic and date-specific. Therefore, we established a robust and stable generic relationship between, in one hand, leaf area index and NDVI and, in the other hand, nitrogen uptake and GNDVI. Due to a high amount of noise in the data, it was not possible to obtain a more accurate model for each date independently. A validation protocol showed that we could expect a precision level of 15% in the biophysical parameters estimation while using these relationships.

  11. Internal air flow analysis of a bladeless micro aerial vehicle hemisphere body using computational fluid dynamic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Othman, M. N. K.; Zuradzman, M. Razlan; Hazry, D.; Khairunizam, Wan; Shahriman, A. B.; Yaacob, S.; Ahmed, S. Faiz; Hussain, Abadalsalam T.

    2014-12-01

    This paper explain the analysis of internal air flow velocity of a bladeless vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) hemisphere body. In mechanical design, before produce a prototype model, several analyses should be done to ensure the product's effectiveness and efficiency. There are two types of analysis method can be done in mechanical design; mathematical modeling and computational fluid dynamic. In this analysis, I used computational fluid dynamic (CFD) by using SolidWorks Flow Simulation software. The idea came through to overcome the problem of ordinary quadrotor UAV which has larger size due to using four rotors and the propellers are exposed to environment. The bladeless MAV body is designed to protect all electronic parts, which means it can be used in rainy condition. It also has been made to increase the thrust produced by the ducted propeller compare to exposed propeller. From the analysis result, the air flow velocity at the ducted area increased to twice the inlet air. This means that the duct contribute to the increasing of air velocity.

  12. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis.more » The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).« less

  13. Design of a reconfigurable liquid hydrogen fuel tank for use in the Genii unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adam, Patrick; Leachman, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Long endurance flight, on the order of days, is a leading flight performance characteristic for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Liquid hydrogen (LH2) is well suited to providing multi-day flight times with a specific energy 2.8 times that of conventional kerosene based fuels. However, no such system of LH2 storage, delivery, and use is currently available for commercial UAVs. In this paper, we develop a light weight LH2 dewar for integration and testing in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell powered, student designed and constructed, Genii UAV. The fuel tank design is general for scaling to suit various UAV platforms. A cylindrical vacuum-jacketed design with removable end caps was chosen to incorporate various fuel level gauging, pressurizing, and slosh mitigation systems. Heat and mechanical loadings were modeled to compare with experimental results. Mass performance of the fuel tank is characterized by the fraction of liquid hydrogen to full tank mass, and the insulation performance was characterized by effective thermal conductivity and boil-off rate.

  14. Convolutional Neural Network-based Vision Systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbickas, Rytis

    Obstacle detection and avoidance for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is a challenging task, requiring processing speed and accuracy. Although a number of sensor solutions are available for this task, optical sensors are particularly suited being cheap, light-weight and long range. Stereoscopic systems with 2 cameras can be calibrated and used to perform localization of detected features in 3D space, allowing a model of the environment in front of the UAV to be constructed. Stereoscopic methods can, however, be computationally intensive and prone to mismatches which further increases the computational burden of a potential system. This thesis proposes a new approach to horizon detection based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and uses knowledge of the sky, ground and horizon to simplify the search for potential obstacles to the horizon and sky region of an image. An edge feature based approach followed by stereo correspondence is then applied to detect and triangulate the location of potential obstacles, producing a 3D model as the system output which can be used by an obstacle avoidance algorithm to navigate the UAV.

  15. An ultracompact laser terrain mapper for deployment onboard unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussein, Marwan W.; Tripp, Jeffrey W.; Hill, Brian R.

    2009-05-01

    Airborne laser terrain mapping systems have redefined the realm of topographic mapping. Lidars with kilohertz collection rates and long ranges have made airborne surveying a quick, efficient and highly productive endeavor. Despite the current industry efforts toward improving airborne lidar range, collection rate, resolution and accuracies, and with the advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and their myriad advantages, military and civil applications alike are looking for very compact and rugged lidar systems that can fit within the tight volumetric, form-factor, mass and power constraints imposed by UAVs. Optech has developed a very compact airborne laser terrain mapper that's geared toward UAV deployment. The system is composed of a highly integrated unit that combines a lidar transceiver, a position orientation sensor and control electronics in a 1 cubic foot - 57 lb package. Such level of compactness is achieved by employing the latest laser technology trends along with featuring very compact optical design, and using the latest control and data collection architecture technology. This paper describes the UAV requirements that drove the system design, the technology employed and optimizations implemented in the system to achieve its ultra-compact size.

  16. The application of the unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing technology in the FAST project construction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Boqin

    2015-08-01

    The purpose of using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing application in Five-hundred-meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) project is to dynamically record the construction process with high resolution image, monitor the environmental impact, and provide services for local environmental protection and the reserve immigrants. This paper introduces the use of UAV remote sensing system and the course design and implementation for the FAST site. Through the analysis of the time series data, we found that: (1) since the year 2012, the project has been widely carried out; (2) till 2013, the internal project begun to take shape;(3) engineering excavation scope was kept stable in 2014, and the initial scale of the FAST engineering construction has emerged as in the meantime, the vegetation recovery went well on the bare soil area; (4) in 2015, none environmental problems caused by engineering construction and other engineering geological disaster were found in the work area through the image interpretation of UAV images. This paper also suggested that the UAV technology need some improvements to fulfill the requirements of surveying and mapping specification., including a new data acquisition and processing measures assigned with the background of highly diverse elevation, usage of telephoto camera, hierarchical photography with different flying height, and adjustment with terrain using the joint empty three settlement method.

  17. Internal air flow analysis of a bladeless micro aerial vehicle hemisphere body using computational fluid dynamic

    SciTech Connect

    Othman, M. N. K. E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Zuradzman, M. Razlan E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Hazry, D. E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Khairunizam, Wan E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Shahriman, A. B. E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Yaacob, S. E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; Ahmed, S. Faiz E-mail: zuradzman@unimap.edu.my E-mail: khairunizam@unimap.edu.my E-mail: s.yaacob@unimap.edu.my E-mail: abadal@unimap.edu.my; and others

    2014-12-04

    This paper explain the analysis of internal air flow velocity of a bladeless vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) hemisphere body. In mechanical design, before produce a prototype model, several analyses should be done to ensure the product's effectiveness and efficiency. There are two types of analysis method can be done in mechanical design; mathematical modeling and computational fluid dynamic. In this analysis, I used computational fluid dynamic (CFD) by using SolidWorks Flow Simulation software. The idea came through to overcome the problem of ordinary quadrotor UAV which has larger size due to using four rotors and the propellers are exposed to environment. The bladeless MAV body is designed to protect all electronic parts, which means it can be used in rainy condition. It also has been made to increase the thrust produced by the ducted propeller compare to exposed propeller. From the analysis result, the air flow velocity at the ducted area increased to twice the inlet air. This means that the duct contribute to the increasing of air velocity.

  18. Design and Analysis of a Single-Camera Omnistereo Sensor for Quadrotor Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs).

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Carlos; Valenti, Roberto G; Guo, Ling; Xiao, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    We describe the design and 3D sensing performance of an omnidirectional stereo (omnistereo) vision system applied to Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). The proposed omnistereo sensor employs a monocular camera that is co-axially aligned with a pair of hyperboloidal mirrors (a vertically-folded catadioptric configuration). We show that this arrangement provides a compact solution for omnidirectional 3D perception while mounted on top of propeller-based MAVs (not capable of large payloads). The theoretical single viewpoint (SVP) constraint helps us derive analytical solutions for the sensor's projective geometry and generate SVP-compliant panoramic images to compute 3D information from stereo correspondences (in a truly synchronous fashion). We perform an extensive analysis on various system characteristics such as its size, catadioptric spatial resolution, field-of-view. In addition, we pose a probabilistic model for the uncertainty estimation of 3D information from triangulation of back-projected rays. We validate the projection error of the design using both synthetic and real-life images against ground-truth data. Qualitatively, we show 3D point clouds (dense and sparse) resulting out of a single image captured from a real-life experiment. We expect the reproducibility of our sensor as its model parameters can be optimized to satisfy other catadioptric-based omnistereo vision under different circumstances. PMID:26861351

  19. Unmanned aerial vehicle-based remote sensing for rangeland assessment, monitoring, and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, Albert; Laliberte, Andrea; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Winters, Craig; Havstad, Kris; Steele, Caiti; Browning, Dawn

    2009-08-01

    Rangeland comprises as much as 70% of the Earth's land surface area. Much of this vast space is in very remote areas that are expensive and often impossible to access on the ground. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have great potential for rangeland management. UAVs have several advantages over satellites and piloted aircraft: they can be deployed quickly and repeatedly; they are less costly and safer than piloted aircraft; they are flexible in terms of flying height and timing of missions; and they can obtain imagery at sub-decimeter resolution. This hyperspatial imagery allows for quantification of plant cover, composition, and structure at multiple spatial scales. Our experiments have shown that this capability, from an off-the-shelf mini-UAV, is directly applicable to operational agency needs for measuring and monitoring. For use by operational agencies to carry out their mandated responsibilities, various requirements must be met: an affordable and reliable platform; a capability for autonomous, low altitude flights; takeoff and landing in small areas surrounded by rugged terrain; and an easily applied data analysis methodology. A number of image processing and orthorectification challenges have been or are currently being addressed, but the potential to depict the land surface commensurate with field data perspectives across broader spatial extents is unrivaled.

  20. Telesurgery via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a field deployable surgical robot.

    PubMed

    Lum, Mitchell J H; Rosen, Jacob; King, Hawkeye; Friedman, Diana C W; Donlin, Gina; Sankaranarayanan, Ganesh; Harnett, Brett; Huffman, Lynn; Doarn, Charles; Broderick, Timothy; Hannaford, Blake

    2007-01-01

    Robotically assisted surgery stands to further revolutionize the medical field and provide patients with more effective healthcare. Most robotically assisted surgeries are teleoperated from the surgeon console to the patient where both ends of the system are located in the operating room. The challenge of surgical teleoperation across a long distance was already demonstrated through a wired communication network in 2001. New development has shifted towards deploying a surgical robot system in mobile settings and/or extreme environments such as the battlefield or natural disaster areas with surgeons operating wirelessly. As a collaborator in the HAPs/MRT (High Altitude Platform/Mobile Robotic Telesurgery) project, The University of Washington surgical robot was deployed in the desert of Simi Valley, CA for telesurgery experiments on an inanimate model via wireless communication through an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The surgical tasks were performed telerobotically with a maximum time delay between the surgeon's console (master) and the surgical robot (slave) of 20 ms for the robotic control signals and 200 ms for the video stream. This was our first experiment in the area of Mobile Robotic Telesurgery (MRT). The creation and initial testing of a deployable surgical robot system will facilitate growth in this area eventually leading to future systems saving human lives in disaster areas, on the battlefield or in other remote environments. PMID:17377292

  1. Simultaneous observations of aerosol-cloud-albedo interactions with three stacked unmanned aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

    Roberts, G C; Ramana, M V; Corrigan, C; Kim, D; Ramanathan, V

    2008-05-27

    Aerosol impacts on climate change are still poorly understood, in part, because the few observations and methods for detecting their effects are not well established. For the first time, the enhancement in cloud albedo is directly measured on a cloud-by-cloud basis and linked to increasing aerosol concentrations by using multiple autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles to simultaneously observe the cloud microphysics, vertical aerosol distribution, and associated solar radiative fluxes. In the presence of long-range transport of dust and anthropogenic pollution, the trade cumuli have higher droplet concentrations and are on average brighter. Our observations suggest a higher sensitivity of radiative forcing by trade cumuli to increases in cloud droplet concentrations than previously reported owing to a constrained droplet radius such that increases in droplet concentrations also increase cloud liquid water content. This aerosol-cloud forcing efficiency is as much as -60 W m(-2) per 100% percent cloud fraction for a doubling of droplet concentrations and associated increase of liquid water content. Finally, we develop a strategy for detecting aerosol-cloud interactions based on a nondimensional scaling analysis that relates the contribution of single clouds to albedo measurements and illustrates the significance of characterizing cloud morphology in resolving radiometric measurements. This study demonstrates that aerosol-cloud-albedo interactions can be directly observed by simultaneous observations below, in, and above the clouds. PMID:18499803

  2. A study of large scale gust generation in a small scale atmospheric wind tunnel with applications to Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadman, Jason Markos

    Modern technology operating in the atmospheric boundary layer can always benefit from more accurate wind tunnel testing. While scaled atmospheric boundary layer tunnels have been well developed, tunnels replicating portions of the atmospheric boundary layer turbulence at full scale are a comparatively new concept. Testing at full-scale Reynolds numbers with full-scale turbulence in an "atmospheric wind tunnel" is sought. Many programs could utilize such a tool including Micro Aerial Vehicle(MAV) development, the wind energy industry, fuel efficient vehicle design, and the study of bird and insect flight, to name just a few. The small scale of MAVs provide the somewhat unique capability of full scale Reynolds number testing in a wind tunnel. However, that same small scale creates interactions under real world flight conditions, atmospheric gusts for example, that lead to a need for testing under more complex flows than the standard uniform flow found in most wind tunnels. It is for these reasons that MAVs are used as the initial testing application for the atmospheric gust tunnel. An analytical model for both discrete gusts and a continuous spectrum of gusts is examined. Then, methods for generating gusts in agreement with that model are investigated. Previously used methods are reviewed and a gust generation apparatus is designed. Expected turbulence and gust characteristics of this apparatus are compared with atmospheric data. The construction of an active "gust generator" for a new atmospheric tunnel is reviewed and the turbulence it generates is measured utilizing single and cross hot wires. Results from this grid are compared to atmospheric turbulence and it is shown that various gust strengths can be produced corresponding to weather ranging from calm to quite gusty. An initial test is performed in the atmospheric wind tunnel whereby the effects of various turbulence conditions on transition and separation on the upper surface of a MAV wing is investigated using the surface oil flow visualization technique.

  3. a Robust Matching Method for Unmmaned Aerial Vehicle Images with Different Viewpoint Angles Based on Regional Coherency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Z.; Li, C.; Yang, N.

    2015-08-01

    One of the main challenges confronting high-resolution remote sensing image matching is how to address the issue of geometric deformation between images, especially when the images are obtained from different viewpoints. In this paper, a robust matching method for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle images of different viewpoint angles based on regional coherency is proposed. The literature on the geometric transform analysis reveals that if transformations between different pixel pairs are different, they can't be expressed by a uniform affine transform. While for the same real scene, if the instantaneous field of view or the target depth changes is small, transformation between pixels in the whole image can be approximated by an affine transform. On the basis of this analysis, a region coherency matching method for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle images is proposed. In the proposed method, the simplified mapping from image view change to scale change and rotation change has been derived. Through this processing, the matching between view change images can be converted into the matching between rotation and scale changed images. In the method, firstly local image regions are detected and view changes between these local regions are mapped to rotation and scale change by performing local region simulation. And then, point feature detection and matching are implemented in the simulated image regions. Finally, a group of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle images are adopted to verify the performance of proposed matching method respectively, and a comparative analysis with other methods demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  4. Online optimal obstacle avoidance for rotary-wing autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Keeryun

    This thesis presents an integrated framework for online obstacle avoidance of rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can provide UAVs an obstacle field navigation capability in a partially or completely unknown obstacle-rich environment. The framework is composed of a LIDAR interface, a local obstacle grid generation, a receding horizon (RH) trajectory optimizer, a global shortest path search algorithm, and a climb rate limit detection logic. The key feature of the framework is the use of an optimization-based trajectory generation in which the obstacle avoidance problem is formulated as a nonlinear trajectory optimization problem with state and input constraints over the finite range of the sensor. This local trajectory optimization is combined with a global path search algorithm which provides a useful initial guess to the nonlinear optimization solver. Optimization is the natural process of finding the best trajectory that is dynamically feasible, safe within the vehicle's flight envelope, and collision-free at the same time. The optimal trajectory is continuously updated in real time by the numerical optimization solver, Nonlinear Trajectory Generation (NTG), which is a direct solver based on the spline approximation of trajectory for dynamically flat systems. In fact, the overall approach of this thesis to finding the optimal trajectory is similar to the model predictive control (MPC) or the receding horizon control (RHC), except that this thesis followed a two-layer design; thus, the optimal solution works as a guidance command to be followed by the controller of the vehicle. The framework is implemented in a real-time simulation environment, the Georgia Tech UAV Simulation Tool (GUST), and integrated in the onboard software of the rotary-wing UAV test-bed at Georgia Tech. Initially, the 2D vertical avoidance capability of real obstacles was tested in flight. The flight test evaluations were extended to the benchmark tests for 3D avoidance capability over the virtual obstacles, and finally it was demonstrated on real obstacles located at the McKenna MOUT site in Fort Benning, Georgia. Simulations and flight test evaluations demonstrate the feasibility of the developed framework for UAV applications involving low-altitude flight in an urban area.

  5. Scaling forest phenology from trees to the landscape using an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klosterman, S.; Melaas, E. K.; Martinez, A.; Richardson, A. D.

    2013-12-01

    Vegetation phenology monitoring has yielded a decades-long archive documenting the impacts of global change on the biosphere. However, the coarse spatial resolution of remote sensing obscures the organismic level processes driving phenology, while point measurements on the ground limit the extent of observation. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enable low altitude remote sensing at higher spatial and temporal resolution than available from space borne platforms, and have the potential to elucidate the links between organism scale processes and landscape scale analyses of terrestrial phenology. This project demonstrates the use of a low cost multirotor UAV, equipped with a consumer grade digital camera, for observation of deciduous forest phenology and comparison to ground- and tower-based data as well as remote sensing. The UAV was flown approximately every five days during the spring green-up period in 2013, to obtain aerial photography over an area encompassing a 250m resolution MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) pixel at Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts, USA. The imagery was georeferenced and tree crowns were identified using a detailed species map of the study area. Image processing routines were used to extract canopy 'greenness' time series, which were used to calculate phenology transition dates corresponding to early, middle, and late stages of spring green-up for the dominant canopy trees. Aggregated species level phenology estimates from the UAV data, including the mean and variance of phenology transition dates within species in the study area, were compared to model predictions based on visual assessment of a smaller sample size of individual trees, indicating the extent to which limited ground observations represent the larger landscape. At an intermediate scale, the UAV data was compared to data from repeat digital photography, integrating over larger portions of canopy within and near the study area, as a validation step and to see how well tower-based approaches characterize the surrounding landscape. Finally, UAV data was compared to MODIS data to determine how tree crowns within a remote sensing pixel combine to create the aggregate landscape phenology measured by remote sensing, using an area weighted average of the phenology of all dominant crowns.

  6. Absolute High-Precision Localisation of an Unmanned Ground Vehicle by Using Real-Time Aerial Video Imagery for Geo-referenced Orthophoto Registration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhnert, Lars; Ax, Markus; Langer, Matthias; Nguyen van, Duong; Kuhnert, Klaus-Dieter

    This paper describes an absolute localisation method for an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) if GPS is unavailable for the vehicle. The basic idea is to combine an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the ground vehicle and use it as an external sensor platform to achieve an absolute localisation of the robotic team. Beside the discussion of the rather naive method directly using the GPS position of the aerial robot to deduce the ground robot's position the main focus of this paper lies on the indirect usage of the telemetry data of the aerial robot combined with live video images of an onboard camera to realise a registration of local video images with apriori registered orthophotos. This yields to a precise driftless absolute localisation of the unmanned ground vehicle. Experiments with our robotic team (AMOR and PSYCHE) successfully verify this approach.

  7. First Experiences Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Volcano Observation in the Visible Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buschmann, M.; Krüger, L.; Bange, J.

    2007-05-01

    Many of the most active volcanoes in the world are located in Middle and South America. While permanently installed sensors for seismicity give reliable supervision of volcanic activities, they lack the possibility to determine occurrence and extent of surface activities. Both from the point of science and civil protection, visible documentation of activities is of great interest. While satellites and manned aircraft already offer many possibilities, they also have disadvantages like delayed or poor image data availability or high costs. The Institute of Aerospace Systems of the Technical University of Braunschweig, in collaboration with the spin-off company Mavionics, developed a family of extremely small and lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), with the smallest aircraft weighting only 550~g (19~ounces) at a wing span of 50 cm (20~inch). These aircraft are operating completely automatically, controlled by a highly miniaturized autopilot system. Flight mission is defined by a list of GPS waypoints using a conventional notebook. While in radio range, current position and status of the aircraft is displayed on the notebook and waypoints can easily be changed by the user. However, when radio connection is not available, the aircraft operates on its on, completing the flight mission automatically. This greatly increases the operating range of the system. Especially for the purpose of volcano observation in South America, the aircraft Carolo~P330 was developed, weighting 5~kg (11~pounds) at a wing span of 3.3~m ( 11~ft). The whole system can be easily carried by car and the electric propulsion system avoids handling of flammable liquids. The batteries can be recharged in the field. Carolo~P330 has an endurance of up to 90~minutes at a flight speed of 25~m/s, giving it a maximum range of 67 km (41~miles). It was especially designed to operate under harsh conditions. The payload is a digital still camera, which delivers aerial images with a resolution of up to 8~megapixel. On a field campaign in 2005, the performance of the system was evaluated at the two active Ecuadorian volcanoes Cotopaxi and El~Reventador. After hand-launch at Mt. Cotopaxi, the autopilot brought the aircraft up to 7,000~m above sea level (starting from a plateau on 4,500~m a.s.l.), with temperatures around the freezing point. At El~Reventador active lava flows were documented in the tropical montane rain forest. Since the position and attitude of the aircraft is recorded within the autopilot system, the single aerial images can be referenced automatically after the flight to form a mosaic of images. The whole processing chain from mission planning to image mosaic takes less than half a day. Besides the technical details of this cost-effective remote sensing system, the results of the measurement campaign in 2005 will be presented. An outlook will discuss the installation of other payload for thermal imaging or air sampling.

  8. Vehicle Technologies Program Awards and Patents

    SciTech Connect

    2011-12-13

    Award-winning technologies and processes are hallmarks of the programs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and industrial partners. Awards, patents, and other recognition validate the products of research undertaken as part of the Vehicle Technologies Program.

  9. Commercial Vehicle Driving. Florida Vocational Program Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    University of South Florida, Tampa. Dept. of Adult and Vocational Education.

    This guide identifies considerations in the organization, operation, and evaluation of secondary and postsecondary vocational education programs. It contains both a vocational program guide and Career Merit Achievement Plan (Career MAP) for commercial vehicle driving. The guide contains the following sections: occupational description; program…

  10. A generic approach for photogrammetric survey using a six-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tahar, K. N.; Ahmad, A.; Akib, W. A. A. W. M.; Mohd, W. M. N. W.

    2014-02-01

    This paper discusses a rapid production of slope mapping using multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The objective of this study is to determine the accuracy of the photogrammetric results based on novel method of multi-rotor UAV images as well as to analyze the slope error distribution that are obtained from the UAV images. This study only concentrates on multi-rotor UAV which also known as Hexacopter. An operator can control the speed of multi-rotor UAV during flight mission. Several ground control points and checkpoints were established using Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK- GPS) at the slope area. Ground control points were used in exterior orientation during image processing in sequence to transform image coordinates into local coordinate system. Checkpoints were established at the slope area for accuracy assessment. A digital camera, Sony NEX-5N was used for image acquisition of slope area from UAV platforms. The digital camera was mounted vertically at the bottom of UAV and captured the images at an altitude. All acquired images went through photogrammetric processing including interior orientation, exterior orientation and bundle adjustment using photogrammetric software. Photogrammetric results such as digital elevation model, and digital orthophoto including slope map were assessed. UAV is able to acquire data within short period of time with low budget compared to the previous methods such as satellite images and airborne laser scanner. Analysis on slope analysis and error distribution analysis are discussed in this paper to determine the quality of slope map in the area of interest. In summary, multi-rotor UAV is suited in slope mapping studies.

  11. Stream Restoration Monitoring Utilizing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Teton Creek, Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegman, T.

    2014-12-01

    Stream restoration is a growing field in fluvial geomorphology. As demands on water resources increase the need for sustainable and healthy waterways becomes even more essential. This research investigates how an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be utilized for data collection necessary in stream restoration design and evaluation. UAV's offer an inexpensive method to collect information on channel geometry and map grain size distributions of the bed material. This data is critical in hydraulic flow modeling and engineering plans needed to create a restoration design, as well as evaluate if an implemented project has met its goals. This research utilized a UAV and structure-from-motion photogrammetry to monitor a recent stream restoration project designed to reduce erosion on a 1.9 km reach of Teton Creek in Eastern Idaho. A digital elevation model of difference was created from an as-built field survey and a UAV derived terrain model to identify areas of erosion and deposition in the restoration reach. The data has shown relatively small areas of channel instability in the restoration reach, and has also identified sections which may require additional restoration activities in Teton Creek. The grain size distribution of Teton Creek was also mapped utilizing a UAV and digital photosieving techniques, for use in sediment transport equations in the restoration reach. Data collected quickly and inexpensively from a UAV is valuable to river managers to monitor restoration work. This research identifies the methods and materials needed for river managers to conduct UAV surveys of streams for use in restoration design and monitoring.

  12. A Precise Position and Attitude Determination System for Lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eling, C.; Klingbeil, L.; Wieland, M.; Kuhlmann, H.

    2013-08-01

    In many unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications a direct georeferencing is required. The reason can be that the UAV flies autonomous and must be navigated precisely, or that the UAV performs a remote sensing operation, where the position of the camera has to be known at the moment of the recording. In our application, a project called Mapping on Demand, we are motivated by both of these reasons. The goal of this project is to develop a lightweight autonomously flying UAV that is able to identify and measure inaccessible three-dimensional objects by use of visual information. Due to payload and space limitations, precise position and attitude determination of micro- and mini-sized UAVs is very challenging. The limitations do not only affect the onboard computing capacity, but they are also noticeable when choosing the georeferencing sensors. In this article, we will present a new developed onboard direct georeferencing system which is real-time capable, applicable for lightweight UAVs and provides very precise results (position accuracy σ < 5 cm and attitude accuracy σ < 0.5 deg). In this system GPS, inertial sensors, magnetic field sensors, a barometer as well as stereo video cameras are used as georeferencing sensors. We will describe the hardware development and will go into details of the implemented software. In this context especially the RTK-GPS software and the concept of the attitude determination by use of inertial sensors, magnetic field sensors as well as an onboard GPS baseline will be highlighted. Finally, results of first field tests as well as an outlook on further developments will conclude this contribution.

  13. Fusing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery with High Resolution Hydrologic Modeling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivoni, E. R.; Pierini, N.; Schreiner-McGraw, A.; Anderson, C.; Saripalli, S.; Rango, A.

    2013-12-01

    After decades of development and applications, high resolution hydrologic models are now common tools in research and increasingly used in practice. More recently, high resolution imagery from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that provide information on land surface properties have become available for civilian applications. Fusing the two approaches promises to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in terms of hydrologic modeling capabilities. This combination will also challenge assumptions on model processes, parameterizations and scale as land surface characteristics (~0.1 to 1 m) may now surpass traditional model resolutions (~10 to 100 m). Ultimately, predictions from high resolution hydrologic models need to be consistent with the observational data that can be collected from UAVs. This talk will describe our efforts to develop, utilize and test the impact of UAV-derived topographic and vegetation fields on the simulation of two small watersheds in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts at the Santa Rita Experimental Range (Green Valley, AZ) and the Jornada Experimental Range (Las Cruces, NM). High resolution digital terrain models, image orthomosaics and vegetation species classification were obtained from a fixed wing airplane and a rotary wing helicopter, and compared to coarser analyses and products, including Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). We focus the discussion on the relative improvements achieved with UAV-derived fields in terms of terrain-hydrologic-vegetation analyses and summer season simulations using the TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) model. Model simulations are evaluated at each site with respect to a high-resolution sensor network consisting of six rain gauges, forty soil moisture and temperature profiles, four channel runoff flumes, a cosmic-ray soil moisture sensor and an eddy covariance tower over multiple summer periods. We also discuss prospects for the fusion of high resolution models with novel observations from UAVs, including synthetic aperture radar and multispectral imagery.

  14. Aerodynamic analysis and simulation of a twin-tail tilt-duct unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdollahi, Cyrus

    The tilt-duct vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) concept has been around since the early 1960s; however, to date the design has never passed the research phase and development phase. Nearly 50 years later, American Dynamics Flight Systems (ADFS) is developing the AD-150, a 2,250lb weight class unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) configured with rotating ducts on each wingtip. Unlike its predecessor, the Doak VZ-4, the AD-150 features a V tail and wing sweep -- both of which affect the aerodynamic behavior of the aircraft. Because no aircraft of this type has been built and tested, vital aerodynamic research was conducted on the bare airframe behavior (without wingtip ducts). Two weeks of static and dynamic testing were performed on a 3/10th scale model at the University of Maryland's 7' x 10' low speed wind tunnel to facilitate the construction of a nonlinear flight simulator. A total of 70 dynamic tests were performed to obtain damping parameter estimates using the ordinary least squares methodology. Validation, based on agreement between static and dynamic estimates of the pitch and yaw stiffness terms, showed an average percent error of 14.0% and 39.6%, respectively. These inconsistencies were attributed to: large dynamic displacements not encountered during static testing, regressor collinearity, and, while not conclusively proven, differences in static and dynamic boundary layer development. Overall, the damping estimates were consistent and repeatable, with low scatter over a 95% confidence interval. Finally, a basic open loop simulation was executed to demonstrate the instability of the aircraft. As a result, it is recommended that future work be performed to determine trim points and linear models for controls development.

  15. Measurement of turbulent water vapor fluxes using a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, R. M.; Lehmann, K.; Nguyen, H.; Jackson, D. L.; Wolfe, D.; Ramanathan, V.

    2011-08-01

    We present here the first application of a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system designed to measure turbulent properties and vertical latent heat fluxes (λE). Such measurements are crucial to improve our understanding of linkages between surface moisture supply and boundary layer clouds and phenomena such as atmospheric rivers. The application of UAVs allows for measurements on spatial scales complimentary to satellite, aircraft, and tower derived fluxes. Key system components are: a turbulent gust probe; a fast response water vapor sensor; an inertial navigation system (INS) coupled to global positioning system (GPS); and a 100 Hz data logging system. We present measurements made in the continental boundary layer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dryden Research Flight Facility located in the Mojave Desert. Two flights consisting of several horizontal straight flux run legs up to ten kilometers in length and between 330 and 930 m above ground level (m a.g.l.) are compared to measurement from a surface tower. Surface measured λE ranged from -53 W m-2 to 41 W m-2, and the application of a Butterworth High Pass Filter (HPF) to the datasets improved agreement to within ± 12 W m-2 for 86 % of flux runs, by removing improperly sampled low frequency flux contributions. This result, along with power and co-spectral comparisons and consideration of the differing spatial scales indicates the system is able to resolve vertical fluxes for the measurement conditions encountered. Challenges remain, and the outcome of these measurements will be used to inform future sampling strategies and further system development.

  16. Measurement of turbulent water vapor fluxes using a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, R. M.; Lehmann, K.; Nguyen, H.; Jackson, D. L.; Wolfe, D.; Ramanathan, V.

    2012-01-01

    We present here the first application of a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system designed to measure turbulent properties and vertical latent heat fluxes (λE). Such measurements are crucial to improve our understanding of linkages between surface moisture supply and boundary layer clouds and phenomena such as atmospheric rivers. The application of UAVs allows for measurements on spatial scales complimentary to satellite, aircraft, and tower derived fluxes. Key system components are: a turbulent gust probe; a fast response water vapor sensor; an inertial navigation system (INS) coupled to global positioning system (GPS); and a 100 Hz data logging system. We present measurements made in the continental boundary layer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dryden Research Flight Facility located in the Mojave Desert. Two flights consisting of several horizontal straight flux run legs up to ten kilometers in length and between 330 and 930 m above ground level (m a.g.l.) are compared to measurement from a surface tower. Surface measured λE ranged from -53 W m-2 to 41 W m-2, and the application of a Butterworth High Pass Filter (HPF) to the datasets improved agreement to within +/-12 W m-2 for 86% of flux runs, by removing improperly sampled low frequency flux contributions. This result, along with power and co-spectral comparisons and consideration of the differing spatial scales indicates the system is able to resolve vertical fluxes for the measurement conditions encountered. Challenges remain, and the outcome of these measurements will be used to inform future sampling strategies and further system development.

  17. Damage prognosis of adhesively-bonded joints in laminated composite structural components of unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Farrar, Charles R; Gobbato, Maurizio; Conte, Joel; Kosmatke, John; Oliver, Joseph A

    2009-01-01

    The extensive use of lightweight advanced composite materials in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) drastically increases the sensitivity to both fatigue- and impact-induced damage of their critical structural components (e.g., wings and tail stabilizers) during service life. The spar-to-skin adhesive joints are considered one of the most fatigue sensitive subcomponents of a lightweight UAV composite wing with damage progressively evolving from the wing root. This paper presents a comprehensive probabilistic methodology for predicting the remaining service life of adhesively-bonded joints in laminated composite structural components of UAVs. Non-destructive evaluation techniques and Bayesian inference are used to (i) assess the current state of damage of the system and, (ii) update the probability distribution of the damage extent at various locations. A probabilistic model for future loads and a mechanics-based damage model are then used to stochastically propagate damage through the joint. Combined local (e.g., exceedance of a critical damage size) and global (e.g.. flutter instability) failure criteria are finally used to compute the probability of component failure at future times. The applicability and the partial validation of the proposed methodology are then briefly discussed by analyzing the debonding propagation, along a pre-defined adhesive interface, in a simply supported laminated composite beam with solid rectangular cross section, subjected to a concentrated load applied at mid-span. A specially developed Eliler-Bernoulli beam finite element with interlaminar slip along the damageable interface is used in combination with a cohesive zone model to study the fatigue-induced degradation in the adhesive material. The preliminary numerical results presented are promising for the future validation of the methodology.

  18. High-Resolution Monitoring of Coastal Dune Erosion and Growth Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruessink, G.; Markies, H.; Van Maarseveen, M.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal foredunes lose and gain sand through marine and aeolian processes, but coastal-evolution models that can accurately predict both wave-driven dune erosion and wind-blown dune growth are non-existing. This is, together with a limited understanding of coastal aeolian process dynamics, due to the lack of adequate field data sets from which erosion and supply volumes can be studied simultaneously. Here, we quantify coastal foredune dynamics using nine topographic surveys performed near Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, between September 2011 and March 2014 using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The approximately 0.75-km long study site comprises a 30-100 m wide sandy beach and a 20-25 m high foredune, of which the higher parts are densely vegetated with European marram grass. Using a structure-from-motion workflow, the 200-500 photographs taken during each UAV flight were processed into a point cloud, from which a geo-referenced digital surface model with a 0.25 x 0.25 m resolution was subsequently computed. Our data set contains two dune-erosion events, including that due to storm Xaver (December 2013), which caused one of the highest surge levels in the southern North Sea region for the last decades. Dune erosion during both events varied alongshore from the destruction of embryonic dunes on the upper beach to the slumping of the entire dune face. During the first storm (January 2012), erosion volumes ranged from 5 m3/m in the (former) embryonic dune field to over 40 m3/m elsewhere. During the subsequent 11 (spring - autumn) months, the foredune accreted by (on average) 8 m3/m, again with substantial alongshore variability (0 - 20 m3/m). Intriguingly, volume changes during the 2012-2013 winter were minimal. We will compare the observed aeolian supply rates with model predictions and discuss reasons for their temporal variability. Funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research NWO.

  19. Practical strategies of wind energy utilization for uninhabited aerial vehicles in loiter flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singhania, Hong Yang

    Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is becoming increasingly attractive in missions where human presence is undesirable or impossible. Agile maneuvers and long endurance are among the most desired advantages of UAVs over aircraft that have human pilots onboard. Past studies suggest that the performance of UAVs may be considerably improved by utilizing natural resources, especially wind energy, during flights. The key challenge of exploiting wind energy in practical UAV operations lies in the availability of reliable and timely wind field information in the operational region. This thesis presents a practical onboard strategy that attempts to over-come this challenge, to enable UAVs in utilizing wind energy effectively during flights, and therefore to enhance performance. We propose and explore a strategy that combines wind measurement and optimal trajectory planning onboard UAVs. During a cycle of a loiter flight, a UAV can take measurements of wind velocity components over the flight region, use these measurements to estimate the local wind field through a model-based approach, and then compute a flight trajectory for the next flight cycle with the objective of optimizing fuel. As the UAV follows the planned trajectory, it continues to measure the wind components and repeats the process of updating the wind model with new estimations and planning optimal trajectories for the next flight cycle. Besides presenting an onboard trajectory planning strategy of wind energy exploration, estimation, and utilization, this research also develops a semi-analytical linearized solution to the formulated nonlinear optimal control problem. Simulations and numerical results indicate that the fuel savings of trajectories generated using the proposed scheme depend on wind speed, wind estimation errors, rates of change in wind speed, and the wind model structures. For a given wind field, the magnitude of potential fuel savings is also contingent upon UAVs' performance capabilities.

  20. Using small unmanned aerial vehicle for instream habitat evaluation and modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astegiano, Luca; Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Lingua, Andrea; Spairani, Michele

    2015-04-01

    Recent advances in digital image collection and processing have led to the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for river research and management. In this paper, we assess the capabilities of a small UAV to characterize physical habitat for fish in three river stretches of North-Western Italy. The main aim of the study was identifying the advantages and challenges of this technology for environmental river management, in the context of the increasing river exploitation for hydropower production. The UAV used to acquire overlapping images was a small quadcopter with a two different high-resolution (non-metric) cameras (Nikon J1™ and Go-Pro Hero 3 Black Edition™). The quadcopter was preprogrammed to fly set waypoints using a small tablet PC. With the acquired imagery, we constructed a 5-cm resolution orthomosaic image and a digital surface model (DSM). The two products were used to map the distribution of aquatic and riparian habitat features, i.e., wetted area, morphological unit distributions, bathymetry, water surface gradient, substrates and grain sizes, shelters and cover for fish. The study assessed the quality of collected data and used such information to identify key reach-scale metrics and important aspects of fluvial morphology and aquatic habitat. The potential and limitations of using UAV for physical habitat survey were evaluated and the collected data were used to initialize and run common habitat simulation tools (MesoHABSIM). Several advantages of using UAV-based imagery were found, including low cost procedures, high resolution and efficiency in data collection. However, some challenges were identified for bathymetry extraction (vegetation obstructions, white waters, turbidity) and grain size assessment (preprocessing of data and automatic object detection). The application domain and possible limitation for instream habitat mapping were defined and will be used as a reference for future studies. Ongoing activities include the possibility of using topographic data and discharge measurements to extract average values of flow velocity in cross sections.

  1. Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in coastal areas: lessons learned from applications in Liguria, NW Mediterranean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovere, A.; Casella, E.; Pedroncini, A.; Mucerino, L.; Casella, M.; Cusati, L. A.; Vacchi, M.; Ferrari, M.; Firpo, M.

    2014-12-01

    In 2013 we started to apply small UAVs to the study of coastal areas in Liguria, NW Mediterranean Sea. In this region monitoring coastal evolution and the impact of sea storms is a primary administrative need, as a large part of the economic income derives from summer tourism. In two years, we accumulated almost 200 hours of flight with two different UAVs, a professional-grade Mikrokopter Okto and a consumer-grade Phantom DJI. We used photogrammetric and orthorectification techniques to obtain Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and orthophotos of different beaches in the region. Data from UAVs allowed us to answer several questions. What is the accuracy of DEMs obtained from UAVs in low-relief areas such as beaches? What are the problems encountered in the photogrammetric procedure near the shoreline? Are the results obtained with consumer-grade UAVs comparable to those obtained with professional-grade ones? Aside from these technical questions, we used the data obtained from UAVs for different local studies aimed at giving management tools to the local administrations. We used the cloudpoint obtained from DEMs and the orthophotos to set up a runup modelling chain, to detect short-term changes in the coastal zone, and to give a first estimate of the debris deposited on the beach after a major storm. As stated by Watts et al., 2012 (Remote Sensing 4, 1671-1692) the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and photogrammetry techniques in earth sciences is flourishing, and has the potential to revolutionize the study of geomorphology. Surely, UAVs opened new research perspectives for our group, which has been actively working on coastal changes in Liguria for almost 25 years.

  2. Drones at the Beach - Surf Zone Monitoring Using Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rynne, P.; Brouwer, R.; de Schipper, M. A.; Graham, F.; Reniers, A.; MacMahan, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the potential of rotary wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to monitor the surf zone. In recent years, the arrival of lightweight, high-capacity batteries, low-power electronics and compact high-definition cameras has driven the development of commercially available UAVs for hobbyists. Moreover, the low operation costs have increased their potential for scientific research as these UAVs are extremely flexible surveying platforms. The UAVs can fly for ~12 min with a mean loiter radius of 1 - 3.5 m and a mean loiter error of 0.75 - 4.5 m, depending on the environmental conditions, flying style, battery type and vehicle type. Our experiments using multiple, alternating UAVs show that it is possible to have near continuous imagery data with similar Fields Of View. The images obtained from the UAVs (Fig. 1a), and in combination with surveyed Ground Control Points (GCPs) (Fig. 1b, red squares and white circles), can be geo-rectified (Fig. 1c) to pixel resolution between 0.01 - 1 m and a reprojection error, i.e. the difference between the surveyed GPS location of a GCP and the location of the GCP obtained from the geo-rectified image, of O(1 m). These geo-rectified images provide data on a variety of coastal aspects, such as beach width (Wb(x,t)), surf zone width (Wsf(x,t)), wave breaking location (rectangle B), beach usage (circle C) and location of dune vegegation (rectangle D), amongst others. Additionally, the possibility to have consecutive, high frequency (up to 2 Hz) rectified images makes the UAVs a great data instrument for spatially and temporally variable systems, such as the surf zone. Our first observations with the UAVs reveal the potential to quickly obtain surf zone and beach characteristics in response to storms or for day to day beach information, as well as the scientific pursuits of surf zone kinematics on different spatial and temporal scales, and dispersion and advection estimates of pollutants/dye. A selection of findings from several field experiments and using multiple optical instruments will be showed at the meeting, discussing the new possibilities rotary wing UAVs can offer for surf zone research.

  3. Design and analysis of multifunctional structures for embedded electronics in unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kothari, Rushabh M.

    Multifunctional structures are a new trend in the aerospace industry for the next generation structural design. Many future structures are expected to be something in addition to a load bearing structure. The design and analysis of multifunctional structures combining structural, electrical and thermal functionalities are presented here. The sandwich beam is considered as a starting point for the load bearing structure and then it is modified with a cavity to embed avionics and thermal controls. The embedded avionics inside the load bearing structure would allow weight reduction of the aerospace vehicle due to elimination of separate electronics housing, interconnects, cables etc. The cavity reduces strength of the structure so various reinforcements methods are evaluated. The result of various reinforcements and their effectiveness are presented. The current generation of electronics produce massive amount of heat. In the case of embedded electronics, the excessive heat presents a major challenge to the structural and heat transfer engineers. The embedded nature of electronics prevents the use of the classical heat dissipative methods such as fans and high velocity air flows, etc. The integrated thermal control of the electronics has been designed using passive heat transfer device and highly optimized particulate composite thermal interface material (TIM). The TIMs are used to fill the air gaps and reduce contact resistance between two surfaces, such as electronics and heat dissipators. The efficiency of TIM directly affects the overall heat transfer ability of the integrated thermal control system. The effect of the particles at micron and nano scales are studied for the particulate composite TIM. The thermal boundary resistance study for the particulate composite TIM with nano silica particles is presented in this thesis. The FEA analysis is used to model thermal boundary resistance and compared with the theoretical micromechanics model. The heat pipes are chosen as a part of passive heat transfer device due to their durability and excellent thermal conductivities. The multifunctional system consisting of all above components is modeled for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at subsonic air speeds to demonstrate the validity of the design.

  4. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Mounted Cold Mist Spray of Permethrin and Tetramethylfluthrin Targeting Aedes albopictus in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun-Xiao; Zhang, Ying-Mei; Dong, Yan-De; Zhou, Ming-Hao; Zhang, Heng-Duan; Chen, Hong-Na; Tian, Ye; Yang, Wei-Fang; Wu, Xiao-Qun; Chu, Hong-Liang; Zhao, Tong-Yan

    2016-03-01

    Aedes albopictus is the primary vector of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever in China. Although there are previous studies on the application of adulticides to control this species, the application methods have either been back-pack or vehicle-mounted systems. However, many sites are too large to be effectively treated with back-pack sprayers, and the lack of roads restricts the use of vehicle-mounted sprayers. This paper provides the first study of using unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct cold mist sprays on Ae. albopictus habitats. A spray containing 4% permethrin and 1% tetramethylfluthrin was applied at an effective application rate of 9.0 mg/m(2). This method reduced Ae. albopictus populations by more than 90%. The results indicate this novel spray system is a powerful method to achieve a rapid decline of mosquito population in Ae. albopictus habitats in China. PMID:27105218

  5. Three-dimensional imaging applications in Earth Sciences using video data acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLeod, Tara

    For three dimensional (3D) aerial images, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are cheaper to operate and easier to fly than the typical manned craft mounted with a laser scanner. This project explores the feasibility of using 2D video images acquired with a UAV and transforming them into 3D point clouds. The Aeryon Scout -- a quad-copter micro UAV -- flew two missions: the first at York University Keele campus and the second at the Canadian Wollastonite Mine Property. Neptec's ViDAR software was used to extract 3D information from the 2D video using structure from motion. The resulting point clouds were sparsely populated, yet captured vegetation well. They were used successfully to measure fracture orientation in rock walls. Any improvement in the video resolution would cascade through the processing and improve the overall results.

  6. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Assess Vegetative Cover and Identify Biotic Resources in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems: Preliminary Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Robert P. Breckenridge

    2006-04-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in conjunction with the University of Idaho, is evaluating novel approaches for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quicker and safer method for monitoring biotic resources. Evaluating vegetative cover is an important factor in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. In assessing vegetative cover, methods that improve accuracy and cost efficiency could revolutionize how biotic resources are monitored on western federal lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species, some of which are important indicator species (e.g., sage grouse). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluation of these ecosystems. In this project, two types of UAV platforms (fixed wing and helicopter) were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate total percent cover, (2) estimate percent cover for six different types of vegetation, and (3) locate sage grouse based on representative decoys. The field plots were located on the INL site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetative cover. A software program called SamplePoint developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service was used to evaluate the imagery for percent cover for the six vegetation types (bare ground, litter, shrubs, dead shrubs, grasses, and forbs). Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy.

  7. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in monitoring applications and management of natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piras, Marco; Aicardi, Irene; Lingua, Andrea; Noardo, Francesca; Chiabrando, Filiberto

    2015-04-01

    In the last years following the damages derived by the climate change (such as flooding and so on) it is growing the necessity to monitor the watercourses with effective and quickly method, where low cost solutions are particularly interested. In some cases, it is essential to have information about the riverbed, the river banks and to analyze the springs and the way in which the water moves. For the terrestrial point of view this knowledge can be acquired through GNSS and topographic methods, but they are still too manually so that they are time-consuming with respect the acquisition of information about the entire area. Another possibility is to perform a laser scanner survey, but the most common instruments (economically sustainable) have some problems to acquire information of sub-water-layer. Moreover, terrestrial surveys from cameras (such as visible, thermic or hyperspectral sensors) can't always offer a useful view of the case study due to the fact that they have a limited range of possible points of acquisition. For these reasons, it can be more effective to have an aerial point of view of the river, for example using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), which have been experimented in these last years for environmental investigations. The proposed studies include photogrammetric and thermographic applications in order to investigate a new post-flooding riverbed arrangement and to identify some sub-riverbed springs inside a stream in order to monitor the behavior of two studied watercourses. The tests have been carried out with a customized low-cost mini-UAV based on the Mikrokopter Hexakopter solution embedded with a navigation system for the autonomous flight (GNSS/IMU) and with the possibility to house different kind of sensors, such as a camera, a GNSS receiver, a LiDAR sensor, a thermographic camera and more other sensors, but with the limitation of a 1.2 Kg payload. The most significant innovation is the possibility to perform quickly and economical acquisitions and to acquire the data in an autonomous way. The acquisition and the storage of the data can be fully automatic and can be performed through a dedicated embedded pc (for example, in the case of the thermography a dedicated on-board pc is needed) or with special cables (it is the case of the camera for the photogrammetric acquisitions) that give the pulse to acquire the data. Using these systems it is possible to have a large amount of data in a short time. This permits to quickly process the photogrammetric data with a SFM (Structure From Motion) approach and extract 3D information in terms of sections, 3D models, riverbed reconstruction, orthophoto; furthermore the thermal information can be immediately read using dedicated software. All these data can be also the basis for specific detailed investigations.

  8. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program Site Operator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiser, D. M.; Warren, J. F.

    1994-08-01

    The Site Operator Program was initially established by the Department of Energy (DOE) to incorporate the electric vehicle activities dictated by the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1976. The Program currently includes thirteen sites located in diverse geographic, metrological,and metropolitan areas across the United States. Information is shared reciprocally with a fourteenth site, not under Program contract. The vehicles are operator-owned, except for two Griffon vans. The Mission Statement of the Site Operator Program includes three major activities: (1) Advancement of electric vehicle technologies. (2) Development of infrastructure elements necessary to support significant electric vehicle use; and (3) Increasing the awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) by the public. The ultimate thrust of program activities varies among sites, reflecting not only the Operator's business interests but also geographic and climate-related operating conditions. These considerations are identified below for each Program Status entry. This second quarter report (FY-94) will include a summary of activities from the previous three quarters.

  9. Aerial vehicle navigation over unknown terrain environments using inertial measurements and dual airborne laser scanners or flash ladar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadlamani, Ananth K.; Uijt de Haag, Maarten

    2007-04-01

    A precise navigation system for uninhabited or inhabited aerial vehicles is discussed in this paper. The navigational capability of an aerial vehicle must be robust and not easily influenced by external factors. Nowadays, many navigation systems rely somehow on the Global Positioning System (GPS), wherein the GPS signals may be rendered unusable due to unintentional interference caused by atmospheric effects, interference from communication equipment, as well as intentional jamming. The navigation method discussed in this paper integrates measurements from an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with measurements from either two airborne laser scanners (ALS) or an airborne Flash LADAR (AFL) to provide autonomous navigational capability and a reliable alternative to GPS. The proposed system has applications in unknown or partially known terrain environments or it may also be used for autonomous landing systems in Lunar or Martian environments. Two approaches are described in this paper, one approach uses Dual Airborne Laser Scanners (DALS) (one pointing forward, the other pointing aft) and the other approach uses an AFL. Advantages and disadvantages of both approaches are discussed. The proposed navigation system uses strapdown IMU measurements to estimate the aerial vehicle position and attitude and to geo-reference the laser sensor data. It then uses the maps created from both the fore and aftpointing scanning LADARS or the consecutive Flash LADAR range-images to estimate systematic IMU errors such as position and velocity drifts. The proposed navigation algorithm is evaluated using flight test data from Ohio University's DC3 aircraft and synthesized ALS and AFL measurements. Initial results are observed to achieve meter level accuracies in the system's position drift performance.

  10. Genetic Fuzzy Trees for Intelligent Control of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ernest, Nicholas D.

    Fuzzy Logic Control is a powerful tool that has found great success in a variety of applications. This technique relies less on complex mathematics and more "expert knowledge" of a system to bring about high-performance, resilient, and efficient control through linguistic classification of inputs and outputs and if-then rules. Genetic Fuzzy Systems (GFSs) remove the need of this expert knowledge and instead rely on a Genetic Algorithm (GA) and have similarly found great success. However, the combination of these methods suffer severely from scalability; the number of rules required to control the system increases exponentially with the number of states the inputs and outputs can take. Therefor GFSs have thus far not been applicable to complex, artificial intelligence type problems. The novel Genetic Fuzzy Tree (GFT) method breaks down complex problems hierarchically, makes sub-decisions when possible, and thus greatly reduces the burden on the GA. This development significantly changes the field of possible applications for GFSs. Within this study, this is demonstrated through applying this technique to a difficult air combat problem. Looking forward to an autonomous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) in the 2030 time-frame, it becomes apparent that the mission, flight, and ground controls will utilize the emerging paradigm of Intelligent Systems (IS); namely, the ability to learn, adapt, exhibit robustness in uncertain situations, make sense of the data collected in real-time and extrapolate when faced with scenarios significantly different from those used in training. LETHA (Learning Enhanced Tactical Handling Algorithm) was created to develop intelligent controllers for these advanced unmanned craft as the first GFT. A simulation space referred to as HADES (Hoplological Autonomous Defend and Engage Simulation) was created in which LETHA can train the UCAVs. Equipped with advanced sensors, a limited supply of Self-Defense Missiles (SDMs), and a recharging Laser Weapon System (LWS), these UCAVs can navigate a mission space, counter enemy threats, cope with losses in communications, and destroy mission-critical targets. Monte Carlo simulations of the resulting controllers were tested in mission scenarios that are distinct from the training scenarios to determine the training effectiveness in new environments and the presence of deep learning. Despite an incredibly large solution space, LETHA has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in training intelligent controllers for the UCAV squadron and shown robustness to drastically changing states, uncertainty, and limited information while maintaining extreme levels of computational efficiency.

  11. Spatial distribution of water stress and evapotranspiration estimates using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauneker, P.; Lischeid, G.

    2012-04-01

    The estimation of spatial distribution of evapotranspiration poses a particular challenge in quantitative hydrology. Conventional methods provide punctual measurements of evapotranspiration rates which may be transformed into aggregated mean values by extrapolation or the application of empirical models. The influence of spatial structures (heterogeneity of the landscape) in relevant small spatial scales is captured insufficiently by these methods. Modern optical remote sensors aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) provide the basis for the generation of high spatial resolution data. Spectral data in the optical, near infrared and thermal infrared domain will be used as input into a surface energy balance (SEB) model to produce evapotranspiration maps. The spectral properties of vegetation are of particular importance for the calculation, since plants are the link between soil and atmosphere and thus have major impact on evapotranspiration rates of land surfaces. First estimates of plant status and indicators of transpiration behavior will be obtained by applying and combining water stress parameters of different wavelengths. As opposed to satellite data, time-series of self-determined spatial and temporal resolution may be created by varying flight altitude and turnaround times. Thus it is possible to analyze the influence of landscape structures, as well as the chronological development of the observed parameters. Located at the interface between hydrology and remote sensing this work utilizes an innovative remote sensing platform to gain distributed spectral information. This information will be used to visualize evapotranspiration patterns in hydrological heterogeneous areas. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of transition zones of varying water supply and under the influence of selected environmental parameters (e.g. soil moisture, depth of GW-table). To reach that goal it is essential to generate a robust processing chain, involving all necessary processing steps. These include camera calibration, geometric and radiometric correction of the image data, as well as automatic image stitching at different scales. Effects of atmospheric aerosols on the spectral information of the surface have to be considered and, if necessary, corrected for the application of a SEB model. Data collection is conducted at several ZALF research sites in NE-Germany.

  12. Sensor Fusion Based Fault-Tolerant Attitude Estimation Solutions for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Jason Nicholas

    Navigation-grade inertial sensors are often too expensive and too heavy for use in most Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) systems. Low-cost Micro-Electrical-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) inertial sensors provide an attractive alternative, but currently do not provide an adequate navigation solution alone due to the presence of sensor bias. Toward addressing this problem, this research focuses on the development and experimental evaluation of sensor fusion algorithms to combine partially redundant information from low-cost sensor to achieve accurate SUAV attitude estimation. To conduct this research, several sets of SUAVs flight data that include measurements from a low-cost MEMS based Inertial Measurement Unit, a Global Positioning System receiver, and a set of low-grade tri-axial magnetometers are used to evaluate a variety of algorithms. In order to provide a baseline for performance evaluation, attitude measurements obtained directly with a high-quality mechanical vertical gyroscope are used as an independent attitude 'truth'. In addition, as a part of this project, a custom SUAV avionics system was developed to provide a platform for fault-tolerant flight control research. The overall goal of this research is to provide high-accuracy attitude estimation during nominal sensor performance conditions and in the event of sensors failures, while using only low-cost components. To achieve this goal, this study is carried out in three phases. The specific aim of the first phase is to obtain high-accuracy under nominal sensor conditions. During this phase, two different nonlinear Kalman filtering methods are applied to various sensor fusion formulations and evaluated with respect to estimation accuracy over diverse sets of flight data. Next, during the second phase, sensor fusion based calibration techniques are explored to further enhance estimation accuracy. Finally, the third phase of the study considers the design of a sensor fusion attitude estimation architecture that rejects sensor failures and supports a graceful loss of performance in the event of sensor failures. This algorithm is based on a nonlinear information filter and features a novel Failure Detection, Identification, and Accommodation (FDIA) approach. During this phase, it is shown that the sensor fusion algorithm handles both abruptly occurring large magnitude sensor failures, as well as gradually growing small magnitude sensor failures.

  13. State estimation for autopilot control of small unmanned aerial vehicles in windy conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poorman, David Paul

    The use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) both in the military and civil realms is growing. This is largely due to the proliferation of inexpensive sensors and the increase in capability of small computers that has stemmed from the personal electronic device market. Methods for performing accurate state estimation for large scale aircraft have been well known and understood for decades, which usually involve a complex array of expensive high accuracy sensors. Performing accurate state estimation for small unmanned aircraft is a newer area of study and often involves adapting known state estimation methods to small UAVs. State estimation for small UAVs can be more difficult than state estimation for larger UAVs due to small UAVs employing limited sensor suites due to cost, and the fact that small UAVs are more susceptible to wind than large aircraft. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the ability of existing methods of state estimation for small UAVs to accurately capture the states of the aircraft that are necessary for autopilot control of the aircraft in a Dryden wind field. The research begins by showing which aircraft states are necessary for autopilot control in Dryden wind. Then two state estimation methods that employ only accelerometer, gyro, and GPS measurements are introduced. The first method uses assumptions on aircraft motion to directly solve for attitude information and smooth GPS data, while the second method integrates sensor data to propagate estimates between GPS measurements and then corrects those estimates with GPS information. The performance of both methods is analyzed with and without Dryden wind, in straight and level flight, in a coordinated turn, and in a wings level ascent. It is shown that in zero wind, the first method produces significant steady state attitude errors in both a coordinated turn and in a wings level ascent. In Dryden wind, it produces large noise on the estimates for its attitude states, and has a non-zero mean error that increases when gyro bias is increased. The second method is shown to not exhibit any steady state error in the tested scenarios that is inherent to its design. The second method can correct for attitude errors that arise from both integration error and gyro bias states, but it suffers from lack of attitude error observability. The attitude errors are shown to be more observable in wind, but increased integration error in wind outweighs the increase in attitude corrections that such increased observability brings, resulting in larger attitude errors in wind. Overall, this work highlights many technical deficiencies of both of these methods of state estimation that could be improved upon in the future to enhance state estimation for small UAVs in windy conditions.

  14. Vision-based state estimation for uninhabited aerial vehicles using the coplanarity constraint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Thomas Philip

    2007-12-01

    We developed and evaluated a vision-based state estimation algorithm for uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) using the implicit extended Kalman filter (IEKF) and the coplanarity constraint (also known as the epipolar or essential constraint). The coplanarity constraint, a well-known property in the structure from motion (SFM) field, has advantages for this application in that the feature point locations in three dimensional space do not have to be known and tracked and that feature points can be discarded and acquired as necessary. This reduces the computational load which is important for real time applications such as aircraft control. Advantages of the IEKF are that, in principle, the current estimate uses all previous information, not just the current observations, and that the estimate will propagate forward in an orderly fashion in the case of interrupted or reduced measurements. The dynamics of the aircraft are included in the process model which improves the observability of the states and resolves the SFM scale factor ambiguity. The algorithm was implemented in a numerical simulation and exhibited divergence problems in the presence of measurement noise. These effects were particularly evident in the velocity estimates. The problems were eliminated by zeroing out the small velocity dependent terms in the measurement matrix. The algorithm was exercised in a Monte Carlo fashion and found to be robust to errors in the process model and to measurement noise. Sensitivities to filter and focal plane implementation parameters including camera depression angle, field of view, measurement interval, and feature point location and number were also assessed. The modified estimator was then employed in a closed loop UAV simulation to provide feedback to a simple autopilot. The simulation demonstrated that the state estimates provided were sufficiently accurate to allow control of the UAV through successful waypoint navigation. This simulation used feature points generated at random locations in the field of view. A second closed loop simulation was successfully run using synthetic imagery from the University of Florida's vision laboratory and a Lucas-Kanade feature point tracking algorithm.

  15. Improving Rangeland Monitoring and Assessment: Integrating Remote Sensing, GIS, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Robert Paul Breckenridge

    2007-05-01

    Creeping environmental changes are impacting some of the largest remaining intact parcels of sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the western United States, creating major problems for land managers. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), located in southeastern Idaho, is part of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem, one of the largest ecosystems on the continent. Scientists at the INL and the University of Idaho have integrated existing field and remotely sensed data with geographic information systems technology to analyze how recent fires on the INL have influenced the current distribution of terrestrial vegetation. Three vegetation mapping and classification systems were used to evaluate the changes in vegetation caused by fires between 1994 and 2003. Approximately 24% of the sagebrush steppe community on the INL was altered by fire, mostly over a 5-year period. There were notable differences between methods, especially for juniper woodland and grasslands. The Anderson system (Anderson et al. 1996) was superior for representing the landscape because it includes playa/bare ground/disturbed area and sagebrush steppe on lava as vegetation categories. This study found that assessing existing data sets is useful for quantifying fire impacts and should be helpful in future fire and land use planning. The evaluation identified that data from remote sensing technologies is not currently of sufficient quality to assess the percentage of cover. To fill this need, an approach was designed using both helicopter and fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and image processing software to evaluate six cover types on field plots located on the INL. The helicopter UAV provided the best system compared against field sampling, but is more dangerous and has spatial coverage limitations. It was reasonably accurate for dead shrubs and was very good in assessing percentage of bare ground, litter and grasses; accuracy for litter and shrubs is questionable. The fixed wing system proved to be feasible and can collect imagery for very large areas in a short period of time. It was accurate for bare ground and grasses. Both UAV systems have limitations, but these will be reduced as the technology advances. In both cases, the UAV systems collected data at a much faster rate than possible on the ground. The study concluded that improvements in automating the image processing efforts would greatly improve use of the technology. In the near future, UAV technology may revolutionize rangeland monitoring in the same way Global Positioning Systems have affected navigation while conducting field activities.

  16. Application of high resolution images from unmanned aerial vehicles for hydrology and rangeland science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, A.; Vivoni, E. R.; Anderson, C. A.; Perini, N. A.; Saripalli, S.; Laliberte, A.

    2012-12-01

    A common problem in many natural resource disciplines is the lack of high-enough spatial resolution images that can be used for monitoring and modeling purposes. Advances have been made in the utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in hydrology and rangeland science. By utilizing low flight altitudes and velocities, UAVs are able to produce high resolution (5 cm) images as well as stereo coverage (with 75% forward overlap and 40% sidelap) to extract digital elevation models (DEM). Another advantage of flying at low altitude is that the potential problems of atmospheric haze obscuration are eliminated. Both small fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft have been used in our experiments over two rangeland areas in the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico and the Santa Rita Experimental Range in southern Arizona. The fixed-wing UAV has a digital camera in the wing and six-band multispectral camera in the nose, while the rotary-wing UAV carries a digital camera as payload. Because we have been acquiring imagery for several years, there are now > 31,000 photos at one of the study sites, and 177 mosaics over rangeland areas have been constructed. Using the DEM obtained from the imagery we have determined the actual catchment areas of three watersheds and compared these to previous estimates. At one site, the UAV-derived watershed area is 4.67 ha which is 22% smaller compared to a manual survey using a GPS unit obtained several years ago. This difference can be significant in constructing a watershed model of the site. From a vegetation species classification, we also determined that two of the shrub types in this small watershed(mesquite and creosote with 6.47 % and 5.82% cover, respectively) grow in similar locations(flat upland areas with deep soils), whereas the most predominant shrub(mariola with 11.9% cover) inhabits hillslopes near stream channels(with steep shallow soils). The positioning of these individual shrubs throughout the catchment using UAV image classifications is required as input to detailed watershed modeling There are multiple advantages to UAVs for use in hydrology and rangeland science, including that coverage is less expensive while just as accurate as conventional ground measurements. The UAV guidance systems can also guarantee returning to the same location for change detection analysis. UAV capabilities also have advantages over manned aircraft because they are safer, less expensive, and can respond in a timelier manner to new flight requests. As a result, the use of UAVs for watershed and rangeland monitoring and modeling is a rapidly expanding civil application in natural resources.

  17. A new stratospheric sounding platform based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) droppable from meteorological balloon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efremov, Denis; Khaykin, Sergey; Lykov, Alexey; Berezhko, Yaroslav; Lunin, Aleksey

    High-resolution measurements of climate-relevant trace gases and aerosols in the upper troposphere and stratosphere (UTS) have been and remain technically challenging. The high cost of measurements onboard airborne platforms or heavy stratospheric balloons results in a lack of accurate information on vertical distribution of atmospheric constituents. Whereas light-weight instruments carried by meteorological balloons are becoming progressively available, their usage is constrained by the cost of the equipment or the recovery operations. The evolving need in cost-efficient observations for UTS process studies has led to development of small airborne platforms - unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), capable of carrying small sensors for in-situ measurements. We present a new UAV-based stratospheric sounding platform capable of carrying scientific payload of up to 2 kg. The airborne platform comprises of a latex meteorological balloon and detachable flying wing type UAV with internal measurement controller. The UAV is launched on a balloon to stratospheric altitudes up to 20 km, where it can be automatically released by autopilot or by a remote command sent from the ground control. Having been released from the balloon the UAV glides down and returns to the launch position. Autopilot using 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, barometer, compas and GPS navigation provides flight stabilization and optimal way back trajectory. Backup manual control is provided for emergencies. During the flight the onboard measurement controller stores the data into internal memory and transmits current flight parameters to the ground station via telemetry. Precise operation of the flight control systems ensures safe landing at the launch point. A series of field tests of the detachable stratospheric UAV has been conducted. The scientific payload included the following instruments involved in different flights: a) stratospheric Lyman-alpha hygrometer (FLASH); b) backscatter sonde; c) electrochemical ozone sonde; d) optical CO2 sensor; e) radioactivity sensor; f) solar radiation sensor. In addition, each payload included temperature sensor, barometric sensor and a GPS receiver. Design features of measurement systems onboard UAV and flight results are presented. Possible applications for atmospheric studies and validation of remote ground-based and space-borne observations is discussed.

  18. Design and integration of vision based sensors for unmanned aerial vehicles navigation and guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabatini, Roberto; Bartel, Celia; Kaharkar, Anish; Shaid, Tesheen

    2012-04-01

    In this paper we present a novel Navigation and Guidance System (NGS) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) based on Vision Based Navigation (VBN) and other avionics sensors. The main objective of our research is to design a lowcost and low-weight/volume NGS capable of providing the required level of performance in all flight phases of modern small- to medium-size UAVs, with a special focus on automated precision approach and landing, where VBN techniques can be fully exploited in a multisensory integrated architecture. Various existing techniques for VBN are compared and the Appearance-based Navigation (ABN) approach is selected for implementation. Feature extraction and optical flow techniques are employed to estimate flight parameters such as roll angle, pitch angle, deviation from the runway and body rates. Additionally, we address the possible synergies between VBN, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and MEMS-IMU (Micro-Electromechanical System Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors and also the use of Aircraft Dynamics Models (ADMs) to provide additional information suitable to compensate for the shortcomings of VBN sensors in high-dynamics attitude determination tasks. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is developed to fuse the information provided by the different sensors and to provide estimates of position, velocity and attitude of the platform in real-time. Two different integrated navigation system architectures are implemented. The first uses VBN at 20 Hz and GPS at 1 Hz to augment the MEMS-IMU running at 100 Hz. The second mode also includes the ADM (computations performed at 100 Hz) to provide augmentation of the attitude channel. Simulation of these two modes is performed in a significant portion of the Aerosonde UAV operational flight envelope and performing a variety of representative manoeuvres (i.e., straight climb, level turning, turning descent and climb, straight descent, etc.). Simulation of the first integrated navigation system architecture (VBN/GPS/IMU) shows that the integrated system can reach position, velocity and attitude accuracies compatible with CAT-II precision approach requirements. Simulation of the second system architecture (VBN/GPS/IMU/ADM) shows promising results since the achieved attitude accuracy is higher using the ADM/VBS/IMU than using VBS/IMU only. However, due to rapid divergence of the ADM virtual sensor, there is a need for a frequent re-initialisation of the ADM data module, which is strongly dependent on the UAV flight dynamics and the specific manoeuvring transitions performed. Finally, the output provided by the VBN and integrated navigation sensor systems is used to design a flight control system using a hybrid Fuzzy Logic and Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller for the Aerosonde UAV.

  19. Point cloud generation from aerial image data acquired by a quadrocopter type micro unmanned aerial vehicle and a digital still camera.

    PubMed

    Rosnell, Tomi; Honkavaara, Eija

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this investigation was to develop and investigate methods for point cloud generation by image matching using aerial image data collected by quadrocopter type micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imaging systems. Automatic generation of high-quality, dense point clouds from digital images by image matching is a recent, cutting-edge step forward in digital photogrammetric technology. The major components of the system for point cloud generation are a UAV imaging system, an image data collection process using high image overlaps, and post-processing with image orientation and point cloud generation. Two post-processing approaches were developed: one of the methods is based on Bae Systems' SOCET SET classical commercial photogrammetric software and another is built using Microsoft(®)'s Photosynth™ service available in the Internet. Empirical testing was carried out in two test areas. Photosynth processing showed that it is possible to orient the images and generate point clouds fully automatically without any a priori orientation information or interactive work. The photogrammetric processing line provided dense and accurate point clouds that followed the theoretical principles of photogrammetry, but also some artifacts were detected. The point clouds from the Photosynth processing were sparser and noisier, which is to a large extent due to the fact that the method is not optimized for dense point cloud generation. Careful photogrammetric processing with self-calibration is required to achieve the highest accuracy. Our results demonstrate the high performance potential of the approach and that with rigorous processing it is possible to reach results that are consistent with theory. We also point out several further research topics. Based on theoretical and empirical results, we give recommendations for properties of imaging sensor, data collection and processing of UAV image data to ensure accurate point cloud generation. PMID:22368479

  20. Point Cloud Generation from Aerial Image Data Acquired by a Quadrocopter Type Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and a Digital Still Camera

    PubMed Central

    Rosnell, Tomi; Honkavaara, Eija

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this investigation was to develop and investigate methods for point cloud generation by image matching using aerial image data collected by quadrocopter type micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imaging systems. Automatic generation of high-quality, dense point clouds from digital images by image matching is a recent, cutting-edge step forward in digital photogrammetric technology. The major components of the system for point cloud generation are a UAV imaging system, an image data collection process using high image overlaps, and post-processing with image orientation and point cloud generation. Two post-processing approaches were developed: one of the methods is based on Bae Systems’ SOCET SET classical commercial photogrammetric software and another is built using Microsoft®’s Photosynth™ service available in the Internet. Empirical testing was carried out in two test areas. Photosynth processing showed that it is possible to orient the images and generate point clouds fully automatically without any a priori orientation information or interactive work. The photogrammetric processing line provided dense and accurate point clouds that followed the theoretical principles of photogrammetry, but also some artifacts were detected. The point clouds from the Photosynth processing were sparser and noisier, which is to a large extent due to the fact that the method is not optimized for dense point cloud generation. Careful photogrammetric processing with self-calibration is required to achieve the highest accuracy. Our results demonstrate the high performance potential of the approach and that with rigorous processing it is possible to reach results that are consistent with theory. We also point out several further research topics. Based on theoretical and empirical results, we give recommendations for properties of imaging sensor, data collection and processing of UAV image data to ensure accurate point cloud generation. PMID:22368479

  1. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program: Site Operator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiser, D. M.; Warren, J. F.

    1994-03-01

    The DOE Site Operator Program was initially established to meet the requirements of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1976. The Program has since evolved in response to new legislation and interests. Its mission now includes three major activity categories: (1) Advancement of Electric Vehicle (EV) technologies; (2) development of infrastructure elements needed to support significant EV use; (3) increasing public awareness and acceptance of EV's. The 14 Program participants, their geographic locations, and the principal thrusts of their efforts are identified. The EV inventories of each participant are summarized. The topics of this report include participants' experience with EV operation; an appraisal of the overall current status of EV's for transportation; program management; and a program experience overview, the result of analyzing Site Operator inputs, provides an insight into the variables that can affect electric vehicle performance and operating cost.

  2. Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Rangeland Resources Monitoring in a Changing Regulatory Environment (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, A.; Vivoni, E. R.; Browning, D. M.; Anderson, C.; Laliberte, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    It is taking longer than expected to realize the immense potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)for civil applications due to the complexity of regulations being developed by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) that can be applied to both manned and unmanned flight in the National Airspace System (NAS). As a result, FAA has required that for all UAV flights in the NAS, an external pilot must maintain line-of-sight contact with the UAV. Properly trained observers must also be present to assist the external pilot in collision avoidance. Additionally, in order to fly in the NAS, formal approval must be requested from FAA through application for a Certificate of Authorization (COA for government applicants or a Special Airworthiness Certificate (SAC) in the experimental category for non-government applicants. Flight crews of UAVs must pass exams also required for manned airplane pilots. Although flight crews for UAVs are not required to become manned airplane pilots, UAV flight missions are much more efficient if one or two of the UAV flight crew are also manned aircraft pilots so they can serve as the UAV mission commander. Our group has performed numerous UAV flights within the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. Two developments with Jornada UAVs can be recommended to other UAV operators that would increase flight time experience and study areas covered by UAV images. First, do not overlook the possibility of obtaining permission to fly in Restricted Military Airspace (RMA). At the Jornada, our airspace is approximately 50% NAS and 50% RMA. With experiments ongoing in both types of airspace, we can fly in both areas and continue to increase UAV flights. Second, we have developed an air- and-ground vehicle approach for long distance, continuous pilot transport that always maintains line-of-sight requirements. This allows flying several target areas on a single mission and increasing the number of acquired UAV images - over 90,000 UAV images have now been acquired at Jornada. Most of our UAV flights have taken place over rangelands or watersheds in the western U.S. These flights have been successful used for classification of vegetation cover and type, measuring gaps between vegetation patches, identifing locations of potentially erosive soil, deriving digital elevation models, and monitoring plant phenology.. These measurements can be directly compared to more costly and time-intensive traditional techniques used in rangeland health determinations. New UAVs are becoming available with increased sensor payload capacity. At Jornada we have concentrated on flying at low altitudes (~215 m) to acquire hyperspatial resolutions with digital cameras of about 5-6 cm. We also fly a six band multispectral camera with spatial resolution of ~ 13 cm. We have recently acquired a larger Bat-4 UAV to go with the Bat-3 UAV. The major improvement associated with this upgrade is an increase in sensor payload from 1.4 kg to 14 kg. We are surveying the type of sensors that we could add to best increase our information content.

  3. Detection and classification of channel bedforms observed using the visual-light camera mounted to the unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ślopek, Jacek; Wieczorek, Małgorzata; Migoń, Piotr; Kasprzak, Marek; Jeziorska, Justyna; Witek, Matylda; Spallek, Waldemar; Niedzielski, Tomasz

    2014-05-01

    High-resolution aerial photographs and the resulting orthophoto images, obtained using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), may offer spatial resolution of 3 cm/px, exceeding the available resolution of remote sensing satellites. Such an unprecedentedly small size of the grid is very useful in fluvial geomorphology, in particular in investigations of small or moderate bedforms. These underwater landforms form spatially complex patterns which are difficult to observe and detect in the field, especially in the considerably long river channels. Since November 2012 we have performed a series of the UAV flights targeted at four rivers in the Kłodzko County (SW Poland). These rivers are: Nysa Kłodzka, Biała Lądecka, Bystrzyca Dusznicka and Ścinawka. We have limited our research flights to small fragments of these rivers, and we have gathered aerial photographs taken using the visual-light camera during all seasons. Although visual-light cameras have a limited ability to penetrate underwater features, we have found that at certain environmental conditions (e.g. autumn, low flow, highly transparent water, low albedo), it is possible to record a significant signal of the underwater channel bedforms. Such orthophoto images have been processed to numerically detect and classify the aforementioned landforms. The work serves as a feasibility study, the aim of which is to present that UAV-acquired photographs, even taken using the visual-light cameras, may be used to infer the spatial setting of channel bedforms.

  4. Wildlife Multispecies Remote Sensing Using Visible and Thermal Infrared Imagery Acquired from AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (uav)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrétien, L.-P.; Théau, J.; Ménard, P.

    2015-08-01

    Wildlife aerial surveys require time and significant resources. Multispecies detection could reduce costs to a single census for species that coexist spatially. Traditional methods are demanding for observers in terms of concentration and are not adapted to multispecies censuses. The processing of multispectral aerial imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) represents a potential solution for multispecies detection. The method used in this study is based on a multicriteria object-based image analysis applied on visible and thermal infrared imagery acquired from a UAV. This project aimed to detect American bison, fallow deer, gray wolves, and elks located in separate enclosures with a known number of individuals. Results showed that all bison and elks were detected without errors, while for deer and wolves, 0-2 individuals per flight line were mistaken with ground elements or undetected. This approach also detected simultaneously and separately the four targeted species even in the presence of other untargeted ones. These results confirm the potential of multispectral imagery acquired from UAV for wildlife census. Its operational application remains limited to small areas related to the current regulations and available technology. Standardization of the workflow will help to reduce time and expertise requirements for such technology.

  5. The control of a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for a small unmanned aerial vehicle using a CMAC neural network.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Frederick G; Frank, Andrew A; Joshi, Sanjay S

    2005-01-01

    A Simulink model, a propulsion energy optimization algorithm, and a CMAC controller were developed for a small parallel hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The hybrid-electric UAV is intended for military, homeland security, and disaster-monitoring missions involving intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The Simulink model is a forward-facing simulation program used to test different control strategies. The flexible energy optimization algorithm for the propulsion system allows relative importance to be assigned between the use of gasoline, electricity, and recharging. A cerebellar model arithmetic computer (CMAC) neural network approximates the energy optimization results and is used to control the parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system. The hybrid-electric UAV with the CMAC controller uses 67.3% less energy than a two-stroke gasoline-powered UAV during a 1-h ISR mission and 37.8% less energy during a longer 3-h ISR mission. PMID:16112553

  6. MaNIAC-UAV - a methodology for automatic pavement defects detection using images obtained by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henrique Castelo Branco, Luiz; César Lima Segantine, Paulo

    2015-09-01

    Intelligent Transportation Systems - ITS is a set of integrated technologies (Remote Sensing, Image Processing, Communications Systems and others) that aim to offer services and advanced traffic management for the several transportation modes (road, air and rail). Collect data on the characteristics and conditions of the road surface and keep them update is an important and difficult task that needs to be currently managed in order to reduce accidents and vehicle maintenance costs. Nowadays several roads and highways are paved, but usually there is insufficient updated data about current condition and status. There are different types of pavement defects on the roads and to keep them in good condition they should be constantly monitored and maintained according to pavement management strategy. This paper presents a methodology to obtain, automatically, information about the conditions of the highway asphalt pavement. Data collection was done through remote sensing using an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and the image processing and pattern recognition techniques through Geographic Information System.

  7. Methods for In-Flight Wing Shape Predictions of Highly Flexible Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Formulation of Ko Displacement Theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.; Fleischer, Van Tran

    2010-01-01

    The Ko displacement theory is formulated for a cantilever tubular wing spar under bending, torsion, and combined bending and torsion loading. The Ko displacement equations are expressed in terms of strains measured at multiple sensing stations equally spaced on the surface of the wing spar. The bending and distortion strain data can then be input to the displacement equations to calculate slopes, deflections, and cross-sectional twist angles of the wing spar at the strain-sensing stations for generating the deformed shapes of flexible aircraft wing spars. The displacement equations have been successfully validated for accuracy by finite-element analysis. The Ko displacement theory that has been formulated could also be applied to calculate the deformed shape of simple and tapered beams, plates, and tapered cantilever wing boxes. The Ko displacement theory and associated strain-sensing system (such as fiber optic sensors) form a powerful tool for in-flight deformation monitoring of flexible wings and tails, such as those often employed on unmanned aerial vehicles. Ultimately, the calculated displacement data can be visually displayed in real time to the ground-based pilot for monitoring the deformed shape of unmanned aerial vehicles during flight.

  8. System identification of a small low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle using flight data from low-cost sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffer, Nathan Von

    Remote sensing has traditionally been done with satellites and manned aircraft. While. these methods can yield useful scientificc data, satellites and manned aircraft have limitations in data frequency, process time, and real time re-tasking. Small low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide greater possibilities for personal scientic research than traditional remote sensing platforms. Precision aerial data requires an accurate vehicle dynamics model for controller development, robust flight characteristics, and fault tolerance. One method of developing a model is system identification (system ID). In this thesis system ID of a small low-cost fixed-wing T-tail UAV is conducted. The linerized longitudinal equations of motion are derived from first principles. Foundations of Recursive Least Squares (RLS) are presented along with RLS with an Error Filtering Online Learning scheme (EFOL). Sensors, data collection, data consistency checking, and data processing are described. Batch least squares (BLS) and BLS with EFOL are used to identify aerodynamic coecoefficients of the UAV. Results of these two methods with flight data are discussed.

  9. VEEP - Vehicle Economy, Emissions, and Performance program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heimburger, D. A.; Metcalfe, M. A.

    1977-01-01

    VEEP is a general-purpose discrete event simulation program being developed to study the performance, fuel economy, and exhaust emissions of a vehicle modeled as a collection of its separate components. It is written in SIMSCRIPT II.5. The purpose of this paper is to present the design methodology, describe the simulation model and its components, and summarize the preliminary results. Topics include chief programmer team concepts, the SDDL design language, program portability, user-oriented design, the program's user command syntax, the simulation procedure, and model validation.

  10. Near-vent measurements of volcanic gases and aerosols with multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pieri, D. C.; Diaz, J. A.; Bland, G.; Fladeland, M. M.; Schumann, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Dynamic phenomena occurring on the earth's surface and in the atmosphere are almost always distributed over a volume or area that changes progressively over time (e.g., explosive eruption plumes, lava flows, floods, toxic materials releases, wildfires). 'Snapshot' views of such phenomena traditionally capture a small part of the area or volume of the event in successive time slices. Such time series are fundamentally limited in providing accurate boundary conditions for models of such processes, or even to create descriptions or observations at spatial scales relevant to the characteristic dimensions of the process. High spatial resolution (e.g., ~1-3m/pixel) imaging views of such spatially extended phenomena that capture the entire extent of the event are not usually possible with a single low altitude aircraft, for instance. Synoptic satellite and high altitude airborne views are often at spatial resolutions that an order of magnitude coarser. Airborne in situ sampling faces a similar problem in that point measurements are acquired along a flight line in a time-series. Source conditions changing at timescales shorter than an airborne sortie interval (typical for most dynamic phenomena) render such flight line observations incomplete. The ability to capture hi-spatial resolution, synchronous, full volume or area data over dynamically evolving (possibly hazardous) features (e.g., volcanic plumes, air pollution layers, oil slicks, wildfires) requires a distributed 2D or 3D mesh of observation platforms. Small (e.g., <25kg) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging technology that can provide distributed formations or networks of observation platforms that can be dynamically reconfigured to encompass areas or volumes of interest for imaging or other kinds of in situ observations (e.g., SO2 or CO2 sampling of volcanic gas emissions). Such data are crucial for the calibration and validation of remotely sensed concentration retrievals (e.g., from multi/hyperspectral imaging platforms) or for transport modeling based on data from such platforms. For instance, for volcanic plumes, in situ cal/val data are rare to non-existent. Nevertheless, such data were in high demand during the airborne volcanic ash crisis that shut down European airspace for weeks at a time after the early 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland. Particularly for low altitude applications, small UAVs, such as the Aerovironment-built Dragon Eye (~2.5kg gross weight) or its equivalent, with small payloads (e.g., 0.5-1kg), can be economically deployed in formations or 'swarms' to provide simultaneous multiple observations over an areally or volumetrically distributed temporally evolving feature, such as a lava flow or a volcanic plume. We discuss our recent experiences and challenges in the use of such small platforms, the challenges in providing low mass sensors for such aircraft, and future applications for self-organizing airborne sensor networks. This work was carried out, in part, under contract to NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology.

  11. Performance modeling of unmanned aerial vehicles with on-board energy harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, Steven R.; Inman, Daniel J.

    2011-03-01

    The concept of energy harvesting in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has received much attention in recent years. Solar powered flight of small aircraft dates back to the 1970s when the first fully solar flight of an unmanned aircraft took place. Currently, research has begun to investigate harvesting ambient vibration energy during the flight of UAVs. The authors have recently developed multifunctional piezoelectric self-charging structures in which piezoelectric devices are combined with thin-film lithium batteries and a substrate layer in order to simultaneously harvest energy, store energy, and carry structural load. When integrated into mass and volume critical applications, such as unmanned aircraft, multifunctional devices can provide great benefit over conventional harvesting systems. A critical aspect of integrating any energy harvesting system into a UAV, however, is the potential effect that the additional system has on the performance of the aircraft. Added mass and increased drag can significantly degrade the flight performance of an aircraft, therefore, it is important to ensure that the addition of an energy harvesting system does not adversely affect the efficiency of a host aircraft. In this work, a system level approach is taken to examine the effects of adding both solar and piezoelectric vibration harvesting to a UAV test platform. A formulation recently presented in the literature is applied to describe the changes to the flight endurance of a UAV based on the power available from added harvesters and the mass of the harvesters. Details of the derivation of the flight endurance model are reviewed and the formulation is applied to an EasyGlider remote control foam hobbyist airplane, which is selected as the test platform for this study. A theoretical study is performed in which the normalized change in flight endurance is calculated based on the addition of flexible thin-film solar panels to the upper surface of the wings, as well as the addition of flexible piezoelectric patches to the root of the wing spar. Experimental testing is also performed in which the wing spar of the EasyGlider aircraft is modified to include both Macro Fiber Composite and Piezoelectric Fiber Composite piezoelectric patches near the root of the wing and two thin-film solar panels are installed onto the upper wing surface to harvest vibration and solar energy during flight. Testing is performed in which the power output of the various harvesters is measured during flight. Results of the flight testing are used to update the model with accurate measures of the power available from the energy harvesting systems. Finally, the model is used to predict the potential benefits of adding multifunctional self-charging structures to the wing spar of the aircraft in order to harvest vibration energy during flight and provide a local power source for low-power sensors.

  12. BATMAV - A Bio-Inspired Micro-Aerial Vehicle for Flapping Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunget, Gheorghe

    The main objective of the BATMAV project is the development of a biologically-inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) with flexible and foldable wings for flapping flight. While flapping flight in MAV has been previously studied and a number of models were realized they usually had unfoldable wings actuated with DC motors and mechanical transmission to achieve flapping motion. This approach limits the system to a rather small number of degrees of freedom with little flexibility and introduces an additional disadvantage of a heavy flight platform. The BATMAV project aims at the development of a flight platform that features bat-inspired wings with smart materials-based flexible joints and artificial muscles, which has the potential to closely mimic the kinematics of the real mammalian flyer. The bat-like flight platform was selected after an extensive analysis of morphological and aerodynamic flight parameters of small birds, bats and large insects characterized by a superior maneuverability and wind gust rejection. Morphological and aerodynamic parameters were collected from existing literature and compared concluding that bat wing present a suitable platform that can be actuated efficiently using artificial muscles. Due to their wing camber variation, the bat species can operate effectively at a large range of speeds and exhibit a remarkably maneuverable and agile flight. Although numerous studies were recently investigated the flapping flight, flexible and foldable wings that reproduce the natural intricate and efficient flapping motion were not designed yet. A comprehensive analysis of flight styles in bats based on the data collected by Norberg (Norberg, 1976) and the engineering theory of robotic manipulators resulted in a 2 and 3-DOF models which managed to mimic the wingbeat cycle of the natural flyer. The flexible joints of the 2 and 2-DOF models were replicated using smart materials like superelastic Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). The results of these kinematic models can be used to optimize the lengths and the attachment locations of the actuator muscle-wires such that enough lift, thrust and wing stroke are obtained. Bat skeleton measurements were taken from real bats and modeled in SolidWorks to accurately reproduce bones and body via rapid prototyping methods. Much attention was paid specifically to achieving the comparable strength, elasticity, and range of motion of a naturally occurring bat. The wing joints of the BATMAV platform were fabricated using superelastic Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), a key technology for the development of an engineering skeleton structure. This has enabled a simple and straightforward connection between different bones while at the same time has preserved the full range of functionality of the natural role model. Therefore, several desktop models were designed, fabricated and assembled in order to study various materials used in design phase. As a whole, the BATMAV project consists of four major stages of development: the current phase -- design and fabrication of the skeletal structure of the flight platform, selection and testing different materials for the design of a compliant bat-like membrane, analysis of the kinematics and kinetics of bat flight in order to design a biomechanical muscle system for actuation, and design of the electrical control architecture to coordinate the platform flight.

  13. A Small Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Ant-Plane 4, for aeromagnetic survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, M.; Tanabe, S.; Project, A.

    2007-05-01

    Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are expected to use in Antarctica for geophysical research due to economy and safety operations. We have developed the technology of small UAVwith autonomous navigation referred to GPS and onboard magnetometer, meteorolgical devices and digital camera under the Ant-Plane project. The UAV focuses on operation for use in the summer season at coastal area in Antarctica; higher temperature than -15C under calm wind. In case of Ant-Plane 4, it can fly continuously more than 500 km, probably more than 1000 km, although the flight in Antarcitca has not succeeded The UAV of FRP is pusher type drone consisting of 2.6m span and 2.0m length with 2-cycles and 2-cylinder 86cc gasoline engine (7.2 HP) navigated. The maximum takeoff weight is 25kg including 1kg of payload. Cruising distance 500 km at speed of 130 km/h using 10 litter of fuel. The UAV is controlled by radio telemeter within 5km from a ground station and autonomous navigation referred to GPS latitude and longitude, pitot tube speed and barometer altitude. The magnetometer system consists of a 3-component magneto-resistant magnetometer (MR) sensor (Honeywell HMR2300), GPS and data logger. Three components of magnetic field, latitude, longitude, altitude, the number of satellite and time are recorded every second during 6 hours. The sensitivity of the magnetometer is 7 nT and we use a total magnetic field intensity for magnetic analysis due to unknown direction of heading of the plane. We succeeded in long distant flight to 500km with magnetometer by Ant-Plane 4 collaborated with Geoscience Australia, in March 2006. The survey was performed in the area 10kmx10km at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The magnetic data are obtained from 41 courses (250m in interval) of EW direction. The altitude of the flight was 900m from sea level and 500m from the runway. MR-magnetometer sensor was installed at the tip of a FRP pipe of 1m length, and the pipe was fixed to the head of the plane in order to reduce the plane magnetization. After 4 hours 14 minutes from the takeoff, the 500km flight was accomplished and the magnetic data were stored in the data logger. The straight flight course was almost consistent with the way point course, but the course was drastically disturbed when the plane was turning. The resolution of magnetic field decreased to 30nT, when the plane flew to the tail wind. However, it is worse against the head wind. Obtained anomaly pattern was compared with the magnetic anomaly pattern published by Geoscience Australia. Both patterns were essentially consistent, although a part of pattern in the head wind flights was not resemble. Ant-Plane 4 flew up to 5700 m in altitude with aerosol counter, thermometer and hygrometer at northern part of Japan. A drastic change of temperature, humidity and particle number was observed at the inversion layer of atmosphere. Consequently we conclude that the small drone Ant-Plane 4 can be used for geophysical research. We are making effort to develop Ant-Plane for more simple assemblage and more easy operation.

  14. Aerial image simulation for partial coherent system with programming development in MATLAB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasan, Md. Nazmul; Rahman, Md. Momtazur; Udoy, Ariful Banna

    2014-10-01

    Aerial image can be calculated by either Abbe's method or sum of coherent system decomposition (SOCS) method for partial coherent system. This paper introduces a programming with Matlab code that changes the analytical representation of Abbe's method to the matrix form, which has advantages for both Abbe's method and SOCS since matrix calculation is easier than double integration over object plane or pupil plane. First a singular matrix P is derived from a pupil function and effective light source in the spatial frequency domain. By applying Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to the matrix P, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions are obtained. The aerial image can then be computed by the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions without calculation of Transmission Cross Coefficient (TCC). The aerial final image is almost identical as an original cross mask and the intensity distribution on image plane shows that it is almost uniform across the linewidth of the mask.

  15. DEPENDENCE OF NITRIC OXIDE EMISSIONS ON VEHICLE LOAD: RESULTS FROM THE GTRP INSTRUMENTED VEHICLE PROGRAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presentation discussed the dependence of nitric oxide (NO) emissions on vehicle load, bases on results from an instrumented-vehicle program. The accuracy and feasibility of modal emissions models depend on algorithms to allocate vehicle emissions based on a vehicle operation...

  16. The ARM unpiloted aerospace vehicle (UAV) program

    SciTech Connect

    Sowle, D.

    1995-09-01

    Unmanned aerospace vehicles (UAVs) are an important complement to the DOE`s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. ARM is primarily a ground-based program designed to extensively quantify the radiometric and meteorological properties of an atmospheric column. There is a need for airborne measurements of radiative profiles, especially flux at the tropopause, cloud properties, and upper troposphere water vapor. There is also a need for multi-day measurements at the tropopause; for example, in the tropics, at 20 km for over 24 hours. UAVs offer the greatest potential for long endurance at high altitudes and may be less expensive than piloted flights. 2 figs.

  17. Detecting Faults in Southern California using Computer-Vision Techniques and Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) Interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barba, M.; Rains, C.; von Dassow, W.; Parker, J. W.; Glasscoe, M. T.

    2013-12-01

    Knowing the location and behavior of active faults is essential for earthquake hazard assessment and disaster response. In Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) images, faults are revealed as linear discontinuities. Currently, interferograms are manually inspected to locate faults. During the summer of 2013, the NASA-JPL DEVELOP California Disasters team contributed to the development of a method to expedite fault detection in California using remote-sensing technology. The team utilized InSAR images created from polarimetric L-band data from NASA's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) project. A computer-vision technique known as 'edge-detection' was used to automate the fault-identification process. We tested and refined an edge-detection algorithm under development through NASA's Earthquake Data Enhanced Cyber-Infrastructure for Disaster Evaluation and Response (E-DECIDER) project. To optimize the algorithm we used both UAVSAR interferograms and synthetic interferograms generated through Disloc, a web-based modeling program available through NASA's QuakeSim project. The edge-detection algorithm detected seismic, aseismic, and co-seismic slip along faults that were identified and compared with databases of known fault systems. Our optimization process was the first step toward integration of the edge-detection code into E-DECIDER to provide decision support for earthquake preparation and disaster management. E-DECIDER partners that will use the edge-detection code include the California Earthquake Clearinghouse and the US Department of Homeland Security through delivery of products using the Unified Incident Command and Decision Support (UICDS) service. Through these partnerships, researchers, earthquake disaster response teams, and policy-makers will be able to use this new methodology to examine the details of ground and fault motions for moderate to large earthquakes. Following an earthquake, the newly discovered faults can be paired with infrastructure overlays, allowing emergency response teams to identify sites that may have been exposed to damage. The faults will also be incorporated into a database for future integration into fault models and earthquake simulations, improving future earthquake hazard assessment. As new faults are mapped, they will further understanding of the complex fault systems and earthquake hazards within the seismically dynamic state of California.

  18. A methodology for the validated design space exploration of fuel cell powered unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffitt, Blake Almy

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are the most dynamic growth sector of the aerospace industry today. The need to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for military operations is driving the planned acquisition of over 5,000 UAVs over the next five years. The most pressing need is for quiet, small UAVs with endurance beyond what is capable with advanced batteries or small internal combustion propulsion systems. Fuel cell systems demonstrate high efficiency, high specific energy, low noise, low temperature operation, modularity, and rapid refuelability making them a promising enabler of the small, quiet, and persistent UAVs that military planners are seeking. Despite the perceived benefits, the actual near-term performance of fuel cell powered UAVs is unknown. Until the auto industry began spending billions of dollars in research, fuel cell systems were too heavy for useful flight applications. However, the last decade has seen rapid development with fuel cell gravimetric and volumetric power density nearly doubling every 2--3 years. As a result, a few design studies and demonstrator aircraft have appeared, but overall the design methodology and vehicles are still in their infancy. The design of fuel cell aircraft poses many challenges. Fuel cells differ fundamentally from combustion based propulsion in how they generate power and interact with other aircraft subsystems. As a result, traditional multidisciplinary analysis (MDA) codes are inappropriate. Building new MDAs is difficult since fuel cells are rapidly changing in design, and various competitive architectures exist for balance of plant, hydrogen storage, and all electric aircraft subsystems. In addition, fuel cell design and performance data is closely protected which makes validation difficult and uncertainty significant. Finally, low specific power and high volumes compared to traditional combustion based propulsion result in more highly constrained design spaces that are problematic for design space exploration. To begin addressing the current gaps in fuel cell aircraft development, a methodology has been developed to explore and characterize the near-term performance of fuel cell powered UAVs. The first step of the methodology is the development of a valid MDA. This is accomplished by using propagated uncertainty estimates to guide the decomposition of a MDA into key contributing analyses (CAs) that can be individually refined and validated to increase the overall accuracy of the MDA. To assist in MDA development, a flexible framework for simultaneously solving the CAs is specified. This enables the MDA to be easily adapted to changes in technology and the changes in data that occur throughout a design process. Various CAs that model a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) UAV are developed, validated, and shown to be in agreement with hardware-in-the-loop simulations of a fully developed fuel cell propulsion system. After creating a valid MDA, the final step of the methodology is the synthesis of the MDA with an uncertainty propagation analysis, an optimization routine, and a chance constrained problem formulation. This synthesis allows an efficient calculation of the probabilistic constraint boundaries and Pareto frontiers that will govern the design space and influence design decisions relating to optimization and uncertainty mitigation. A key element of the methodology is uncertainty propagation. The methodology uses Systems Sensitivity Analysis (SSA) to estimate the uncertainty of key performance metrics due to uncertainties in design variables and uncertainties in the accuracy of the CAs. A summary of SSA is provided and key rules for properly decomposing a MDA for use with SSA are provided. Verification of SSA uncertainty estimates via Monte Carlo simulations is provided for both an example problem as well as a detailed MDA of a fuel cell UAV. Implementation of the methodology was performed on a small fuel cell UAV designed to carry a 2.2 kg payload with 24 hours of endurance. Uncertainty distributions for both design variables and the CAs were estimated based on experimental results and were found to dominate the design space. To reduce uncertainty and test the flexibility of the MDA framework, CAs were replaced with either empirical, or semi-empirical relationships during the optimization process. The final design was validated via a hardware-in-the loop simulation. Finally, the fuel cell UAV probabilistic design space was studied. A graphical representation of the design space was generated and the optima due to deterministic and probabilistic constraints were identified. The methodology was used to identify Pareto frontiers of the design space which were shown on contour plots of the design space. Unanticipated discontinuities of the Pareto fronts were observed as different constraints became active providing useful information on which to base design and development decisions.

  19. Ansaldo programs on fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Marcenaro, B.G.; Federici, F.

    1996-12-31

    The growth in traffic and the importance of maintaining a stable ecology at the global scale, particularly with regard to atmospheric pollution, raises the necessity to realize a new generation of vehicles which are more efficient, more economical and compatible with the environment. At European level, the Car of Tomorrow task force has identified fuel cells as a promising alternative propulsion system. Ansaldo Ricerche has been involved in the development of fuel cell vehicles since the early nineties. Current ongoing programs relates to: (1) Fuel cell bus demonstrator (EQHEPP BUS) Test in 1996 (2) Fuel cell boat demonstrator (EQHHPP BOAT) Test in 1997 (3) Fuel cell passenger car prototype (FEVER) Test in 1997 (4) 2nd generation Fuel cell bus (FCBUS) 1996-1999 (5) 2nd generation Fuel cell passenger car (HYDRO-GEN) 1996-1999.

  20. Electric and hybrid vehicle program: Site operator program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiser, D. M.; Brown, H. L.

    1994-10-01

    The DOE Site Operator Program was initially established to meet the requirements of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1976. The program has since evolved in response to new legislation and interests. Its mission now includes three major activity categories: advancement of electric vehicle (EV) technologies, development of infrastructure elements needed to support significant EV use, and increasing public awareness and acceptance of EV's. The 13 program participants, their geographic locations, and the principal thrusts of their efforts are identified. The EV inventories of each participant are summarized. This third quarter report (FY-94) will include a summary of activities from the previous three quarters. The report section sequence has been revised to provide a more easily seen program overview, and specific operator activities are now included.

  1. Development and integration of a solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle and a wireless sensor network to monitor greenhouse gases.

    PubMed

    Malaver, Alexander; Motta, Nunzio; Corke, Peter; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2015-01-01

    Measuring gases for environmental monitoring is a demanding task that requires long periods of observation and large numbers of sensors. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) currently represent the best alternative to monitor large, remote, and difficult access areas, as these technologies have the possibility of carrying specialized gas sensing systems. This paper presents the development and integration of a WSN and an UAV powered by solar energy in order to enhance their functionality and broader their applications. A gas sensing system implementing nanostructured metal oxide (MOX) and non-dispersive infrared sensors was developed to measure concentrations of CH4 and CO2. Laboratory, bench and field testing results demonstrate the capability of UAV to capture, analyze and geo-locate a gas sample during flight operations. The field testing integrated ground sensor nodes and the UAV to measure CO2 concentration at ground and low aerial altitudes, simultaneously. Data collected during the mission was transmitted in real time to a central node for analysis and 3D mapping of the target gas. The results highlights the accomplishment of the first flight mission of a solar powered UAV equipped with a CO2 sensing system integrated with a WSN. The system provides an effective 3D monitoring and can be used in a wide range of environmental applications such as agriculture, bushfires, mining studies, zoology and botanical studies using a ubiquitous low cost technology. PMID:25679312

  2. Object-based spatiotemporal analysis of vine canopy vigor using an inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, Adam J.

    2014-01-01

    Remotely sensed imagery provides a rapid assessment of spatial variability in grapevine canopy vigor that correlates with crop performance. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide a low-cost image acquisition platform with high spatial and temporal resolutions. Using a UAV and digital cameras, aerial images of a Texas vineyard were captured at postflowering, veraison, and harvest. Imagery was processed to generate orthophotos in units of reflectance, which were then segmented to extract per-vine estimates of canopy area (planimetric extent) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)-based canopy density. Derived canopy area and density values were compared to the harvest variables of number of clusters, cluster size, and yield to explore correlations. Planimetrically derived canopy area yielded significant, positive relationships, whereas NDVI-based canopy density exhibited no significant relationships due to sensor-related radiometric inaccuracy. A vine performance index was calculated to map spatial variation in canopy vigor for the entire growing season. Future management zones were delineated using spatial grouping analysis.

  3. Development and Integration of a Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and a Wireless Sensor Network to Monitor Greenhouse Gases

    PubMed Central

    Malaver, Alexander; Motta, Nunzio; Corke, Peter; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2015-01-01

    Measuring gases for environmental monitoring is a demanding task that requires long periods of observation and large numbers of sensors. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) currently represent the best alternative to monitor large, remote, and difficult access areas, as these technologies have the possibility of carrying specialized gas sensing systems. This paper presents the development and integration of a WSN and an UAV powered by solar energy in order to enhance their functionality and broader their applications. A gas sensing system implementing nanostructured metal oxide (MOX) and non-dispersive infrared sensors was developed to measure concentrations of CH4 and CO2. Laboratory, bench and field testing results demonstrate the capability of UAV to capture, analyze and geo-locate a gas sample during flight operations. The field testing integrated ground sensor nodes and the UAV to measure CO2 concentration at ground and low aerial altitudes, simultaneously. Data collected during the mission was transmitted in real time to a central node for analysis and 3D mapping of the target gas. The results highlights the accomplishment of the first flight mission of a solar powered UAV equipped with a CO2 sensing system integrated with a WSN. The system provides an effective 3D monitoring and can be used in a wide range of environmental applications such as agriculture, bushfires, mining studies, zoology and botanical studies using a ubiquitous low cost technology. PMID:25679312

  4. Steering a simulated unmanned aerial vehicle using a head-slaved camera and HMD: effects of HMD quality, visible vehicle references, and extended stereo cueing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, Sjoerd C.; Padmos, Pieter

    1998-08-01

    In the simulator experiment reported here we examined several parameters influencing the performance of the operator of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This operator was fitted with an HMD which showed images from the camera onboard of the UAV. The camera was slaved to the operator's head so that the camera movements mimicked the head movements. We examined steering performance for two HMD types: the low-end, LCD-based Virtual IO i-glasses, and the high-end, CRT-based n-vision datavisor. Additional parameters were the presence of vehicle references in the images as an indication of camera orientation and the presence of stereo and hyper-stereo. Performance with the n- vision HMD was considerably better than with the i-glasses HMD, a difference which could not be attributed solely to the difference in field-of-view. The presence of vehicle references led to a modest improvement in performance. Stereo and hyper-stereo did not improve performance for this particular task.

  5. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in pest management: Progress in the development of a UAV-deployed mating disruption system for Wisconsin cranberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent a powerful new tool for agriculture. Currently, UAVs are used almost exclusively as crop reconnaissance devices (“eyes in the sky”), not as pest control delivery systems. Research in Wisconsin cranberries is taking UAVs in a new direction. The Steffan and Lu...

  6. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in pest management: Progress in the development of a UAV-deployed mating disruption system for Wisconsin cranberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hold significant promise for agriculture. Currently, UAVs are being employed for various reconnaissance purposes (“eyes in the sky”), but not as pest control delivery systems. Research in Wisconsin cranberries is taking UAVs in a new direction. The Steffan and Luck La...

  7. An improved artificial bee colony algorithm based on balance-evolution strategy for unmanned combat aerial vehicle path planning.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai; Gong, Li-gang; Yang, Wen-lun

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) have been of great interest to military organizations throughout the world due to their outstanding capabilities to operate in dangerous or hazardous environments. UCAV path planning aims to obtain an optimal flight route with the threats and constraints in the combat field well considered. In this work, a novel artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm improved by a balance-evolution strategy (BES) is applied in this optimization scheme. In this new algorithm, convergence information during the iteration is fully utilized to manipulate the exploration/exploitation accuracy and to pursue a balance between local exploitation and global exploration capabilities. Simulation results confirm that BE-ABC algorithm is more competent for the UCAV path planning scheme than the conventional ABC algorithm and two other state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms. PMID:24790555

  8. Development and Implementation of a Hardware In-the-Loop Test Bed for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Control Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyangweso, Emmanuel; Bole, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Successful prediction and management of battery life using prognostic algorithms through ground and flight tests is important for performance evaluation of electrical systems. This paper details the design of test beds suitable for replicating loading profiles that would be encountered in deployed electrical systems. The test bed data will be used to develop and validate prognostic algorithms for predicting battery discharge time and battery failure time. Online battery prognostic algorithms will enable health management strategies. The platform used for algorithm demonstration is the EDGE 540T electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The fully designed test beds developed and detailed in this paper can be used to conduct battery life tests by controlling current and recording voltage and temperature to develop a model that makes a prediction of end-of-charge and end-of-life of the system based on rapid state of health (SOH) assessment.

  9. Multi-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Cooperative Fault Detection Employing Differential Global Positioning (DGPS), Inertial and Vision Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Heredia, Guillermo; Caballero, Fernando; Maza, Iván; Merino, Luis; Viguria, Antidio; Ollero, Aníbal

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a method to increase the reliability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sensor Fault Detection and Identification (FDI) in a multi-UAV context. Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and inertial sensors are used for sensor FDI in each UAV. The method uses additional position estimations that augment individual UAV FDI system. These additional estimations are obtained using images from the same planar scene taken from two different UAVs. Since accuracy and noise level of the estimation depends on several factors, dynamic replanning of the multi-UAV team can be used to obtain a better estimation in case of faults caused by slow growing errors of absolute position estimation that cannot be detected by using local FDI in the UAVs. Experimental results with data from two real UAVs are also presented. PMID:22400008

  10. Nonlinear automatic landing control of unmanned aerial vehicles on moving platforms via a 3D laser radar

    SciTech Connect

    Hervas, Jaime Rubio; Tang, Hui; Reyhanoglu, Mahmut

    2014-12-10

    This paper presents a motion tracking and control system for automatically landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on an oscillating platform using Laser Radar (LADAR) observations. The system itself is assumed to be mounted on a ship deck. A full nonlinear mathematical model is first introduced for the UAV. The ship motion is characterized by a Fourier transform based method which includes a realistic characterization of the sea waves. LADAR observation models are introduced and an algorithm to process those observations for yielding the relative state between the vessel and the UAV is presented, from which the UAV's state relative to an inertial frame can be obtained and used for feedback purposes. A sliding mode control algorithm is derived for tracking a landing trajectory defined by a set of desired waypoints. An extended Kalman filter (EKF) is proposed to account for process and observation noises in the design of a state estimator. The effectiveness of the control algorithm is illustrated through a simulation example.

  11. Modeling and Inverse Controller Design for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Based on the Self-Organizing Map

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cho, Jeongho; Principe, Jose C.; Erdogmus, Deniz; Motter, Mark A.

    2005-01-01

    The next generation of aircraft will have dynamics that vary considerably over the operating regime. A single controller will have difficulty to meet the design specifications. In this paper, a SOM-based local linear modeling scheme of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is developed to design a set of inverse controllers. The SOM selects the operating regime depending only on the embedded output space information and avoids normalization of the input data. Each local linear model is associated with a linear controller, which is easy to design. Switching of the controllers is done synchronously with the active local linear model that tracks the different operating conditions. The proposed multiple modeling and control strategy has been successfully tested in a simulator that models the LoFLYTE UAV.

  12. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm Based on Balance-Evolution Strategy for Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Path Planning

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Li-gang; Yang, Wen-lun

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) have been of great interest to military organizations throughout the world due to their outstanding capabilities to operate in dangerous or hazardous environments. UCAV path planning aims to obtain an optimal flight route with the threats and constraints in the combat field well considered. In this work, a novel artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm improved by a balance-evolution strategy (BES) is applied in this optimization scheme. In this new algorithm, convergence information during the iteration is fully utilized to manipulate the exploration/exploitation accuracy and to pursue a balance between local exploitation and global exploration capabilities. Simulation results confirm that BE-ABC algorithm is more competent for the UCAV path planning scheme than the conventional ABC algorithm and two other state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms. PMID:24790555

  13. Nonlinear automatic landing control of unmanned aerial vehicles on moving platforms via a 3D laser radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hervas, Jaime Rubio; Reyhanoglu, Mahmut; Tang, Hui

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents a motion tracking and control system for automatically landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on an oscillating platform using Laser Radar (LADAR) observations. The system itself is assumed to be mounted on a ship deck. A full nonlinear mathematical model is first introduced for the UAV. The ship motion is characterized by a Fourier transform based method which includes a realistic characterization of the sea waves. LADAR observation models are introduced and an algorithm to process those observations for yielding the relative state between the vessel and the UAV is presented, from which the UAV's state relative to an inertial frame can be obtained and used for feedback purposes. A sliding mode control algorithm is derived for tracking a landing trajectory defined by a set of desired waypoints. An extended Kalman filter (EKF) is proposed to account for process and observation noises in the design of a state estimator. The effectiveness of the control algorithm is illustrated through a simulation example.

  14. Piezo-stack vortex generators for boundary layer control of a delta wing micro-aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mystkowski, Arkadiusz

    2013-11-01

    This paper presents an idea for the control of flow separation over solid surfaces by piezo-stack vortex generators. The vortex generators are small vibrating plates attached to the delta wing surface. A model of the micro-aerial vehicle (MAV) controlled by vortex piezo-generators is presented. The vortex generators are applied to produce the appropriate aerodynamical forces and moments controlling the flight of the aircraft. The efficiency of the vortex generators is proved by the wind tunnel test results. The oscillatory added lift and drag coefficients versus angle of attack are presented. The optimal vortex generator amplitude and frequency are investigated. Boundary layer control (BLC) for delta wing micro-aircraft increases the manoeuvrability and performance of the MAV.

  15. Multi-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Cooperative Fault Detection Employing Differential Global Positioning (DGPS), Inertial and Vision Sensors.

    PubMed

    Heredia, Guillermo; Caballero, Fernando; Maza, Iván; Merino, Luis; Viguria, Antidio; Ollero, Aníbal

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a method to increase the reliability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sensor Fault Detection and Identification (FDI) in a multi-UAV context. Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and inertial sensors are used for sensor FDI in each UAV. The method uses additional position estimations that augment individual UAV FDI system. These additional estimations are obtained using images from the same planar scene taken from two different UAVs. Since accuracy and noise level of the estimation depends on several factors, dynamic replanning of the multi-UAV team can be used to obtain a better estimation in case of faults caused by slow growing errors of absolute position estimation that cannot be detected by using local FDI in the UAVs. Experimental results with data from two real UAVs are also presented. PMID:22400008

  16. Modeling and inverse controller design for an unmanned aerial vehicle based on the self-organizing map.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jeongho; Principe, Jose C; Erdogmus, Deniz; Motter, Mark A

    2006-03-01

    The next generation of aircraft will have dynamics that vary considerably over the operating regime. A single controller will have difficulty to meet the design specifications. In this paper, a self-organizing map (SOM)-based local linear modeling scheme of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is developed to design a set of inverse controllers. The SOM selects the operating regime depending only on the embedded output space information and avoids normalization of the input data. Each local linear model is associated with a linear controller, which is easy to design. Switching of the controllers is done synchronously with the active local linear model that tracks the different operating conditions. The proposed multiple modeling and control strategy has been successfully tested in a simulator that models the LoFLYTE UAV. PMID:16566471

  17. A Study of the Effects of Large Scale Gust Generation in a Small Scale Atmospheric Wind Tunnel: Application to Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadman, Jason; Mohseni, Kamran

    2009-11-01

    Modern technology operating in the atmospheric boundary layer could benefit from more accurate wind tunnel testing. While scaled atmospheric boundary layer tunnels have been well developed, tunnels replicating portions of the turbulence of the atmospheric boundary layer at full scale are a comparatively new concept. Testing at full-scale Reynolds numbers with full-scale turbulence in an ``atmospheric wind tunnel'' is sought. Many programs could utilize such a tool including that of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) and other unmanned aircraft, the wind energy industry, fuel efficient vehicles, and the study of bird and insect fight. The construction of an active ``gust generator'' for a new atmospheric tunnel is reviewed and the turbulence it generates is measured utilizing single and cross hot wires. Results from this grid are compared to atmospheric turbulence and it is shown that various gust strengths can be produced corresponding to days ranging from calm to quite gusty. An initial test is performed in the atmospheric wind tunnel whereby the effects of various turbulence conditions on transition and separation on the upper surface of a MAV wing is investigated using oil flow visualization.

  18. Terminal configured vehicle program: Test facilities guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The terminal configured vehicle (TCV) program was established to conduct research and to develop and evaluate aircraft and flight management system technology concepts that will benefit conventional take off and landing operations in the terminal area. Emphasis is placed on the development of operating methods for the highly automated environment anticipated in the future. The program involves analyses, simulation, and flight experiments. Flight experiments are conducted using a modified Boeing 737 airplane equipped with highly flexible display and control equipment and an aft flight deck for research purposes. The experimental systems of the Boeing 737 are described including the flight control computer systems, the navigation/guidance system, the control and command panel, and the electronic display system. The ground based facilities used in the program are described including the visual motion simulator, the fixed base simulator, the verification and validation laboratory, and the radio frequency anechoic facility.

  19. The reusable launch vehicle technology program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, S.

    Today's launch systems have major shortcomings that will increase in significance in the future, and thus are principal drivers for seeking major improvements in space transportation. They are too costly; insufficiently reliable, safe, and operable; and increasingly losing market share to international competition. For the United States to continue its leadership in the human exploration and wide ranging utilization of space, the first order of business must be to achieve low cost, reliable transportatin to Earth orbit. NASA's Access to Space Study, in 1993, recommended the development of a fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) rocket vehicle as an Agency goal. The goal of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology program is to mature the technologies essential for a next-generation reusable launch system capable of reliably serving National space transportation needs at substantially reduced costs. The primary objectives of the RLV technology program are to (1) mature the technologies required for the next-generation system, (2) demonstrate the capability to achieve low development and operational cost, and rapid launch turnaround times and (3) reduce business and technical risks to encourage significant private investment in the commercial development and operation of the next-generation system. Developing and demonstrating the technologies required for a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket is a focus of the program becuase past studies indicate that it has the best potential for achieving the lowest space access cost while acting as an RLV technology driver (since it also encompasses the technology requirements of reusable rocket vehicles in general).

  20. The reusable launch vehicle technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, S.

    1995-01-01

    Today's launch systems have major shortcomings that will increase in significance in the future, and thus are principal drivers for seeking major improvements in space transportation. They are too costly; insufficiently reliable, safe, and operable; and increasingly losing market share to international competition. For the United States to continue its leadership in the human exploration and wide ranging utilization of space, the first order of business must be to achieve low cost, reliable transportatin to Earth orbit. NASA's Access to Space Study, in 1993, recommended the development of a fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) rocket vehicle as an Agency goal. The goal of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology program is to mature the technologies essential for a next-generation reusable launch system capable of reliably serving National space transportation needs at substantially reduced costs. The primary objectives of the RLV technology program are to (1) mature the technologies required for the next-generation system, (2) demonstrate the capability to achieve low development and operational cost, and rapid launch turnaround times and (3) reduce business and technical risks to encourage significant private investment in the commercial development and operation of the next-generation system. Developing and demonstrating the technologies required for a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket is a focus of the program becuase past studies indicate that it has the best potential for achieving the lowest space access cost while acting as an RLV technology driver (since it also encompasses the technology requirements of reusable rocket vehicles in general).

  1. Overview of Sandia's electric vehicle battery program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, R. P.

    1993-11-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is actively involved in several projects which are part of an overall Electric Vehicle Battery Program. Part of this effort is funded by the United States Department of Energy/Office of Transportation Technologies (DOE/OTT) and the remainder is funded through the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC). DOE/OTT supported activities include research and development of zinc/air and sodium/sulfur battery technologies as well as double layer capacitor (DLC) R&D. Projects in the USABC funded work include lithium/polymer electrolyte (LPE) R&D, sodium/sulfur activities and battery test and evaluation.

  2. 2012 DOE Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review

    SciTech Connect

    2012-10-26

    The 2012 DOE Hydrogen Program and Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting was held May 14-18, 2012 in Crystal City, Virginia. The review encompassed all of the work done by the Hydrogen Program and the Vehicle Technologies Program: a total of 309 individual activities were reviewed for Vehicle Technologies, by a total of 189 reviewers. A total of 1,473 individual review responses were received for the technical reviews.

  3. Multi-Objective Algorithm for Blood Supply via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to the Wounded in an Emergency Situation.

    PubMed

    Wen, Tingxi; Zhang, Zhongnan; Wong, Kelvin K L

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been widely used in many industries. In the medical environment, especially in some emergency situations, UAVs play an important role such as the supply of medicines and blood with speed and efficiency. In this paper, we study the problem of multi-objective blood supply by UAVs in such emergency situations. This is a complex problem that includes maintenance of the supply blood's temperature model during transportation, the UAVs' scheduling and routes' planning in case of multiple sites requesting blood, and limited carrying capacity. Most importantly, we need to study the blood's temperature change due to the external environment, the heating agent (or refrigerant) and time factor during transportation, and propose an optimal method for calculating the mixing proportion of blood and appendage in different circumstances and delivery conditions. Then, by introducing the idea of transportation appendage into the traditional Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP), this new problem is proposed according to the factors of distance and weight. Algorithmically, we use the combination of decomposition-based multi-objective evolutionary algorithm and local search method to perform a series of experiments on the CVRP public dataset. By comparing our technique with the traditional ones, our algorithm can obtain better optimization results and time performance. PMID:27163361

  4. Large-aperture multiple quantum well modulating retroreflector for free-space optical data transfer on unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbreath, G. Charmaine; Rabinovich, William S.; Meehan, Timothy J.; Vilcheck, Michael J.; Mahon, Rita; Burris, Ray; Ferraro, Mina; Sokolsky, Ilene; Vasquez, John A.; Bovais, Chris S.; Cochrell, Kerry; Goins, Kim C.; Barbehenn, Robin; Katzer, D. Scott; Ikossi-Anastasiou, Kiki; Montes, Marcos J.

    2001-07-01

    We describe progress in the development of a multiple quantum well modulating retroreflector, including a description of recent demonstrations of an infrared data link between a small rotary-wing unmanned airborne vehicle and a ground-based laser interrogator using the device designed and fabricated at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Modulating retroreflector systems couple an optical retroreflector, such as a corner cube, and an electro-optic shutter to allow two-way optical communications using a laser, telescope, and pointer-tracker on only one platform. The NRL modulating retroreflector uses a semiconductor-based multiple quantum well shutter capable of modulation rates greater than 10 Mbps, depending on link characteristics. The technology enables the use of near-infrared frequencies, which is well known to provide covert communications immune to frequency allocation problems. This specific device has the added advantage of being compact, lightweight, covert, and requires very low paper. Up to an order of magnitude in onboard power can be saved using a small array of these devices instead of the radio frequency equivalent. In the described demonstration, a Mbps optical link to an unmanned aerial vehicle in flight at a range of 100 to 200 feet is shown. Near real-time compressed video was also demonstrated at the Mbps level and is described.

  5. Multi-Objective Algorithm for Blood Supply via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to the Wounded in an Emergency Situation

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Tingxi; Zhang, Zhongnan; Wong, Kelvin K. L.

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been widely used in many industries. In the medical environment, especially in some emergency situations, UAVs play an important role such as the supply of medicines and blood with speed and efficiency. In this paper, we study the problem of multi-objective blood supply by UAVs in such emergency situations. This is a complex problem that includes maintenance of the supply blood’s temperature model during transportation, the UAVs’ scheduling and routes’ planning in case of multiple sites requesting blood, and limited carrying capacity. Most importantly, we need to study the blood’s temperature change due to the external environment, the heating agent (or refrigerant) and time factor during transportation, and propose an optimal method for calculating the mixing proportion of blood and appendage in different circumstances and delivery conditions. Then, by introducing the idea of transportation appendage into the traditional Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP), this new problem is proposed according to the factors of distance and weight. Algorithmically, we use the combination of decomposition-based multi-objective evolutionary algorithm and local search method to perform a series of experiments on the CVRP public dataset. By comparing our technique with the traditional ones, our algorithm can obtain better optimization results and time performance. PMID:27163361

  6. An algorithm of real-time vehicle detection with low altitude aerial video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wenlong; Tang, Luliang; Li, Qingquan

    2010-11-01

    Currently, the conflict between vehicle and road is becoming increasingly serious, how to implement advanced technology to obtain traffic information fast and accurately becomes a key point to upgrade the level of transportation management and services. It is an important expansion of conventional technology that the dynamic traffic information is obtained rapidly by the low-altitude aircraft. It is low cost and suitable for collecting a wide range of traffic information. This paper use low-altitude airship as the platform, and several sensors(such as GPS,CCD, video encoder and COFDM wireless transmission equipment) are integrated into the aircraft compose a low altitude remote sensing platform to obtain the high-definition traffic video data. This paper aim at the video proposed a vehicle detection method in the complex and varying background. This method is capable of detecting moving and static vehicles accurately on the road in real time without any supplementary information.

  7. Electric and hybrid vehicle program, site operator program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, J. F.

    1992-01-01

    Activities during the first quarter centered around integrating the new participants into the program. A meeting of the Site Operators, in conjunction with the first meeting of the Electric Vehicle Users Task Force, was held in October. A second meeting of the Task Force was held in December. During these meetings the new contractual requirements were explained to the participants. The Site Operator Data Base was distributed and explained. The Site Operators will begin using the data base in December 1991 and will supply the operating and maintenance data to the INEL on a monthly basis. The Operators requested that they be able to have access to the data of the other Operators and it was agreed that they would be provided this on floppy disk monthly from the INEL. Presentations were made to the DOE sponsored Automotive Technology Development-Contractors Coordination Meeting in October. An overview of the program was given by EG&G. Representatives from Arizona Public Service, Texas A&M University, and York Technical College provided details of their programs and the results and future goals. Work was begun on commercializing the Versatile Data Acquisition System (VDAS). A Scope of Work has been written for a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to be submitted to the USABC. If implemented, the CRADA will provide funds for the development and commercialization of the VDAS. Participants in the Site Operator Program will test prototypes of the system within their fleets, making the data available to the USABC and other interested organizations. The USABC will provide recommendations on the data to be collected. Major activities by the majority of the Operators were involved with the continued operation and demonstration of existing vehicles. In addition, several of the operators were involved in identifying and locating vehicles to be added to their fleets. A list of the vehicles in each Site Operator fleet is included as Appendix A to this report.

  8. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program; Site Operator Program

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, J.F.

    1992-01-01

    Activities during the first quarter centered around integrating the new participants into the program. A meeting of the Site Operators, in conjunction with the first meeting of the Electric Vehicle Users Task Force, was held in October. A second meeting of the Task Force was held in December. During these meetings the new contractual requirements were explained to the participants. The Site Operator Data Base was distributed and explained. The Site Operators will begin using the data base in December 1991 and will supply the operating and maintenance data to the INEL on a monthly basis. The Operators requested that they be able to have access to the data of the other Operators and it was agreed that they would be provided this on floppy disk monthly from the INEL. Presentations were made to the DOE sponsored Automotive Technology Development-Contractors Coordination Meeting in October. An overview of the program was given by EG G. Representatives from Arizona Public Service, Texas A M University, and York Technical College provided details of their programs and the results and future goals. Work was begun on commercializing the Versatile Data Acquisition System (VDAS). A Scope of Work has been written for a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to be submitted to the USABC. If implemented, the CRADA will provide funds for the development and commercialization of the VDAS. Participants in the Site Operator Program will test prototypes of the system within their fleets, making the data available to the USABC and other interested organizations. The USABC will provide recommendations on the data to be collected. Major activities by the majority of the Operators were involved with the continued operation and demonstration of existing vehicles. In addition, several of the operators were involved in identifying and locating vehicles to be added to their fleets. A list of the vehicles in each Site Operator fleet is included as Appendix A to this report.

  9. Robust crack detection for unmanned aerial vehicles inspection in an a-contrario decision framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aldea, Emanuel; Le Hégarat-Mascle, Sylvie

    2015-11-01

    We are interested in the performance of currently available algorithms for the detection of cracks in the specific context of aerial inspection, which is characterized by image quality degradation. We focus on two widely used families of algorithms based on minimal cost path analysis and on image percolation, and we highlight their limitations in this context. Furthermore, we propose an improved strategy based on a-contrario modeling which is able to withstand significant motion blur due to the absence of various thresholds which are usually required in order to cope with varying crack appearances and with varying levels of degradation. The experiments are performed on real image datasets to which we applied complex blur, and the results show that the proposed strategy is effective, while other methods which perform well on good quality data experience significant difficulties with degraded images.

  10. Determination of the effectiveness of commercial-off-the-shelf radar in the cuing of unmanned aerial vehicle pan-tilt-zoom camera systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Patrick Joseph

    This study examined the use of low-cost commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) radar in support of the cuing of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) optical payload systems. Cancellation of the U.S. Navy's vertical take off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (VTUAV) program left the Navy without a UAV with radar sensor capability. Using a UAV PTZ optical payload and a COTS radar, this study collected specific time difference measurements between PTZ optical payload searches without radar cuing and searches with radar cuing. In every test run conducted, searches with radar cuing reduced PTZ optical payload detection time. The study showed that a low-cost COTS radar mounted on a small UAV can meet some of the radar requirements lost with cancellation of the VTUAV program. The study results could have a direct impact on myriad of U.S. Navy and other U.S. government surveillance requirements, especially the monitoring of U.S. coastal waters in support of homeland security goals and objectives.

  11. Vision based control of unmanned aerial vehicles with applications to an autonomous four-rotor helicopter, quadrotor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altug, Erdinc

    Our work proposes a vision-based stabilization and output tracking control method for a model helicopter. This is a part of our effort to produce a rotorcraft based autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Due to the desired maneuvering ability, a four-rotor helicopter has been chosen as the testbed. On previous research on flying vehicles, vision is usually used as a secondary sensor. Unlike previous research, our goal is to use visual feedback as the main sensor, which is not only responsible for detecting where the ground objects are but also for helicopter localization. A novel two-camera method has been introduced for estimating the full six degrees of freedom (DOF) pose of the helicopter. This two-camera system consists of a pan-tilt ground camera and an onboard camera. The pose estimation algorithm is compared through simulation to other methods, such as four-point, and stereo method and is shown to be less sensitive to feature detection errors. Helicopters are highly unstable flying vehicles; although this is good for agility, it makes the control harder. To build an autonomous helicopter, two methods of control are studied---one using a series of mode-based, feedback linearizing controllers and the other using a back-stepping control law. Various simulations with 2D and 3D models demonstrate the implementation of these controllers. We also show global convergence of the 3D quadrotor controller even with large calibration errors or presence of large errors on the image plane. Finally, we present initial flight experiments where the proposed pose estimation algorithm and non-linear control techniques have been implemented on a remote-controlled helicopter. The helicopter was restricted with a tether to vertical, yaw motions and limited x and y translations.

  12. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle shape, flight path and camera type for waterfowl surveys: disturbance effects and species recognition.

    PubMed

    McEvoy, John F; Hall, Graham P; McDonald, Paul G

    2016-01-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for ecological research has grown rapidly in recent years, but few studies have assessed the disturbance impacts of these tools on focal subjects, particularly when observing easily disturbed species such as waterfowl. In this study we assessed the level of disturbance that a range of UAV shapes and sizes had on free-living, non-breeding waterfowl surveyed in two sites in eastern Australia between March and May 2015, as well as the capability of airborne digital imaging systems to provide adequate resolution for unambiguous species identification of these taxa. We found little or no obvious disturbance effects on wild, mixed-species flocks of waterfowl when UAVs were flown at least 60m above the water level (fixed wing models) or 40m above individuals (multirotor models). Disturbance in the form of swimming away from the UAV through to leaving the water surface and flying away from the UAV was visible at lower altitudes and when fixed-wing UAVs either approached subjects directly or rapidly changed altitude and/or direction near animals. Using tangential approach flight paths that did not cause disturbance, commercially available onboard optical equipment was able to capture images of sufficient quality to identify waterfowl and even much smaller taxa such as swallows. Our results show that with proper planning of take-off and landing sites, flight paths and careful UAV model selection, UAVs can provide an excellent tool for accurately surveying wild waterfowl populations and provide archival data with fewer logistical issues than traditional methods such as manned aerial surveys. PMID:27020132

  13. Experimental observation and assessment of ice conditions with a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle over Yellow River, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jiayuan; Shu, Li; Zuo, Hang; Zhang, Baosen

    2012-01-01

    Due to its unique geographical location and regional climate, the Yellow River and its tributaries are prone to ice jams almost every spring. Ice jams can cause levees to burst, leading to severe flooding, property damage, and human casualties. Hence, there is an urgent need to carry out observations of ice conditions and make risk assessments of ice jam occurrence. Field observation is the most reliable technique, but it is usually too expensive and time-consuming, which has led to the evaluation of applied remote sensing for data capture and analysis. Owing to the factors of timeliness, image resolution, human safety, and cost, satellite or manned aerial remote sensing cannot fully meet the requirements of ice condition observation. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing system is proposed for the collection of river ice imagery, providing the benefits of low cost, flexible launch and landing logistics, safety, and appropriate hyperspatial image resolution. One Inner Mongolian segment of the Yellow River was chosen as a test area to demonstrate key technologies and specific procedures of observation and assessment of ice conditions using the UAV system. The specific UAV remote sensing system and its components are introduced along with the procedures of UAV operation and imagery acquisition. Image preprocessing techniques and ice information extraction are described in detail followed by analysis and risk assessment of the ice conditions based on the resulting panoramic imagery. Results prove the feasibility and effectiveness of applying the fixed-wing UAV system to rapid observation and risk assessment of ice jam formation over the Yellow River under harsh weather conditions including low temperatures and strong winds.

  14. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle shape, flight path and camera type for waterfowl surveys: disturbance effects and species recognition

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Graham P.; McDonald, Paul G.

    2016-01-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for ecological research has grown rapidly in recent years, but few studies have assessed the disturbance impacts of these tools on focal subjects, particularly when observing easily disturbed species such as waterfowl. In this study we assessed the level of disturbance that a range of UAV shapes and sizes had on free-living, non-breeding waterfowl surveyed in two sites in eastern Australia between March and May 2015, as well as the capability of airborne digital imaging systems to provide adequate resolution for unambiguous species identification of these taxa. We found little or no obvious disturbance effects on wild, mixed-species flocks of waterfowl when UAVs were flown at least 60m above the water level (fixed wing models) or 40m above individuals (multirotor models). Disturbance in the form of swimming away from the UAV through to leaving the water surface and flying away from the UAV was visible at lower altitudes and when fixed-wing UAVs either approached subjects directly or rapidly changed altitude and/or direction near animals. Using tangential approach flight paths that did not cause disturbance, commercially available onboard optical equipment was able to capture images of sufficient quality to identify waterfowl and even much smaller taxa such as swallows. Our results show that with proper planning of take-off and landing sites, flight paths and careful UAV model selection, UAVs can provide an excellent tool for accurately surveying wild waterfowl populations and provide archival data with fewer logistical issues than traditional methods such as manned aerial surveys. PMID:27020132

  15. Highway Safety Program Manual: Volume 2: Motor Vehicle Registration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT), Washington, DC.

    Volume 2 of the 19-volume Highway Safety Program Manual (which provides guidance to State and local governments on preferred highway safety practices) describes the purposes and specific objectives of motor vehicle registration. Federal authority for vehicle registration and general policies regarding vehicle registration systems are outlined.…

  16. Measuring Sunflower Nitrogen Status from AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Based System and AN on the Ground Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agüera, F.; Carvajal, F.; Pérez, M.

    2011-09-01

    Precision agriculture recognizes the inherent spatial variability associated with soil characteristics, land morphology and crop growth, and uses this information to prescribe the most appropriate management strategy on a site-specific basis. To reach this task, the most important information related with crop growth is nutrient status, weed infestation, disease and pet affectation and water management. The application of fertilizer nitrogen to field crops is of critical importance because it determines plant's gro wth, vigour, colour and yield. Furthermore, nitrogen has been observed as a nutrient with high spatial variability in a single field, related to its high mobility. Some previous works have shown that is possible to measure crop nitrogen status with optical instruments. Since most leaf nitrogen is contained in chlorophyll molecules, there is a strong relationship between leaf nitrogen and leaf chlorophyll content, which is the basis for predicting crop nitrogen status by measuring leaf reflectance. So, sensors that can easily monitor crop nitrogen amount throughout the growing season at a high resolution to allow producers to reach their production goals, will give useful information to prescribe a crop management on a site-specific basis. Sunflower is a crop which is taking importance again because it can be used both for food and biofuel purposes, and it is widely cultivated in the South of Spain and other European countries.The aim of this work was to compare an index related with sunflower nitrogen status, deduced from multispectral images taken from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), with optical data collected with a ground-based platform.An ADC Lite Tetracam digital cam was mounted on a md4-200 Microdrones to take pictures of a sunflower field during the crop season. ADC Lite Tetracam is a single sensor digital camera designed for capture of visible light wavelength longer than 520 nm and near-infrared wavelength up to 920 nm. The md4-200 Microdrones is an UAV which can be programmed to follow a route defined by several way-points and actions. The ground-based device was a Pacific Vision, Inc. multispectral radiometer. Four images with both systems were taken during the crop season and an index related with nitrogen crop status was calculated from them and compared in a sunflower field that had four irrigation treatments and eight nitrogen application rates, resulting in 32 plots of 7 m by 3.4 m, with a plant density of 7.1 plants m-2. Calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from both measurement systems was a good indicator of nitrogen applied, but the UAV-based system provided a better estimate than ground-based system because in the first system was possible to eliminate the soil and shadows for calculating the index..

  17. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Towards Flight Autonomy: Vision-Based Horizon Detection for Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nechyba, Michael C.; Ettinger, Scott M.; Ifju, Peter G.; Wazak, Martin

    2002-01-01

    Recently substantial progress has been made towards design building and testifying remotely piloted Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). This progress in overcoming the aerodynamic obstacles to flight at very small scales has, unfortunately, not been matched by similar progress in autonomous MAV flight. Thus, we propose a robust, vision-based horizon detection algorithm as the first step towards autonomous MAVs. In this paper, we first motivate the use of computer vision for the horizon detection task by examining the flight of birds (biological MAVs) and considering other practical factors. We then describe our vision-based horizon detection algorithm, which has been demonstrated at 30 Hz with over 99.9% correct horizon identification, over terrain that includes roads, buildings large and small, meadows, wooded areas, and a lake. We conclude with some sample horizon detection results and preview a companion paper, where the work discussed here forms the core of a complete autonomous flight stability system.

  18. Electric and hybrid vehicle program; Site Operator Program

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, J.F.

    1992-05-01

    Activities during the second quarter included the second meeting of the Site Operators in Phoenix, AZ in late April. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Solar and Electric 500 Race activities. Delivery of vehicles ordered previously has begun, although two of the operators are experiencing some delays in receiving their vehicles. Public demonstration activities continue, with an apparent increasing level of awareness and interest being displayed by the public. Initial problems with the Site Operator Database have been corrected and revised copies of the program have been supplied to the Program participants. Operating and Maintenance data is being supplied and submitted to INEL on a monthly basis. Interest in the Site Operator Program is being reflected in requests for information from several organizations from across the country, representing a wide diversity of interests. These organizations have been referred to existing Site Operators with the explanation that the program will not be adding new participants, but that most of the existing organizations are willing to work with other groups. The exception to this was the addition of Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to the program. PEPCO has been awarded a subcontract to operate and maintain the DOE owned G-Van and Escort located in Washington, DC. They will provide data on these vehicles, as well as a Solectria Force which PEPCO has purchased. The Task Force intends to be actively involved in the infrastructure development in a wide range of areas. These include, among others, personnel development, safety, charging, and servicing. Work continues in these areas. York Technical College (YORK) has completed the draft outline for the EV Technician course. This is being circulated to organizations around the country for comments. Kansas State University (KSU) is working with a private sector company to develop a energy dispensing meter for opportunity charging in public areas.

  19. Electric and hybrid vehicle program; Site Operator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, J. F.

    1992-05-01

    Activities during the second quarter included the second meeting of the Site Operators in Phoenix, AZ in late April. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Solar and Electric 500 Race activities. Delivery of vehicles ordered previously has begun, although two of the operators are experiencing some delays in receiving their vehicles. Public demonstration activities continue, with an apparent increasing level of awareness and interest being displayed by the public. Initial problems with the Site Operator Database have been corrected and revised copies of the program have been supplied to the program participants. Operating and Maintenance data is being supplied and submitted to INEL on a monthly basis. Interest in the Site Operator Program is being reflected in requests for information from several organizations from across the country, representing a wide diversity of interests. These organizations have been referred to existing Site Operators with the explanation that the program will not be adding new participants, but that most of the existing organizations are willing to work with other groups. The exception to this was the addition of Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to the program. PEPCO has been awarded a subcontract to operate and maintain the DOE owned G-Van and Escort located in Washington, DC. They will provide data on these vehicles, as well as a Solectria Force which PEPCO has purchased. The Task Force intends to be actively involved in the infrastructure development in a wide range of areas. These include, among others, personnel development, safety, charging, and servicing. Work continues in these areas. York Technical College (YORK) has completed the draft outline for the EV Technician course. This is being circulated to organizations around the country for comments. Kansas State University (KSU) is working with a private sector company to develop a energy dispensing meter for opportunity charging in public areas.

  20. Electric Vehicle Service Personnel Training Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bernstein, Gerald

    2013-06-21

    As the share of hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), electric (EV) and fuel-cell (FCV) vehicles grows in the national automotive fleet, an entirely new set of diagnostic and technical skills needs to be obtained by the maintenance workforce. Electrically-powered vehicles require new diagnostic tools, technique and vocabulary when compared to existing internal combustion engine-powered models. While the manufacturers of these new vehicles train their own maintenance personnel, training for students, independent working technicians and fleet operators is less focused and organized. This DOE-funded effort provided training to these three target groups to help expand availability of skills and to provide more competition (and lower consumer cost) in the maintenance of these hybrid- and electric-powered vehicles. Our approach was to start locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the densest markets in the United States for these types of automobiles. We then expanded training to the Los Angeles area and then out-of-state to identify what types of curriculum was appropriate and what types of problems were encountered as training was disseminated. The fact that this effort trained up to 800 individuals with sessions varying from 2- day workshops to full-semester courses is considered a successful outcome. Diverse programs were developed to match unique time availability and educational needs of each of the three target audiences. Several key findings and observations arising from this effort include: • Recognition that hybrid and PHEV training demand is immediate; demand for EV training is starting to emerge; while demand for FCV training is still over the horizon • Hybrid and PHEV training are an excellent starting point for all EV-related training as they introduce all the basic concepts (electric motors, battery management, controllers, vocabulary, testing techniques) that are needed for all EVs, and these skills are in-demand in today’s market. • Faculty training is widely available and can be relatively quickly achieved. Equipment availability (vehicles, specialized tools, diagnostic software and computers) is a bigger challenge for funding-constrained colleges. • A computer-based emulation system that would replicate vehicle and diagnostic software in one package is a training aid that would have widespread benefit, but does not appear to exist. This need is further described at the end of Section 6.5. The benefits of this project are unique to each of the three target audiences. Students have learned skills they will use for the remainder of their careers; independent technicians can now accept customers who they previously needed to turn away due to lack of familiarity with hybrid systems; and fleet maintenance personnel are able to lower costs by undertaking work in-house that they previously needed to outsource. The direct job impact is estimated at 0.75 FTE continuously over the 3 ½ -year duration of the grant.

  1. Near-term hybrid vehicle program, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The preliminary design of a hybrid vehicle which fully meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in the Near Term Hybrid Vehicle Program is documented. Topics addressed include the general layout and styling, the power train specifications with discussion of each major component, vehicle weight and weight breakdown, vehicle performance, measures of energy consumption, and initial cost and ownership cost. Alternative design options considered and their relationship to the design adopted, computer simulation used, and maintenance and reliability considerations are also discussed.

  2. Neural network control of a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for a small unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, Frederick G.

    2005-11-01

    Parallel hybrid-electric propulsion systems would be beneficial for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used for military, homeland security, and disaster-monitoring missions. The benefits, due to the hybrid and electric-only modes, include increased time-on-station and greater range as compared to electric-powered UAVs and stealth modes not available with gasoline-powered UAVs. This dissertation contributes to the research fields of small unmanned aerial vehicles, hybrid-electric propulsion system control, and intelligent control. A conceptual design of a small UAV with a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system is provided. The UAV is intended for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. A conceptual design reveals the trade-offs that must be considered to take advantage of the hybrid-electric propulsion system. The resulting hybrid-electric propulsion system is a two-point design that includes an engine primarily sized for cruise speed and an electric motor and battery pack that are primarily sized for a slower endurance speed. The electric motor provides additional power for take-off, climbing, and acceleration and also serves as a generator during charge-sustaining operation or regeneration. The intelligent control of the hybrid-electric propulsion system is based on an instantaneous optimization algorithm that generates a hyper-plane from the nonlinear efficiency maps for the internal combustion engine, electric motor, and lithium-ion battery pack. The hyper-plane incorporates charge-depletion and charge-sustaining strategies. The optimization algorithm is flexible and allows the operator/user to assign relative importance between the use of gasoline, electricity, and recharging depending on the intended mission. A MATLAB/Simulink model was developed to test the control algorithms. The Cerebellar Model Arithmetic Computer (CMAC) associative memory neural network is applied to the control of the UAVs parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system. The CMAC neural network approximates the hyper-plane generated from the instantaneous optimization algorithm and produces torque commands for the internal combustion engine and electric motor. The CMAC neural network controller saves on the required memory as compared to a large look-up table by two orders of magnitude. The CMAC controller also prevents the need to compute a hyper-plane or complex logic every time step.

  3. Model-Based Building Detection from Low-Cost Optical Sensors Onboard Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karantzalos, K.; Koutsourakis, P.; Kalisperakis, I.; Grammatikopoulos, L.

    2015-08-01

    The automated and cost-effective building detection in ultra high spatial resolution is of major importance for various engineering and smart city applications. To this end, in this paper, a model-based building detection technique has been developed able to extract and reconstruct buildings from UAV aerial imagery and low-cost imaging sensors. In particular, the developed approach through advanced structure from motion, bundle adjustment and dense image matching computes a DSM and a true orthomosaic from the numerous GoPro images which are characterised by important geometric distortions and fish-eye effect. An unsupervised multi-region, graphcut segmentation and a rule-based classification is responsible for delivering the initial multi-class classification map. The DTM is then calculated based on inpaininting and mathematical morphology process. A data fusion process between the detected building from the DSM/DTM and the classification map feeds a grammar-based building reconstruction and scene building are extracted and reconstructed. Preliminary experimental results appear quite promising with the quantitative evaluation indicating detection rates at object level of 88% regarding the correctness and above 75% regarding the detection completeness.

  4. Progress on Platforms, Sensors and Applications with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in soil science and geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anders, Niels; Suomalainen, Juha; Seeger, Manuel; Keesstra, Saskia; Bartholomeus, Harm; Paron, Paolo

    2014-05-01

    The recent increase of performance and endurance of electronically controlled flying platforms, such as multi-copters and fixed-wing airplanes, and decreasing size and weight of different sensors and batteries leads to increasing popularity of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for scientific purposes. Modern workflows that implement UAS include guided flight plan generation, 3D GPS navigation for fully automated piloting, and automated processing with new techniques such as "Structure from Motion" photogrammetry. UAS are often equipped with normal RGB cameras, multi- and hyperspectral sensors, radar, or other sensors, and provide a cheap and flexible solution for creating multi-temporal data sets. UAS revolutionized multi-temporal research allowing new applications related to change analysis and process monitoring. The EGU General Assembly 2014 is hosting a session on platforms, sensors and applications with UAS in soil science and geomorphology. This presentation briefly summarizes the outcome of this session, addressing the current state and future challenges of small-platform data acquisition in soil science and geomorphology.

  5. Lightweight aerial vehicles for monitoring, assessment and mapping of radiation anomalies.

    PubMed

    MacFarlane, J W; Payton, O D; Keatley, A C; Scott, G P T; Pullin, H; Crane, R A; Smilion, M; Popescu, I; Curlea, V; Scott, T B

    2014-10-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) incident released a significant mass of radioactive material into the atmosphere. An estimated 22% of this material fell out over land following the incident. Immediately following the disaster, there was a severe lack of information not only pertaining to the identity of the radioactive material released, but also its distribution as fallout in the surrounding regions. Indeed, emergency aid groups including the UN did not have sufficient location specific radiation data to accurately assign exclusion and evacuation zones surrounding the plant in the days and weeks following the incident. A newly developed instrument to provide rapid and high spatial resolution assessment of radionuclide contamination in the environment is presented. The device consists of a low cost, lightweight, unmanned aerial platform with a microcontroller and integrated gamma spectrometer, GPS and LIDAR. We demonstrate that with this instrument it is possible to rapidly and remotely detect ground-based radiation anomalies with a high spatial resolution (<1 m). Critically, as the device is remotely operated, the user is removed from any unnecessary or unforeseen exposure to elevated levels of radiation. PMID:24949582

  6. Statistical techniques applied to aerial radiometric surveys (STAARS): principal components analysis user's manual. [NURE program

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, C.D.; Pirkle, F.L.; Schmidt, J.S.

    1981-01-01

    A Principal Components Analysis (PCA) has been written to aid in the interpretation of multivariate aerial radiometric data collected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) under the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program. The variations exhibited by these data have been reduced and classified into a number of linear combinations by using the PCA program. The PCA program then generates histograms and outlier maps of the individual variates. Black and white plots can be made on a Calcomp plotter by the application of follow-up programs. All programs referred to in this guide were written for a DEC-10. From this analysis a geologist may begin to interpret the data structure. Insight into geological processes underlying the data may be obtained.

  7. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Vision-Guided Flight Stability and Autonomy for Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ettinger, Scott M.; Nechyba, Michael C.; Ifju, Peter G.; Wazak, Martin

    2002-01-01

    Substantial progress has been made recently towards design building and test-flying remotely piloted Micro Air Vehicle's (MAVs). We seek to complement this progress in overcoming the aerodynamic obstacles to.flight at very small scales with a vision stability and autonomy system. The developed system based on a robust horizon detection algorithm which we discuss in greater detail in a companion paper. In this paper, we first motivate the use of computer vision for MAV autonomy arguing that given current sensor technology, vision may he the only practical approach to the problem. We then briefly review our statistical vision-based horizon detection algorithm, which has been demonstrated at 30Hz with over 99.9% correct horizon identification. Next we develop robust schemes for the detection of extreme MAV attitudes, where no horizon is visible, and for the detection of horizon estimation errors, due to external factors such as video transmission noise. Finally, we discuss our feed-back controller for self-stabilized flight, and report results on vision autonomous flights of duration exceeding ten minutes.

  8. Aerial robotic data acquisition system

    SciTech Connect

    Hofstetter, K.J.; Hayes, D.W.; Pendergast, M.M.; Corban, J.E.

    1993-12-31

    A small, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), equipped with sensors for physical and chemical measurements of remote environments, is described. A miniature helicopter airframe is used as a platform for sensor testing and development. The sensor output is integrated with the flight control system for real-time, interactive, data acquisition and analysis. Pre-programmed flight missions will be flown with several sensors to demonstrate the cost-effective surveillance capabilities of this new technology.

  9. Aerial vehicle with paint for detection of radiological and chemical warfare agents

    DOEpatents

    Farmer, Joseph C.; Brunk, James L.; Day, S. Daniel

    2013-04-02

    A paint that warns of radiological or chemical substances comprising a paint operatively connected to the surface, an indicator material carried by the paint that provides an indication of the radiological or chemical substances, and a thermo-activation material carried by the paint. In one embodiment, a method of warning of radiological or chemical substances comprising the steps of painting a surface with an indicator material, and monitoring the surface for indications of the radiological or chemical substances. In another embodiment, a paint is operatively connected to a vehicle and an indicator material is carried by the paint that provides an indication of the radiological or chemical substances.

  10. Long-term monitoring of a large landslide by using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, Gerald; Schraml, Klaus; Mansberger, Reinfried; Hübl, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    Currently UAVs become more and more important in various scientific areas, including forestry, precision farming, archaeology and hydrology. Using these drones in natural hazards research enables a completely new level of data acquisition being flexible of site, invariant in time, cost-efficient and enabling arbitrary spatial resolution. In this study, a rotary-wing Mini-UAV carrying a DSLR camera was used to acquire time series of overlapping aerial images. These photographs were taken as input to extract Digital Surface Models (DSM) as well as orthophotos in the area of interest. The "Pechgraben" area in Upper Austria has a catchment area of approximately 2 km². Geology is mainly dominated by limestone and sandstone. Caused by heavy rainfalls in the late spring of 2013, an area of about 70 ha began to move towards the village in the valley. In addition to the urgent measures, the slow-moving landslide was monitored approximately every month over a time period of more than 18 months. A detailed documentation of the change process was the result. Moving velocities and height differences were quantified and validated using a dense network of Ground Control Points (GCP). For further analysis, 14 image flights with a total amount of 10.000 photographs were performed to create multi-temporal geodata in in sub-decimeter-resolution for two depicted areas of the landslide. Using a UAV for this application proved to be an excellent choice, as it allows short repetition times, low flying heights and high spatial resolution. Furthermore, the UAV acts almost weather independently as well as highly autonomously. High-quality results can be expected within a few hours after the photo flight. The UAV system performs very well in an alpine environment. Time series of the assessed geodata detect changes in topography and provide a long-term documentation of the measures taken in order to stop the landslide and to prevent infrastructure from damage.

  11. Performance Characterization of a Lithium-ion Gel Polymer Battery Power Supply System for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Concha M.; Manzo, Michelle A.; Logan, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are currently under development for NASA missions, earth sciences, aeronautics, the military, and commercial applications. The design of an all electric power and propulsion system for small UAVs was the focus of a detailed study. Currently, many of these small vehicles are powered by primary (nonrechargeable) lithium-based batteries. While this type of battery is capable of satisfying some of the mission needs, a secondary (rechargeable) battery power supply system that can provide the same functionality as the current system at the same or lower system mass and volume is desired. A study of commercially available secondary battery cell technologies that could provide the desired performance characteristics was performed. Due to the strict mass limitations and wide operating temperature requirements of small UAVs, the only viable cell chemistries were determined to be lithium-ion liquid electrolyte systems and lithium-ion gel polymer electrolyte systems. Two lithium-ion gel polymer cell designs were selected as candidates and were tested using potential load profiles for UAV applications. Because lithium primary batteries have a higher specific energy and energy density, for the same mass and volume allocation, the secondary batteries resulted in shorter flight times than the primary batteries typically provide. When the batteries were operated at lower ambient temperatures (0 to -20 C), flight times were even further reduced. Despite the reduced flight times demonstrated, for certain UAV applications, the secondary batteries operated within the acceptable range of flight times at room temperature and above. The results of this testing indicate that a secondary battery power supply system can provide some benefits over the primary battery power supply system. A UAV can be operated for hundreds of flights using a secondary battery power supply system that provides the combined benefits of rechargeability and an inherently safer chemistry.

  12. Highway Safety Program Manual: Volume 1: Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT), Washington, DC.

    Volume 1 of the 19-volume Highway Safety Program Manual (which provides guidance to State and local governments on preferred highway safety practices)focuses on periodic motor vehicle inspection by: (1) outlining the purpose and objectives of vehicle inspection, (2) establishing Federal authority for the program, and (3) citing general and…

  13. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Aerial Vehicle Mission and Design Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. With these two additional gases, the potential for fueling small and large fleets of additional exploration and exploitation vehicles exists. The mining aerospacecraft (ASC) could fly through the outer planet atmospheres, for global weather observations, localized storm or other disturbance investigations, wind speed measurements, polar observations, etc. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points.

  14. High-Throughput 3-D Monitoring of Agricultural-Tree Plantations with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Technology

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; López-Granados, Francisca; Serrano, Nicolás; Arquero, Octavio; Peña, José M.

    2015-01-01

    The geometric features of agricultural trees such as canopy area, tree height and crown volume provide useful information about plantation status and crop production. However, these variables are mostly estimated after a time-consuming and hard field work and applying equations that treat the trees as geometric solids, which produce inconsistent results. As an alternative, this work presents an innovative procedure for computing the 3-dimensional geometric features of individual trees and tree-rows by applying two consecutive phases: 1) generation of Digital Surface Models with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology and 2) use of object-based image analysis techniques. Our UAV-based procedure produced successful results both in single-tree and in tree-row plantations, reporting up to 97% accuracy on area quantification and minimal deviations compared to in-field estimations of tree heights and crown volumes. The maps generated could be used to understand the linkages between tree grown and field-related factors or to optimize crop management operations in the context of precision agriculture with relevant agro-environmental implications. PMID:26107174

  15. High-Resolution, Semi-Automatic Fault Mapping Using Umanned Aerial Vehicles and Computer Vision: Mapping from an Armchair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micklethwaite, S.; Vasuki, Y.; Turner, D.; Kovesi, P.; Holden, E.; Lucieer, A.

    2012-12-01

    Our ability to characterise fractures depends upon the accuracy and precision of field techniques, as well as the quantity of data that can be collected. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs; otherwise known as "drones") and photogrammetry, provide exciting new opportunities for the accurate mapping of fracture networks, over large surface areas. We use a highly stable, 8 rotor, UAV platform (Oktokopter) with a digital SLR camera and the Structure-from-Motion computer vision technique, to generate point clouds, wireframes, digital elevation models and orthorectified photo mosaics. Furthermore, new image analysis methods such as phase congruency are applied to the data to semiautomatically map fault networks. A case study is provided of intersecting fault networks and associated damage, from Piccaninny Point in Tasmania, Australia. Outcrops >1 km in length can be surveyed in a single 5-10 minute flight, with pixel resolution ~1 cm. Centimetre scale precision can be achieved when selected ground control points are measured using a total station. These techniques have the potential to provide rapid, ultra-high resolution mapping of fracture networks, from many different lithologies; enabling us to more accurately assess the "fit" of observed data relative to model predictions, over a wide range of boundary conditions.igh resolution DEM of faulted outcrop (Piccaninny Point, Tasmania) generated using the Oktokopter UAV (inset) and photogrammetric techniques.

  16. High-Throughput 3-D Monitoring of Agricultural-Tree Plantations with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Technology.

    PubMed

    Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; López-Granados, Francisca; Serrano, Nicolás; Arquero, Octavio; Peña, José M

    2015-01-01

    The geometric features of agricultural trees such as canopy area, tree height and crown volume provide useful information about plantation status and crop production. However, these variables are mostly estimated after a time-consuming and hard field work and applying equations that treat the trees as geometric solids, which produce inconsistent results. As an alternative, this work presents an innovative procedure for computing the 3-dimensional geometric features of individual trees and tree-rows by applying two consecutive phases: 1) generation of Digital Surface Models with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology and 2) use of object-based image analysis techniques. Our UAV-based procedure produced successful results both in single-tree and in tree-row plantations, reporting up to 97% accuracy on area quantification and minimal deviations compared to in-field estimations of tree heights and crown volumes. The maps generated could be used to understand the linkages between tree grown and field-related factors or to optimize crop management operations in the context of precision agriculture with relevant agro-environmental implications. PMID:26107174

  17. The left wing of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rests in a jig during construction at G

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The left wing of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rests in a jig during construction at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., (GA-ASI) facility at Adelanto, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator to validate a variety of command and control technologies for UAVs, as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Eleven-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 86 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  18. Land surface reflectance retrieval from hyperspectral data collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Baotou test site.

    PubMed

    Duan, Si-Bo; Li, Zhao-Liang; Tang, Bo-Hui; Wu, Hua; Ma, Lingling; Zhao, Enyu; Li, Chuanrong

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the in-flight performance of a new hyperspectral sensor onboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV-HYPER), a comprehensive field campaign was conducted over the Baotou test site in China on 3 September 2011. Several portable reference reflectance targets were deployed across the test site. The radiometric performance of the UAV-HYPER sensor was assessed in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the calibration accuracy. The SNR of the different bands of the UAV-HYPER sensor was estimated to be between approximately 5 and 120 over the homogeneous targets, and the linear response of the apparent reflectance ranged from approximately 0.05 to 0.45. The uniform and non-uniform Lambertian land surface reflectance was retrieved and validated using in situ measurements, with root mean square error (RMSE) of approximately 0.01-0.07 and relative RMSE of approximately 5%-12%. There were small discrepancies between the retrieved uniform and non-uniform Lambertian land surface reflectance over the homogeneous targets and under low aerosol optical depth (AOD) conditions (AOD = 0.18). However, these discrepancies must be taken into account when adjacent pixels had large land surface reflectance contrast and under high AOD conditions (e.g. AOD = 1.0). PMID:23785513

  19. The payload bay in the nose of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be able to carry up

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The payload bay in the nose of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), shown here during final construction at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., (GA-ASI) facility at Adelanto, Calif., will be able to carry up to 700 lbs. of sensors, imaging equipment and other instruments for Earth science missions. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator to validate a variety of command and control technologies for UAVs, as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Eleven-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 86 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  20. Quantifying efficacy and limits of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology for weed seedling detection as affected by sensor resolution.

    PubMed

    Peña, José M; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; Serrano-Pérez, Angélica; de Castro, Ana I; López-Granados, Francisca

    2015-01-01

    In order to optimize the application of herbicides in weed-crop systems, accurate and timely weed maps of the crop-field are required. In this context, this investigation quantified the efficacy and limitations of remote images collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for early detection of weed seedlings. The ability to discriminate weeds was significantly affected by the imagery spectral (type of camera), spatial (flight altitude) and temporal (the date of the study) resolutions. The colour-infrared images captured at 40 m and 50 days after sowing (date 2), when plants had 5-6 true leaves, had the highest weed detection accuracy (up to 91%). At this flight altitude, the images captured before date 2 had slightly better results than the images captured later. However, this trend changed in the visible-light images captured at 60 m and higher, which had notably better results on date 3 (57 days after sowing) because of the larger size of the weed plants. Our results showed the requirements on spectral and spatial resolutions needed to generate a suitable weed map early in the growing season, as well as the best moment for the UAV image acquisition, with the ultimate objective of applying site-specific weed management operations. PMID:25756867

  1. Monitoring the invasion of Spartina alterniflora using very high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle imagery in Beihai, Guangxi (China).

    PubMed

    Wan, Huawei; Wang, Qiao; Jiang, Dong; Fu, Jingying; Yang, Yipeng; Liu, Xiaoman

    2014-01-01

    Spartina alterniflora was introduced to Beihai, Guangxi (China), for ecological engineering purposes in 1979. However, the exceptional adaptability and reproductive ability of this species have led to its extensive dispersal into other habitats, where it has had a negative impact on native species and threatens the local mangrove and mudflat ecosystems. To obtain the distribution and spread of Spartina alterniflora, we collected HJ-1 CCD imagery from 2009 and 2011 and very high resolution (VHR) imagery from the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The invasion area of Spartina alterniflora was 357.2 ha in 2011, which increased by 19.07% compared with the area in 2009. A field survey was conducted for verification and the total accuracy was 94.0%. The results of this paper show that VHR imagery can provide details on distribution, progress, and early detection of Spartina alterniflora invasion. OBIA, object based image analysis for remote sensing (RS) detection method, can enable control measures to be more effective, accurate, and less expensive than a field survey of the invasive population. PMID:24892066

  2. Land Surface Reflectance Retrieval from Hyperspectral Data Collected by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle over the Baotou Test Site

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Si-Bo; Li, Zhao-Liang; Tang, Bo-Hui; Wu, Hua; Ma, Lingling; Zhao, Enyu; Li, Chuanrong

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the in-flight performance of a new hyperspectral sensor onboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV-HYPER), a comprehensive field campaign was conducted over the Baotou test site in China on 3 September 2011. Several portable reference reflectance targets were deployed across the test site. The radiometric performance of the UAV-HYPER sensor was assessed in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the calibration accuracy. The SNR of the different bands of the UAV-HYPER sensor was estimated to be between approximately 5 and 120 over the homogeneous targets, and the linear response of the apparent reflectance ranged from approximately 0.05 to 0.45. The uniform and non-uniform Lambertian land surface reflectance was retrieved and validated using in situ measurements, with root mean square error (RMSE) of approximately 0.01–0.07 and relative RMSE of approximately 5%–12%. There were small discrepancies between the retrieved uniform and non-uniform Lambertian land surface reflectance over the homogeneous targets and under low aerosol optical depth (AOD) conditions (AOD = 0.18). However, these discrepancies must be taken into account when adjacent pixels had large land surface reflectance contrast and under high AOD conditions (e.g. AOD = 1.0). PMID:23785513

  3. Fault-Tolerant Trajectory Tracking of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using Immunity-Based Model Reference Adaptive Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilburn, Brenton K.

    This dissertation presents the design, development, and simulation testing of an adaptive trajectory tracking algorithm capable of compensating for various aircraft subsystem failures and upset conditions. A comprehensive adaptive control framework, here within referred to as the immune model reference adaptive control (IMRAC) algorithm, is developed by synergistically merging core concepts from the biologically- inspired artificial immune system (AIS) paradigm with more traditional optimal and adaptive control techniques. In particular, a model reference adaptive control (MRAC) algorithm is enhanced with the detection and learning capabilities of a novel, artificial neural network augmented AIS scheme. With the given modifications, the MRAC scheme is capable of detecting and identifying a given failure or upset condition, learning how to adapt to the problem, responding in a manner specific to the given failure condition, and retaining the learning parameters for quicker adaptation to subsequent failures of the same nature. The IMRAC algorithm developed in this dissertation is applicable to a wide range of control problems. However, the proposed methodology is demonstrated in simulation for an unmanned aerial vehicle. The results presented show that the IMRAC algorithm is an effective and valuable extension to traditional optimal and adaptive control techniques. The implementation of this methodology can potentially have significant impacts on the operational safety of many complex systems.

  4. Wind-Tunnel Investigation of a Small-Scale Model of an Aerial Vehicle Supported by Tilting Ducted Fans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Charles C., Jr.

    1960-01-01

    A wind-tunnel investigation has been made to study the static longitudinal and lateral stability characteristics of a simplified aerial vehicle supported by ducted fans that tilt relative to the airframe. The ducts were in a triangular arrangement with one duct in front and two at the rear in order to minimize the influence of the downwash of the front duct on the rear ducts. The results of the investigation were compared with those of a similar investigation for a tandem two-duct arrangement in which the ducts were fixed (rather than tiltable) relative to the airframe, since the three-duct configuration had been devised in an attempt to avoid some of the deficiencies of the tandem fixed-duct configuration. The results of the investigation indicated that the tilting-duct arrangement had less noseup pitching moment for a given forward speed than the tandem fixed-duct arrangement. The model had less angle-of-attack instability than the tandem fixed-duct arrangement. The model was directionally unstable but had a positive dihedral effect throughout the test speed range.

  5. A guided-wave system for monitoring the wing skin-to-spar bond in unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matt, Howard; Bartoli, Ivan; Lanza di Scalea, Francesco; Marzani, Alessandro; Coccia, Stefano; Oliver, Joseph; Kosmatka, John; Rizzo, Piervincenzo; Restivo, Gaetano

    2005-05-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being increasingly used in military as well as civil applications. A critical part of the structure is the adhesive bond between the wing skin and the supporting spar. If not detected early, bond defects originating during manufacturing or in service flight can lead to inefficient flight performance and eventual global failure. This paper will present results from a bond inspection system based on attached piezoelectric disks probing the skin-to-spar bondline with ultrasonic guided waves in the hundreds of kilohertz range. The test components were CFRP composite panels of two different fiber layups bonded to a CFRP composite tube using epoxy adhesive. Three types of bond conditions were simulated, namely regions of poor cohesive strength, regions with localized disbonds and well bonded regions. The root mean square and variance of the received time-domain signals and their discrete wavelet decompositions were computed for the dominant modes propagating through the various bond regions in two different inspection configurations. Semi-analytical finite element analysis of the bonded multilayer joint was also carried out to identify and predict the sensitivity of the predominant carrier modes to the different bond defects. Emphasis of this research is based upon designing a built-in system for monitoring the structural integrity of bonded joints in UAVs and other aerospace structures.

  6. Nonlinear wavelet compression of ion mobility spectra from ion mobility spectrometers mounted in an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Cao, Libo; Harrington, Peter de B; Harden, Charles S; McHugh, Vincent M; Thomas, Martin A

    2004-02-15

    Linear and nonlinear wavelet compression of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) data are compared and evaluated. IMS provides low detection limits and rapid response for many compounds. Nonlinear wavelet compression of ion mobility spectra reduced the data to 4-5% of its original size, while eliminating artifacts in the reconstructed spectra that occur with linear compression, and the root-mean-square reconstruction error was 0.17-0.20% of the maximum intensity of the uncompressed spectra. Furthermore, nonlinear wavelet compression precisely preserves the peak location (i.e., drift time). Small variations in peak location may occur in the reconstructed spectra that were linearly compressed. A method was developed and evaluated for optimizing the compression. The compression method was evaluated with in-flight data recorded from ion mobility spectrometers mounted in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Plumes of dimethyl methylphosphonate were disseminated for interrogation by the UAV-mounted IMS system. The daublet 8 wavelet filter exhibited the best performance for these evaluations. PMID:14961740

  7. Quantifying Efficacy and Limits of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Technology for Weed Seedling Detection as Affected by Sensor Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Peña, José M.; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; Serrano-Pérez, Angélica; de Castro, Ana I.; López-Granados, Francisca

    2015-01-01

    In order to optimize the application of herbicides in weed-crop systems, accurate and timely weed maps of the crop-field are required. In this context, this investigation quantified the efficacy and limitations of remote images collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for early detection of weed seedlings. The ability to discriminate weeds was significantly affected by the imagery spectral (type of camera), spatial (flight altitude) and temporal (the date of the study) resolutions. The colour-infrared images captured at 40 m and 50 days after sowing (date 2), when plants had 5–6 true leaves, had the highest weed detection accuracy (up to 91%). At this flight altitude, the images captured before date 2 had slightly better results than the images captured later. However, this trend changed in the visible-light images captured at 60 m and higher, which had notably better results on date 3 (57 days after sowing) because of the larger size of the weed plants. Our results showed the requirements on spectral and spatial resolutions needed to generate a suitable weed map early in the growing season, as well as the best moment for the UAV image acquisition, with the ultimate objective of applying site-specific weed management operations. PMID:25756867

  8. Design and Analysis of a Single-Camera Omnistereo Sensor for Quadrotor Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) †

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Carlos; Valenti, Roberto G.; Guo, Ling; Xiao, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    We describe the design and 3D sensing performance of an omnidirectional stereo (omnistereo) vision system applied to Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). The proposed omnistereo sensor employs a monocular camera that is co-axially aligned with a pair of hyperboloidal mirrors (a vertically-folded catadioptric configuration). We show that this arrangement provides a compact solution for omnidirectional 3D perception while mounted on top of propeller-based MAVs (not capable of large payloads). The theoretical single viewpoint (SVP) constraint helps us derive analytical solutions for the sensor’s projective geometry and generate SVP-compliant panoramic images to compute 3D information from stereo correspondences (in a truly synchronous fashion). We perform an extensive analysis on various system characteristics such as its size, catadioptric spatial resolution, field-of-view. In addition, we pose a probabilistic model for the uncertainty estimation of 3D information from triangulation of back-projected rays. We validate the projection error of the design using both synthetic and real-life images against ground-truth data. Qualitatively, we show 3D point clouds (dense and sparse) resulting out of a single image captured from a real-life experiment. We expect the reproducibility of our sensor as its model parameters can be optimized to satisfy other catadioptric-based omnistereo vision under different circumstances. PMID:26861351

  9. Autonomous Hovering and Landing of a Quad-rotor Micro Aerial Vehicle by Means of on Ground Stereo Vision System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pebrianti, Dwi; Kendoul, Farid; Azrad, Syaril; Wang, Wei; Nonami, Kenzo

    On ground stereo vision system is used for autonomous hovering and landing of a quadrotor Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV). This kind of system has an advantage to support embedded vision system for autonomous hovering and landing, since an embedded vision system occasionally gives inaccurate distance calculation due to either vibration problem or unknown geometry of the landing target. Color based object tracking by using Continuously Adaptive Mean Shift (CAMSHIFT) algorithm was examined. Nonlinear model of quad-rotor MAV and a PID controller were used for autonomous hovering and landing. The result shows that the Camshift based object tracking algorithm has good performance. Additionally, the comparison between the stereo vision system based and GPS based autonomous hovering of a quad-rotor MAV shows that stereo vision system has better performance. The accuracy of the stereo vision system is about 1 meter in the longitudinal and lateral direction when the quad-rotor flies in 6 meters of altitude. In the same experimental condition, the GPS based system accuracy is about 3 meters. Additionally, experiment on autonomous landing gives a reliable result.

  10. Monitoring the Invasion of Spartina alterniflora Using Very High Resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery in Beihai, Guangxi (China)

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Huawei; Wang, Qiao; Jiang, Dong; Yang, Yipeng; Liu, Xiaoman

    2014-01-01

    Spartina alterniflora was introduced to Beihai, Guangxi (China), for ecological engineering purposes in 1979. However, the exceptional adaptability and reproductive ability of this species have led to its extensive dispersal into other habitats, where it has had a negative impact on native species and threatens the local mangrove and mudflat ecosystems. To obtain the distribution and spread of Spartina alterniflora, we collected HJ-1 CCD imagery from 2009 and 2011 and very high resolution (VHR) imagery from the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The invasion area of Spartina alterniflora was 357.2 ha in 2011, which increased by 19.07% compared with the area in 2009. A field survey was conducted for verification and the total accuracy was 94.0%. The results of this paper show that VHR imagery can provide details on distribution, progress, and early detection of Spartina alterniflora invasion. OBIA, object based image analysis for remote sensing (RS) detection method, can enable control measures to be more effective, accurate, and less expensive than a field survey of the invasive population. PMID:24892066

  11. Automatic vehicle detection based on automatic histogram-based fuzzy C-means algorithm and perceptual grouping using very high-resolution aerial imagery and road vector data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghaffarian, Saman; Gökaşar, Ilgın

    2016-01-01

    This study presents an approach for the automatic detection of vehicles using very high-resolution images and road vector data. Initially, road vector data and aerial images are integrated to extract road regions. Then, the extracted road/street region is clustered using an automatic histogram-based fuzzy C-means algorithm, and edge pixels are detected using the Canny edge detector. In order to automatically detect vehicles, we developed a local perceptual grouping approach based on fusion of edge detection and clustering outputs. To provide the locality, an ellipse is generated using characteristics of the candidate clusters individually. Then, ratio of edge pixels to nonedge pixels in the corresponding ellipse is computed to distinguish the vehicles. Finally, a point-merging rule is conducted to merge the points that satisfy a predefined threshold and are supposed to denote the same vehicles. The experimental validation of the proposed method was carried out on six very high-resolution aerial images that illustrate two highways, two shadowed roads, a crowded narrow street, and a street in a dense urban area with crowded parked vehicles. The evaluation of the results shows that our proposed method performed 86% and 83% in overall correctness and completeness, respectively.

  12. VEEP: A Vehicle Economy, Emissions, and Performance simulation program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klose, G. J.

    1978-01-01

    The purpose of the VEEP simulation program was to: (1) predict vehicle fuel economy and relative emissions over any specified driving cycle; (2) calculate various measures of vehicle performance (acceleration, passing manuevers, gradeability, top speed), and (3) give information on the various categories of energy dissipation (rolling friction, aerodynamics, accessories, inertial effects, component inefficiences, etc.). The vehicle is described based on detailed subsystem information and numerical parameters characterizing the components of a wide variety of self-propelled vehicles. Conventionally arranged heat engine powered automobiles were emphasized, but with consideration in the design toward the requirement of other types of vehicles.

  13. EDIN0613P weight estimating program. [for launch vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirsch, G. N.

    1976-01-01

    The weight estimating relationships and program developed for space power system simulation are described. The program was developed to size a two-stage launch vehicle for the space power system. The program is actually part of an overall simulation technique called EDIN (Engineering Design and Integration) system. The program sizes the overall vehicle, generates major component weights and derives a large amount of overall vehicle geometry. The program is written in FORTRAN V and is designed for use on the Univac Exec 8 (1110). By utilizing the flexibility of this program while remaining cognizant of the limits imposed upon output depth and accuracy by utilization of generalized input, this program concept can be a useful tool for estimating purposes at the conceptual design stage of a launch vehicle.

  14. Two-Step System Identification and Primitive-Based Motion Planning for Control of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grymin, David J.

    This dissertation addresses motion planning, modeling, and feedback control for autonomous vehicle systems. A hierarchical approach for motion planning and control of nonlinear systems operating in obstacle environments is presented. To reduce computation time during the motion planning process, dynamically feasible trajectories are generated in real-time through concatenation of pre-specified motion primitives. The motion planning task is posed as a search over a directed graph, and the applicability of informed graph search techniques is investigated. Specifically, a locally greedy algorithm with effective backtracking ability is developed and compared to weighted A* search. The greedy algorithm shows an advantage with respect to solution cost and computation time when larger motion primitive libraries that do not operate on a regular state lattice are utilized. Linearization of the nonlinear system equations about the motion primitive library results in a hybrid linear time-varying model, and an optimal control algorithm using the l 2-induced norm as the performance measure is applied to ensure that the system tracks the desired trajectory. The ability of the resulting controller to closely track the trajectory obtained from the motion planner, despite various disturbances and uncertainties, is demonstrated through simulation. Additionally, an approach for obtaining dynamically feasible reference trajectories and feedback controllers for a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based on an aerodynamic model derived from flight tests is presented. The modeling approach utilizes the two step method (TSM) with stepwise multiple regression to determine relevant explanatory terms for the aerodynamic models. Dynamically feasible trajectories are then obtained through the solution of an optimal control problem using pseudospectral optimal control software. Discretetime feedback controllers are then obtained to regulate the vehicle along the desired reference trajectory. Simulations in a realistic operational environment as well as flight testing with the feedback controller demonstrate the capabilities of the approach. The TSM is also applied for system identification of an aircraft using motion capture data. In this application, time domain system identification techniques are used to identify both linear and nonlinear aerodynamic models of large-amplitude pitching motions driven by control surface deflections. The resulting models are assessed based on both their predictive capabilities as well as simulation results.

  15. United States orbital transfer vehicle programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunn, Charles R.

    1989-01-01

    Five U.S. orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to higher energy orbits than achievable by the Space Shuttle or various expandable launch vehicles are studied. These vehicles are the Payload Assist Module-Delta (PAM-D), an upgraded version designated PAM-DII, the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), the U.S. Transfer Orbit Stage (TOS), and the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV). Capabilities range from providing spacecraft with only a preprogrammed perigee velocity additions to man-in-the-loop remote controlled spacecraft rendezvous, docking, retrieval, and return to a space base. The PAM-D, PAM-DII, and IUS are mature vehicles currently available for mission support. Characteristics, flight records, and costs are defined. The TOS is being commercially developed while the OMV is government developed. The TOS and OMV capabilities, constraints, and costs are reviewed.

  16. Hydrogen-Enhanced Natural Gas Vehicle Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hyde, Dan; Collier, Kirk

    2009-01-22

    The project objective is to demonstrate the viability of HCNG fuel (30 to 50% hydrogen by volume and the remainder natural gas) to reduce emissions from light-duty on-road vehicles with no loss in performance or efficiency. The City of Las Vegas has an interest in alternative fuels and already has an existing hydrogen refueling station. Collier Technologies Inc (CT) supplied the latest design retrofit kits capable of converting nine compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled, light-duty vehicles powered by the Ford 5.4L Triton engine. CT installed the kits on the first two vehicles in Las Vegas, trained personnel at the City of Las Vegas (the City) to perform the additional seven retrofits, and developed materials for allowing other entities to perform these retrofits as well. These vehicles were used in normal service by the City while driver impressions, reliability, fuel efficiency and emissions were documented for a minimum of one year after conversion. This project has shown the efficacy of operating vehicles originally designed to operate on compressed natural gas with HCNG fuel incorporating large quantities of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). There were no safety issues experienced with these vehicles. The only maintenance issue in the project was some rough idling due to problems with the EGR valve and piping parts. Once the rough idling was corrected no further maintenance issues with these vehicles were experienced. Fuel economy data showed no significant changes after conversion even with the added power provided by the superchargers that were part of the conversions. Driver feedback for the conversions was very favorable. The additional power provided by the HCNG vehicles was greatly appreciated, especially in traffic. The drivability of the HCNG vehicles was considered to be superior by the drivers. Most of the converted vehicles showed zero oxides of nitrogen throughout the life of the project using the State of Nevada emissions station.

  17. Vehicle Technologies Program - Improving Vehicle Efficiency, Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil

    SciTech Connect

    2011-08-01

    R&D drives innovation while lowering technology costs, which then enables the private sector to accelerate clean technology deployment. Along with R&D, DOE's Vehicles Technologies Program deploys clean, efficient vehicle technologies and renewable fuels, which reduce U.S. demand for petroleum products.

  18. High-Resolution Monitoring of Himalayan Glacier Dynamics Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Immerzeel, W.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.; Shea, J.; Shrestha, A. B.; Pellicciotti, F.; Bierkens, M. F.; de Jong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Himalayan glacier tongues are commonly debris covered and play an important role in modulating the glacier response to climate . However, they remain relatively unstudied because of the inaccessibility of the terrain and the difficulties in field work caused by the thick debris mantles. Observations of debris-covered glaciers are therefore limited to point locations and airborne remote sensing may bridge the gap between scarce, point field observations and coarse resolution space-borne remote sensing. In this study we deploy an Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) on two debris covered glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas: the Lirung and Langtang glacier during four field campaigns in 2013 and 2014. Based on stereo-imaging and the structure for motion algorithm we derive highly detailed ortho-mosaics and digital elevation models (DEMs), which we geometrically correct using differential GPS observations collected in the field. Based on DEM differencing and manual feature tracking we derive the mass loss and the surface velocity of the glacier at a high spatial resolution and accuracy. We also assess spatiotemporal changes in supra-glacial lakes and ice cliffs based on the imagery. On average, mass loss is limited and the surface velocity is very small. However, the spatial variability of melt rates is very high, and ice cliffs and supra-glacial ponds show mass losses that can be an order of magnitude higher than the average. We suggest that future research should focus on the interaction between supra-glacial ponds, ice cliffs and englacial hydrology to further understand the dynamics of debris-covered glaciers. Finally, we conclude that UAV deployment has large potential in glaciology and it represents a substantial advancement over methods currently applied in studying glacier surface features.

  19. Stability and Control Characteristics of a Model of an Aerial Vehicle Supported by Four Ducted Fans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parlett, Lysle P.

    1961-01-01

    The stability and control characteristics of a simple, lightly loaded model approximately one-third the size of a full-scale vehicle have been investigated by a series of free-flight tests. The model is representative of a type of vertically rising aircraft which would utilize four ducted fans as its sole source of lift and propulsion. The ducts were arranged in a rectangular pattern and were fixed to the airframe so that their axes of revolution were vertical for hovering flight. Control moments were provided by remotely controlled compressed-air jets at the sides and ends of the model. In hovering, the model in its original configuration exhibited divergent oscillations about both the roll and pitch axes. Because these oscillations were of a rather short period., the model was very difficult to control by the use of remote controls only. The model could be completely stabilized by the addition of a sufficient amount of artificial damping. The pitching oscillation was made easier to control by increasing the distance between the forward and rearward pairs of ducts. In forward flight, with the model in its original configuration, the top speed was limited by the development of an uncontrollable pitch-up. Large forward tilt angles were required for trim at the highest speeds attained. With the model rotated so that the shorter axis became the longitudinal axis, the pitch trim problem was found to be less than with the longer axis as the longitudinal axis. The installation of a system of vanes in the slipstream of the forward ducts reduced the tilt angle but increased the power required.

  20. Kansas State University electric vehicle site operator program

    SciTech Connect

    Hague, J.R.; Steinert, R.A.; Nissen-Pfrang, T.

    1991-01-01

    K-State is presently working with Grumman Allied and Unique Mobility to establish a working agreement for the research and development of a pure electric postal vehicle. K-State has worked on the design of this vehicle for the past year and is working to establish the appropriate consortium to bring this vehicle to commercial realization. K-State is working to establish infrastructure support for electric vehicles. Presently, a Kansas company is working with K-State to bring its patented low-cost vehicle metering product to market. An anticipated second year DOE project would provide 100 electric metering stations to Southern California for a large scale electric vehicle infrastructure demonstration project. This project would allow a parking lot(s) to be made EV ready. K-State's Site Operator Program continues to get the word-out'' about electric vehicles. From a personal visit by Senator Bob Dole, to Corporate Board of Director Meetings, to school classrooms, to shopping mall demonstrations; K-State Employees are increasing public access and awareness about the electric vehicle industry. As has been shown in this report, K-State's G-Van has logged an average eighteen miles per day while maintaining a full schedule of public relations tours within the state of Kansas and Missouri. K-State has now been contacted by companies in Nebraska and Iowa requesting information and involvement in this program. Kansas and Kansas State will continue its work to contribute to the Site Operator Program effort. With the purchase of two additional electric vehicles and the pending request to purchase two more electric vehicles during the next contractual year, K-states's program will grow. When vehicle development plans and infrastructure requirements are solidified, K-State's program will be ready to participate and be a major contributor to the development and introduction of this technology.

  1. Weed mapping in early-season maize fields using object-based analysis of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images.

    PubMed

    Peña, José Manuel; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; de Castro, Ana Isabel; Kelly, Maggi; López-Granados, Francisca

    2013-01-01

    The use of remote imagery captured by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has tremendous potential for designing detailed site-specific weed control treatments in early post-emergence, which have not possible previously with conventional airborne or satellite images. A robust and entirely automatic object-based image analysis (OBIA) procedure was developed on a series of UAV images using a six-band multispectral camera (visible and near-infrared range) with the ultimate objective of generating a weed map in an experimental maize field in Spain. The OBIA procedure combines several contextual, hierarchical and object-based features and consists of three consecutive phases: 1) classification of crop rows by application of a dynamic and auto-adaptive classification approach, 2) discrimination of crops and weeds on the basis of their relative positions with reference to the crop rows, and 3) generation of a weed infestation map in a grid structure. The estimation of weed coverage from the image analysis yielded satisfactory results. The relationship of estimated versus observed weed densities had a coefficient of determination of r(2)=0.89 and a root mean square error of 0.02. A map of three categories of weed coverage was produced with 86% of overall accuracy. In the experimental field, the area free of weeds was 23%, and the area with low weed coverage (<5% weeds) was 47%, which indicated a high potential for reducing herbicide application or other weed operations. The OBIA procedure computes multiple data and statistics derived from the classification outputs, which permits calculation of herbicide requirements and estimation of the overall cost of weed management operations in advance. PMID:24146963

  2. Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies in infrastructure construction project management and delay and disruption analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vacanas, Yiannis; Themistocleous, Kyriacos; Agapiou, Athos; Hadjimitsis, Diofantos

    2015-06-01

    Time in infrastructure construction projects has always been a fundamental issue as early as from the inception of a project, during the construction process and often after the completion and delivery. In a typical construction contract time related matters such as the completion date and possible delays are among the most important issues that are dealt with by the contract provisions. In the event of delay there are usually provisions for extension of time award to the contractor with possible reimbursement for the extra cost and expenses caused by this extension of time to the contract duration. In the case the contractor is not entitled to extension of time, the owner will be possibly entitled to amounts as compensation for the time prohibited from using his development. Even in the event of completion within the time agreed, under certain circumstances a contractor may have claims for reimbursement for extra costs incurred due to induced acceleration measures he had to take in order to mitigate disruption effects caused to the progress of the works by the owner or his representatives. Depending on the size of the project and the agreement amount, these reimbursement sums may be extremely high. Therefore innovative methods with the exploitation of new technologies for effective project management for the avoidance of delays, delay analysis and mitigation measures are essential; moreover, methods for collecting efficiently information during the construction process so that disputes regarding time are avoided or resolved in a quick and fair manner are required. This paper explores the state of art for existing use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technologies in the construction industry in general. Moreover the paper considers the prospect of using BIM technology in conjunction with the use of UAV technology for efficient and accurate as-built data collection and illustration of the works progress during an infrastructure construction project in order to achieve more effective project management, record keeping and delay analysis.

  3. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Imagery to Investigate Surface Displacements and Surface Features of the Super-Sauze Earthflow (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, M. R.; Tizzard, S.; Niethammer, U.

    2014-12-01

    We present the result of using imagery collected with a small rotary wing UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to investigate surface displacements and fissures on the Super-Sauze earthflow (France); a slow moving earthflow with the potential to develop into rapid and highly destructive mud flows. UAV imagery acquired in October 2009 was processed using a structure-from-motion and multi-view stereo (SfM-MVS) approach in PhotoScan software. Identification of ~200 ground control points throughout the image set was facilitated by automated image matching in SfM_georef software[1] and the data incorporated into PhotoScan for network optimisation and georeferencing. The completed 2009 model enabled an ~5 cm spatial resolution orthoimage to be generated with an expected accuracy (based on residuals on control) of ~0.3 m. This was supported by comparison to a previously created 2008 model, which gave standard deviations on tie points (located on stationary terrain) of 0.27 m and 0.43 m in Easting and Northing respectively. The high resolution of the orthoimage allowed an investigation into surface displacements and geomorphology of surface features (compared to the 2008 model). The results have produced a comprehensive surface displacement map of the Super-Sauze earthflow, as well as highlighting interesting variations in fissure geomorphology and density between the 2008 and 2009 models. This study underscored the capability for UAV imagery and SfM-MVS to generate highly detailed orthographic imagery and DEMs with a low cost approach that offers significant potential for landslide hazard assessments. [1] http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/jamesm/software/sfm_georef.htm

  4. Weed Mapping in Early-Season Maize Fields Using Object-Based Analysis of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Images

    PubMed Central

    Peña, José Manuel; Torres-Sánchez, Jorge; de Castro, Ana Isabel; Kelly, Maggi; López-Granados, Francisca

    2013-01-01

    The use of remote imagery captured by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has tremendous potential for designing detailed site-specific weed control treatments in early post-emergence, which have not possible previously with conventional airborne or satellite images. A robust and entirely automatic object-based image analysis (OBIA) procedure was developed on a series of UAV images using a six-band multispectral camera (visible and near-infrared range) with the ultimate objective of generating a weed map in an experimental maize field in Spain. The OBIA procedure combines several contextual, hierarchical and object-based features and consists of three consecutive phases: 1) classification of crop rows by application of a dynamic and auto-adaptive classification approach, 2) discrimination of crops and weeds on the basis of their relative positions with reference to the crop rows, and 3) generation of a weed infestation map in a grid structure. The estimation of weed coverage from the image analysis yielded satisfactory results. The relationship of estimated versus observed weed densities had a coefficient of determination of r2=0.89 and a root mean square error of 0.02. A map of three categories of weed coverage was produced with 86% of overall accuracy. In the experimental field, the area free of weeds was 23%, and the area with low weed coverage (<5% weeds) was 47%, which indicated a high potential for reducing herbicide application or other weed operations. The OBIA procedure computes multiple data and statistics derived from the classification outputs, which permits calculation of herbicide requirements and estimation of the overall cost of weed management operations in advance. PMID:24146963

  5. Assessing the quality of digital elevation models obtained from mini unmanned aerial vehicles for overland flow modelling in urban areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitão, João P.; Moy de Vitry, Matthew; Scheidegger, Andreas; Rieckermann, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    Precise and detailed digital elevation models (DEMs) are essential to accurately predict overland flow in urban areas. Unfortunately, traditional sources of DEM, such as airplane light detection and ranging (lidar) DEMs and point and contour maps, remain a bottleneck for detailed and reliable overland flow models, because the resulting DEMs are too coarse to provide DEMs of sufficient detail to inform urban overland flows. Interestingly, technological developments of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) suggest that they have matured enough to be a competitive alternative to satellites or airplanes. However, this has not been tested so far. In this study we therefore evaluated whether DEMs generated from UAV imagery are suitable for urban drainage overland flow modelling. Specifically, 14 UAV flights were conducted to assess the influence of four different flight parameters on the quality of generated DEMs: (i) flight altitude, (ii) image overlapping, (iii) camera pitch, and (iv) weather conditions. In addition, we compared the best-quality UAV DEM to a conventional lidar-based DEM. To evaluate both the quality of the UAV DEMs and the comparison to lidar-based DEMs, we performed regression analysis on several qualitative and quantitative metrics, such as elevation accuracy, quality of object representation (e.g. buildings, walls and trees) in the DEM, which were specifically tailored to assess overland flow modelling performance, using the flight parameters as explanatory variables. Our results suggested that, first, as expected, flight altitude influenced the DEM quality most, where lower flights produce better DEMs; in a similar fashion, overcast weather conditions are preferable, but weather conditions and other factors influence DEM quality much less. Second, we found that for urban overland flow modelling, the UAV DEMs performed competitively in comparison to a traditional lidar-based DEM. An important advantage of using UAVs to generate DEMs in urban areas is their flexibility that enables more frequent, local, and affordable elevation data updates, allowing, for example, to capture different tree foliage conditions.

  6. Seasonal associations and atmospheric transport distances of Fusarium collected with unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based sampling devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmale, David; Ross, Shane; Lin, Binbin

    2014-05-01

    Spores of fungi in the genus Fusarium may be transported through the atmosphere over long distances. Members of this genus are important pathogens and mycotoxin producers. New information is needed to characterize seasonal trends in atmospheric loads of Fusarium and to pinpoint the source(s) of inoculum at both local (farm) and regional (state or country) scales. Spores of Fusarium were collected from the atmosphere in an agricultural ecosystem in Blacksburg, VA, USA using a Burkard volumetric sampler (BVS) 1 m above ground level and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) 100 m above ground level. More than 2,200 colony forming units (CFUs) of Fusarium were collected during 104 BVS sampling periods and 180 UAV sampling periods over four calendar years (2009-2012). Spore concentrations ranged from 0 to 13 and 0 to 23 spores m-3 for the BVS and the UAVs, respectively. Spore concentrations were generally higher in the fall, spring, and summer, and lower in the winter. Spore concentrations from the BVS were generally higher than those from the UAVs for both seasonal and hourly collections. Some of the species of Fusarium identified from our collections have not been previously reported in the state of Virginia. A Gaussian plume transport model was used to estimate distances to the potential inoculum source(s) by season. This work extends previous studies showing an association between atmospheric transport barriers (Lagrangian coherent structures or LCSs) and the movement of Fusarium in the lower atmosphere. An increased understanding of the aerobiology of Fusarium may contribute to new and improved control strategies for diseases causes by fusaria in the future.

  7. Manned Orbital Transfer Vehicle (MOTV). Volume 3: Program requirements documents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyland, R. E.; Sherman, S. W.; Morfin, H. W.

    1979-01-01

    The requirements for geosynchronous orbit capability using the manned orbit transfer vehicle (MOTV) are defined. The program requirements, the mission requirements, and the system and subsystem requirements for the MOTV are discussed. The mission requirements include a geosynchronous Earth orbit vehicle for the construction, servicing, repair and operation of communications, solar power, and Earth observation satellites.

  8. Training Program for Operation of Emergency Vehicles. Trainee Study Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    INNOVATRIX, Inc., Ingomar, PA.

    A two-part trainee study guide for use in the classroom phase of the Emergency Vehicle Operation (EVO) training program is provided. Part 1, to be taken by all trainees, contains seven units organized into various subunits and includes the following: (1) introduction to the course; (2) some legal aspects of emergency vehicle operation (state…

  9. A Data System for a Rapid Evaluation Class of Subscale Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hogge, Edward F.; Quach, Cuong C.; Vazquez, Sixto L.; Hill, Boyd L.

    2011-01-01

    A low cost, rapid evaluation, test aircraft is used to develop and test airframe damage diagnosis algorithms at Langley Research Center as part of NASA's Aviation Safety Program. The remotely operated subscale aircraft is instrumented with sensors to monitor structural response during flight. Data is collected for good and compromised airframe configurations to develop data driven models for diagnosing airframe state. This paper describes the data acquisition system (DAS) of the rapid evaluation test aircraft. A PC/104 form factor DAS was developed to allow use of Matlab, Simulink simulation code in Langley's existing subscale aircraft flight test infrastructure. The small scale of the test aircraft permitted laboratory testing of the actual flight article under controlled conditions. The low cost and modularity of the DAS permitted adaptation to various flight experiment requirements.

  10. Navy Omni-Directional Vehicle (ODV) development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgowen, Hillery

    1994-01-01

    The Omni-Directional Vehicle (ODV) development program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research at the Coastal Systems Station has investigated the application of ODV technology for use in the Navy shipboard environment. ODV technology as originally received by the Navy in the form of the Cadillac-Gage Side Mover Vehicle was applicable to the shipboard environment with the potential to overcome conditions of reduced traction, ship motion, decks heeled at high angles, obstacles, and confined spaces. Under the Navy program, ODV technology was investigated and a series of experimental vehicles were built and successfully tested under extremely demanding conditions. The ODV drive system has been found to be applicable to autonomous, remotely, or manually operated vehicles. Potential commercial applications include multi-directional forklift trucks, automatic guided vehicles employed in manufacturing environments, and remotely controlled platforms used in nuclear facilities or for hazardous waste clean up tasks.

  11. Navy Omni-Directional Vehicle (ODV) development program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowen, Hillery

    1994-02-01

    The Omni-Directional Vehicle (ODV) development program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research at the Coastal Systems Station has investigated the application of ODV technology for use in the Navy shipboard environment. ODV technology as originally received by the Navy in the form of the Cadillac-Gage Side Mover Vehicle was applicable to the shipboard environment with the potential to overcome conditions of reduced traction, ship motion, decks heeled at high angles, obstacles, and confined spaces. Under the Navy program, ODV technology was investigated and a series of experimental vehicles were built and successfully tested under extremely demanding conditions. The ODV drive system has been found to be applicable to autonomous, remotely, or manually operated vehicles. Potential commercial applications include multi-directional forklift trucks, automatic guided vehicles employed in manufacturing environments, and remotely controlled platforms used in nuclear facilities or for hazardous waste clean up tasks.

  12. Aerial Explorers and Robotic Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Greg

    2004-01-01

    A unique bio-inspired approach to autonomous aerial vehicle, a.k.a. aerial explorer technology is discussed. The work is focused on defining and studying aerial explorer mission concepts, both as an individual robotic system and as a member of a small robotic "ecosystem." Members of this robotic ecosystem include the aerial explorer, air-deployed sensors and robotic symbiotes, and other assets such as rovers, landers, and orbiters.

  13. 76 FR 61750 - Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms (Aerial Lifts); Extension of the Office of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-05

    ... Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 4-2010 (75 FR 55355). Signed... reduce workers' risk of death or serious injury by ensuring that aerial lifts are in safe...

  14. Application of aerial photography to water-related programs in Michigan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enslin, W. R.; Hill-Rowley, R.; Tilmann, S. E.

    1977-01-01

    Aerial photography and information system technology were used to generate information required for the effective operation of three water-related programs in Michigan. Potential mosquito breeding sites were identified from specially acquired low altitude 70 mm color photography for the city of Lansing; the inventory identified 35% more surface water areas than indicated on existing field maps. A comprehensive inventory of surface water sources and potential access sites was prepared to assist fire departments in Antrim County with fire truck water-recharge operations. Remotely-sensed land cover/use data for Windsor Township, Eaton County, were integrated with other resource data into a computer-based information system for regional water quality studies. Eleven thematic maps focusing on landscape features affecting non-point water pollution and waste disposal were generated from analyses of a four-hectare grid-based data file containing land cover/use, soils, topographic and geologic (well-log) data.

  15. Application of aerial photography to water-related programs in Michigan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enslin, W. R.; Hill-Rowley, R.; Tilmann, S. E.

    1977-01-01

    The paper describes the use of aerial photography and information system technology in the provision of information required for the effective operation of three water-related programs in Michigan. Potential mosquito breeding sites were identified from specially acquired low altitude 70 mm color photography for the City of Lansing Vector Control Area. A comprehensive inventory of surface water sources and potential access sites was prepared to assist fire departments in Antrim County with fire truck water-recharge operations. Remotely-sensed land cover/use data for Windsor Township, Eaton County were integrated with other resource data into a computer-based information system for regional water quality studies. Eleven thematic maps specifically focussed on landscape features affecting non-point water pollution and waste disposal were generated from analyses of a four-hectare grid-based data file containing land cover/use, soils, topographic and geologic (well-log) data.

  16. A survey of electric and hybrid vehicle simulation programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bevan, J.; Heimburger, D. A.; Metcalfe, M. A.

    1978-01-01

    Results of a survey conducted within the United States to determine the extent of development and capabilities of automotive performance simulation programs suitable for electric and hybrid vehicle studies are summarized. Altogether, 111 programs were identified as being in a usable state. The complexity of the existing programs spans a range from a page of simple desktop calculator instructions to 300,000 lines of a high-level programming language. The capability to simulate electric vehicles was most common, heat-engines second, and hybrid vehicles least common. Batch-operated programs are slightly more common than interactive ones, and one-third can be operated in either mode. The most commonly used language was FORTRAN, the language typically used by engineers. The higher-level simulation languages (e.g. SIMSCRIPT, GPSS, SIMULA) used by "model builders" were conspicuously lacking.

  17. Observing high flow with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: the case study from upper Nysa Klodzka basin (SW Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witek, Matylda; Spallek, Waldemar; Slopek, Jacek; Niedzielski, Tomasz

    2015-04-01

    Recent developments of the HydroProg system (research project no. 2011/01/D/ST10/04171 of the National Science Centre of Poland), which aims to issue warnings against floods, are associated with predicting inundation, and hence there is a need for verifying the prognoses of overbank flow extent. The progress in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology causes that UAVs are now easily available and - provided formal flight requirements are fulfilled - can be used for observing numerous features of the natural environment. This intrinsically concerns hydrological applications in which dynamics is a key issue. Hence, in order to observe true extent of water during flood, UAV can be used on demand. However, unanswered is the problem of the minimum size, understood in terms of flooded area, of water increment which is detectable when inferred from the orthophoto image. The present study aims to address the above-mentioned problem by applying the small-sample statistical inference methods to a sample of nine study sites observed during five UAV observational campaigns in the vicinity of the gauge in Gorzuchow, situated along the Scinawka river (SW Poland). Since November 2012 we have carried our regular flights using the swinglet CAM fixed-wing UAV, and the areas adjacent to the gauge itself have been monitored in detail. We produced a series high-resolution orthotphoto images, corresponding to low-, normal- and high-flow situations. We sketched shapes of terrain covered by water on a basis of the detailed analysis of the ortophoto images, and the judgment was supported by our geomorphological knowledge about the channel characteristics. The resulting data were subsequently presented as percentages, and later a logarithm transformation was applied. The assumptions of Student's t-test were found to be fulfilled, and thus we used the t-test and its Bootstrap version to detect significant increments of water, inside or outside the channel. We explicitly identified the high flow events which can be observed using UAV. This means that UAV is suitable for observing not only inundation but also high flows, and such an observation is statistically meaningful.

  18. Fluorescence Lyman-Alpha Stratospheric Hygrometer (FLASH): application on meteorological balloons, long duration balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lykov, Alexey; Khaykin, Sergey; Yushkov, Vladimir; Efremov, Denis; Formanyuk, Ivan; Astakhov, Valeriy

    The FLASH instrument is based on the fluorescent method, which uses H2O molecules photodissociation at a wavelength lambda=121.6 nm (Lalpha - hydrogen emission) followed by the measurement of the fluorescence of excited OH radicals. The source of Lyman-alpha radiation is a hydrogen discharge lamp while the detector of OH fluorescence at 308 -316 nm is a photomultiplier run in photon counting mode. The intensity of the fluorescent light as well as the instrument readings is directly proportional to the water vapor mixing ratio under stratospheric conditions with negligible oxygen absorption. Initially designed for rocket-borne application, FLASH has evolved into a light-weight balloon sonde (FLASH-B) for measurements in the upper troposphere and stratosphere on board meteorological and small plastic balloons. This configuration has been used in over 100 soundings at numerous tropical mid-latitude and polar locations within various international field campaigns. An airborne version of FLASH instrument is successfully utilized onboard stratospheric M55-Geophysica aircraft and tropospheric airborne laboratory YAK42-Roshydromet. The hygrometer was modified for application onboard stratospheric long-duration balloons (FLASH-LDB version). This version was successfully used onboard CNES super-pressure balloon launched from SSC Esrange in March 2007 and flown during 10 days. Special design for polar long duration balloon PoGOLite was created for testing work during polar day in June 2013. Installation and measurement peculiarities as well as observational results are presented. Observations of water vapour using FLASH-B instrument, being of high quality are rather costly as the payload recovery is often complicated and most of the time impossible. Following the goal to find a cost-efficient solution, FLASH was adapted for use onboard Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). This solution was only possible thanks to compactness and light-weight (0.5 kg) of FLASH instrument. The hygrometer was installed at the nose of a small GPS-controlled glider, which was lifted by a meteorological balloon into the stratosphere and released by a remote command. GPS-based flight control guides and lands the UAV at the launch point thereby allowing multiple usage of its payload. Another sounding platform allowing for multiple usage of the FLASH instrument is a GPS-guided paraglide. The results of measurements acquired in the test flights using different types of balloon-lifted UAVs are presented.

  19. Three-dimensional vortex wake structure of a flapping-wing micro aerial vehicle in forward flight configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percin, M.; van Oudheusden, B. W.; Eisma, H. E.; Remes, B. D. W.

    2014-09-01

    This paper investigates the formation and evolution of the unsteady three-dimensional wake structures generated by the flapping wings of the DelFly II micro aerial vehicle in forward flight configuration. Time-resolved stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (Stereo-PIV) measurements were carried out at several spanwise-aligned planes in the wake, so as to allow a reconstruction of the temporal development of the wake of the flapping wings throughout the complete flapping cycle. Simultaneous thrust-force measurements were performed to explore the relation between the wake formation and the aerodynamic force generation mechanisms. The three-dimensional wake configuration was subsequently reconstructed from the planar PIV measurements by two different approaches: (1) a spatiotemporal wake reconstruction obtained by convecting the time-resolved, three-component velocity field data of a single measurement plane with the free-stream velocity; (2) for selected phases in the flapping cycle a direct three-dimensional spatial wake reconstruction is interpolated from the data of the different measurement planes, using a Kriging regression technique. Comparing the results derived from both methods in terms of the behavior of the wake formations, their phase and orientation indicate that the spatiotemporal reconstruction method allows to characterize the general three-dimensional structure of the wake, but that the spatial reconstruction method can reveal more details due to higher streamwise resolution. Comparison of the wake reconstructions for different values of the reduced frequency allows assessing the impact of the flapping frequency on the formation and interaction characteristics of the vortical structures. For low values of the reduced frequency, it is observed that the vortex structure formation of instroke and outstroke is relatively independent of each other, but that increasing interaction occurs at higher reduced frequencies. It is further shown that there is a phase lag in the appearance of the structures for increasing flapping frequency, which is in correlation with the generation of the forces. Comparison of thrust generated during the instroke and the outstroke phases of the flapping motion in conjunction with the development of the wake structures indicates that wing-wing interaction at the start of outstroke (peel motion) becomes a dominant feature for reduced frequencies greater than 0.62.

  20. Aeromagnetic Survey by Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with Magneto-Resistant Magnetometer at the northern Kalgoorlie area, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, M.; Group, A.; Milligan, P.

    2006-12-01

    We have developed the technology of small drones (unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)) and an onboard magnetometer focussed on the aeromagnetic surveys under the Ant-Plane project. We succeeded long distant flight to 500km with agnetometer by Ant-Plene4 drone collaborated with Geoscience, Australia, in March 2006. The survey was carried out in the area 10kmx10km around Mt. Vetters Station, Kalgoorlie, West Australian. The magnetic data are obtained from 41 courses (250m in interval) of EW dierction. The altitude of the flight was 900m from sea level and 500m from the runway. The Ant-Plane #4 consists of 2.6m span and 2.0m length with 2-cycles and 2-cylinder 85cc gasoline engine, GPS navigation system by microcomputer and radio telemeter system. The total weight is 25kg including 12.4 litter fuels and the coursing speed is 130. The magnetometer system consists of a 3-component magneto- resistant magnetometer (MR) sensor (Honeywell HMR2300), GPS and data logger. Three components of magnetic field, latitude, longitude, altitude, the number of satellite and time can be recorded in every second during 6 hours. The sensitivity of the magnetometer is 7 nT and we use a total magnetic field intensity for magnetic analysis due to unknown direction of heading of the plane. MR-magnetometer sensor was installed at the tip of a FRP pipe of 1m length, and the pipe was fixed to the head of the plane in order to reduce the plane magnetization. After 4 hours 14 minutes from the takeoff, the 500km flight was accomplished and the magnetic data were obtained from the data logger. The straight flight course was almost consistent with the way point course, but the course was drastically disturbed when the plane was turning. The magnetic noise level during the flight increased to 30nT, when the plane was flight in the tail wind. However, it is much higher when the plane flew in the head wind. The anomaly pattern obtained from Ant-Plane 4 was compared with the magnetic anomaly map published by Geoscience Australia. The pattern obtained in the tail wind was consistent with the map, although the pattern obtained form the tail wind was not similar for weak anomaly in the map. Consequently we conclude that the magnetic survey by small drone with MR-magnetometer is possible in the calm wind or in the tail wind. The magnetic noise might be increased by the heading change due to the turbulent flows because of angular deviation of the x-, y- and z-components of MR magnetometer.

  1. Reusable launch vehicle: Technology development and test program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) requested that the National Research Council (NRC) assess the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology development and test programs in the most critical component technologies. At a time when discretionary government spending is under close scrutiny, the RLV program is designed to reduce the cost of access to space through a combination of robust vehicles and a streamlined infrastructure. Routine access to space has obvious benefits for space science, national security, commercial technologies, and the further exploration of space. Because of technological challenges, knowledgeable people disagree about the feasibility of a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle. The purpose of the RLV program proposed by NASA and industry contractors is to investigate the status of existing technology and to identify and advance key technology areas required for development and validation of an SSTO vehicle. This report does not address the feasibility of an SSTO vehicle, nor does it revisit the roles and responsibilities assigned to NASA by the National Transportation Policy. Instead, the report sets forth the NRC committee's findings and recommendations regarding the RLV technology development and test program in the critical areas of propulsion, a reusable cryogenic tank system (RCTS), primary vehicle structure, and a thermal protection system (TPS).

  2. Heavy Vehicle Propulsion Materials Program: Progress and Highlights

    SciTech Connect

    D. Ray Johnson; Sidney Diamond

    2000-06-19

    The Heavy Vehicle Propulsion Materials Program was begun in 1997 to support the enabling materials needs of the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies (OHVT). The technical agenda for the program grew out of the technology roadmap for the OHVT and includes efforts in materials for: fuel systems, exhaust aftertreatment, valve train, air handling, structural components, electrochemical propulsion, natural gas storage, and thermal management. A five-year program plan was written in early 2000, following a stakeholders workshop. The technical issues and planned and ongoing projects are discussed. Brief summaries of several technical highlights are given.

  3. 2009 DOE Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2009-10-01

    Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting to review the FY2008 accomplishments and FY2009 plans for the Vehicle Technologies Program, and provide an opportunity for industry, government, and academic to give inputs to DOE on the Program with a structured and formal methodology.

  4. Graduated Drivers License Programs and Rural Teenage Motor Vehicle Fatalities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrisey, Michael A.; Grabowski, David C.

    2006-01-01

    Context: Graduated drivers license (GDL) programs have been shown to reduce motor vehicle fatalities among 15- to 17-year-olds. However, the 20 most rural states have been the least likely to enact more stringent GDL policies. Purpose: Estimate the relationship of GDL programs and the number of traffic fatalities among 15- to 17-year-olds on rural

  5. Intelligent mobility through omnidirectional vehicles: a research program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flann, Nicholas S.; Gunderson, Robert W.; Moore, Kevin L.; Wood, Carl G.

    2000-07-01

    Beginning in FY98 and continuing in FY99, the Center for Self-Organizing and Intelligent Systems (CSOIS) at Utah State University (USU) has been funded by the US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command's (TACOM) Intelligent Mobility Program to develop and demonstrate enhanced mobility concepts for unmanned ground vehicles (UGV). The long-range goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate enabling technologies that allow lightweight robotic and semiautonomous ground vehicles to achieve on-road and off-road mobility and survivability similar to current manned, wheeled, and tracked military vehicles, with a focus on small-scale to mid-scale vehicles. This paper describes the design concept and the performance of the T-series of robotic vehicles resulting from the TACOM Intelligent Mobility funding at USU (the T1, T2 and T3). USU-TACOM intelligent mobility concepts discussed in the paper include: (1) inherent mobility capability improvements, achieve through the unique concept of USU's omni-directional vehicle (ODV) steering design, which features six independently-controlled smart wheels; (2) intelligent mobility control, enhanced through intelligent coordination and control of each of the six wheels in the ODV vehicles; (3) global mobility control, enhanced through USU optimal multi-agent mission and mobility planning system; and (4) future mobility capability and control.

  6. Program For Simulating Dynamics Of Aerospace Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berning, M. J.; Sagis, K. D.

    1995-01-01

    SORT (Simulation and Optimization of Rocket Trajectories) is general-purpose three-degree-of-freedom with three axis static moment balance simulation of flight dynamics of arbitrary aerospace vehicle. Modular structure facilitates application to variety of trajectory-analysis problems. Contains math model of aerodynamics completely generalized. Computes both longitudinal and lateral forces and moments. In addition to fore-body coefficients, computes longitudinal base effect aerodynamic forces and moments. Simplified ballistic-coefficient model also available for analysis of ballistic entry. Written using ANSI FORTRAN 77.

  7. Ice-cored moraine degradation mapped and quantified using an unmanned aerial vehicle: A case study from a polythermal glacier in Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonkin, T. N.; Midgley, N. G.; Cook, S. J.; Graham, D. J.

    2016-04-01

    Ice-cored lateral-frontal moraines are common at the margins of receding high-Arctic valley glaciers, but the preservation potential of these features within the landform record is unclear. Recent climatic amelioration provides an opportunity to study the morphological evolution of these landforms as they de-ice. This is important because high-Arctic glacial landsystems have been used as analogues for formerly glaciated areas in the mid-latitudes. This study uses SfM (Structure-from-Motion) photogrammetry and a combination of archive aerial and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) derived imagery to investigate the degradation of an ice-cored lateral-frontal moraine at Austre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. Across the study area as a whole, over an 11-year period, the average depth of surface lowering was - 1.75 ± 0.89 m. The frontal sections of the moraine showed low or undetectable rates of change. Spatially variable rates of surface lowering are associated with differences in the quantity of buried ice within the structure of the moraine. Morphological change was dominated by surface lowering, with limited field evidence of degradation via back-wastage. This permits the moraine a greater degree of stability than previously observed at other sites in Svalbard. It is unclear whether the end point will be a fully stabilised ice-cored moraine, in equilibrium with its environment, or an ice-free lateral-frontal moraine complex. Controls on geomorphological change (e.g. topography and climate) and the preservation potential of the lateral-frontal moraine are discussed. The methods used by this research also demonstrate the potential value of SfM photogrammetry and unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring environmental change and are likely to have wider applications in other geoscientific sub-disciplines.

  8. Thermal Imaging of Subsurface Coal Fires by means of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the Autonomous Province Xinjiang, PRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasterling, Margarete; Schloemer, Stefan; Fischer, Christian; Ehrler, Christoph

    2010-05-01

    Spontaneous combustion of coal and resulting coal fires lead to very high temperatures in the subsurface. To a large amount the heat is transferred to the surface by convective and conductive transport inducing a more or less pronounced thermal anomaly. During the past decade satellite-based infrared-imaging (ASTER, MODIS) was the method of choice for coal fire detection on a local and regional scale. However, the resolution is by far too low for a detailed analysis of single coal fires which is essential prerequisite for corrective measures (i.e. fire fighting) and calculation of carbon dioxide emission based on a complex correlation between energy release and CO2 generation. Consequently, within the framework of the Sino-German research project "Innovative Technologies for Exploration, Extinction and Monitoring of Coal Fires in Northern China", a new concept was developed and successfully tested. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was equipped with a lightweight camera for thermografic (resolution 160 by 120 pixel, dynamic range -20 to 250°C) and for visual imaging. The UAV designed as an octocopter is able to hover at GPS controlled waypoints during predefined flight missions. The application of a UAV has several advantages. Compared to point measurements on the ground the thermal imagery quickly provides the spatial distribution of the temperature anomaly with a much better resolution. Areas otherwise not accessible (due to topography, fire induced cracks, etc.) can easily be investigated. The results of areal surveys on two coal fires in Xinjiang are presented. Georeferenced thermal and visual images were mosaicked together and analyzed. UAV-born data do well compared to temperatures measured directly on the ground and cover large areas in detail. However, measuring surface temperature alone is not sufficient. Simultaneous measurements made at the surface and in roughly 15cm depth proved substantial temperature gradients in the upper soil. Thus the temperature measured at the surface underestimates the energy emitted by the subsurface coal fire. In addition, surface temperature is strongly influenced by solar radiation and the prevailing ambient conditions (wind, temperature, humidity). As a consequence there is no simple correlation between surface and subsurface soil temperature. Efforts have been made to set up a coupled energy transport and energy balance model for the near surface considering thermal conduction, solar irradiation, thermal radiative energy and ambient temperature so far. The model can help to validate space-born and UAV-born thermal imagery and link surface to subsurface temperature but depends on in-situ measurements for input parameter determination and calibration. Results obtained so far strongly necessitate the integration of different data sources (in-situ / remote; point / area; local / medium scale) to obtain a reliable energy release estimation which is then used for coal fire characterization.

  9. Kansas State University Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hague, J.R.; Steinert, R.A.; Nissen-Pfrang, T.

    1991-01-01

    During the past fifteen years Kansas State's faculty has been involved in research of alternative fuel vehicles. From formulation of fuels and automotive fuel storage to development of electronic controls, K-State's faculty research has been ongoing. With the increased awareness of what is occurring to the world's environment, the catalyst -- to ensure applied results from faculty research will occur -- has been activated. The Department of Energy's Electric Vehicle Site Operator Program is the platform being used to demonstrate international efforts to bring a more acceptable daily mode of transportation to our highways. The first new electrical vehicle procured at K-State in the last ten years, a G-Van, is a technological dinosaur. It does not incorporate leading edge control or drive systems nor does it provide the type of vehicle frame and body to meet a majority of the daily commuter needs required by the American market. Yet, this vehicle represents initial efforts to bring a federally crash certified vehicle to the commercial automotive market. As such, it is an evolutionary step in the mass production of electric vehicle products.

  10. Electric and hybrid vehicle program site operator program. Quarterly progress report, January 1995--March 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Kiser, D.M.; Brown, H.L.

    1995-08-01

    The Site Operator Program was initially established by the Department of Energy (DOE) to incorporate the electric vehicle activities dictated by the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1976. In the ensuing years, the Program has evolved in response to new legislation and interests. The Program currently includes twelve sites located in diverse geographic, metrologic, and metropolitan areas across the United States. Information is shared reciprocally with a thirteenth site, not under Program contract. The vehicles are operator-owned. The Mission Statement of the Site Operator Program includes three major activities: (1) Advancement of electric vehicle technologies; (2) Development of infrastructure elements necessary to support significant electric vehicle use; and (3) Increasing the awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) by the public. The current participants in the Site Operator Program are shown. Table 1 indicates the EVs in each of the Site Operator fleets. Table 2 provides baseline information on several EVs currently in use by the Site Operators, or which have evolved to the point that they may be introduced in the near future. The Program is currently managed by personnel of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). The current principal management functions include: Coordination of Site Operator efforts in the areas of public awareness and infrastructure development (program-related meetings, and educational presentations).

  11. An investigation of the accuracy of empirical aircraft design for the development of an unmanned aerial vehicle intended for liquid hydrogen fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaney, Christopher Scott

    A study was conducted to assess the accuracy of empirical techniques used for the calculation of flight performance for unmanned aerial vehicles. This was achieved by quantifying the error between a mathematical model developed with these techniques and experimental test data taken using an unmanned aircraft. The vehicle utilized for this study was developed at Washington State University for the purpose of flying using power derived from hydrogen stored as a cryogenic liquid. The vehicle has a mass of 32.8 kg loaded and performed a total of 14 flights under battery power for 3.58 total flight hours. Over these flights, the design proved it is capable of sustaining level flight from the power available from a PEM fuel cell propulsion system. The empirical techniques used by the model are explicitly outlined within. These yield several performance metrics that are compared to measurements taken during flight testing. Calculations of required thrust for steady flight over all airspeeds and rates of climb modeled are found to have a mean percent error of 3.2%+/-7.0% and a mean absolute percent error of 34.6%+/-5.1%. Comparison of the calculated and measured takeoff distance are made and the calculated thrust required to perform a level turn at a given rate is compared to flight test data. A section of a test flight is analyzed, over which the vehicle proves it can sustain level flight under 875 watts of electrical power. The aircraft's design is presented including the wing and tail, propulsion system, and build technique. The software and equipment used for the collection and analysis of flight data are given. Documentation and validation is provided of a unique test rig for the characterization of propeller performance using a car. The aircraft remains operational to assist with research of alternative energy propulsion systems and novel fuel storage techniques. The results from the comparison of the mathematical model and flight test data can be utilized to assist in the development of similar Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, express the uncertainty in calculated vehicle performance numbers, and assist in identifying error in control system design.

  12. Vehicle technologies heavy vehicle program : FY 2008 benefits analysis, methodology and results --- final report.

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, M.; Energy Systems; TA Engineering

    2008-02-29

    This report describes the approach to estimating the benefits and analysis results for the Heavy Vehicle Technologies activities of the Vehicle Technologies (VT) Program of EERE. The scope of the effort includes: (1) Characterizing baseline and advanced technology vehicles for Class 3-6 and Class 7 and 8 trucks, (2) Identifying technology goals associated with the DOE EERE programs, (3) Estimating the market potential of technologies that improve fuel efficiency and/or use alternative fuels, and (4) Determining the petroleum and greenhouse gas emissions reductions associated with the advanced technologies. In FY 08 the Heavy Vehicles program continued its involvement with various sources of energy loss as compared to focusing more narrowly on engine efficiency and alternative fuels. These changes are the result of a planning effort that first occurred during FY 04 and was updated in the past year. (Ref. 1) This narrative describes characteristics of the heavy truck market as they relate to the analysis, a description of the analysis methodology (including a discussion of the models used to estimate market potential and benefits), and a presentation of the benefits estimated as a result of the adoption of the advanced technologies. The market penetrations are used as part of the EERE-wide integrated analysis to provide final benefit estimates reported in the FY08 Budget Request. The energy savings models are utilized by the VT program for internal project management purposes.

  13. The DARPA/USAF Falcon Program Small Launch Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weeks, David J.; Walker, Steven H.; Thompson, Tim L.; Sackheim, Robert; London, John R., III

    2006-01-01

    Earlier in this decade, the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in recognizing the need for low-cost responsive small launch vehicles, decided to partner in addressing this national shortcoming. Later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) joined in supporting this effort, dubbed the Falcon Program. The objectives of the Small Launch Vehicle (SLV) element of the DARPA/USAF Falcon Program include the development of a low-cost small launch vehicle(s) that demonstrates responsive launch and has the potential for achieving a per mission cost of less than $5M when based on 20 launches per year for 10 years. This vehicle class can lift 1000 to 2000 lbm payloads to a reference low earth orbit. Responsive operations include launching the rocket within 48 hours of call up. A history of the program and the current status will be discussed with an emphasis on the potential impact on small satellites.

  14. Modular Electric Vehicle Program (MEVP). Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    1994-03-01

    The Modular Electric Vehicle Program (MEVP) was an EV propulsion system development program in which the technical effort was contracted by DOE to Ford Motor Company. The General Electric Company was a major subcontractor to Ford for the development of the electric subsystem. Sundstrand Power Systems was also a subcontractor to Ford, providing a modified gas turbine engine APU for emissions and performance testing as well as a preliminary design and producibility study for a Gas Turbine-APU for potential use in hybrid/electric vehicles. The four-year research and development effort was cost-shared between Ford, General Electric, Sundstrand Power Systems and DOE. The contract was awarded in response to Ford`s unsolicited proposal. The program objective was to bring electric vehicle propulsion system technology closer to commercialization by developing subsystem components which can be produced from a common design and accommodate a wide range of vehicles; i.e., modularize the components. This concept would enable industry to introduce electric vehicles into the marketplace sooner than would be accomplished via traditional designs in that the economies of mass production could be realized across a spectrum of product offerings. This would eliminate the need to dedicate the design and capital investment to a limited volume product offering which would increase consumer cost and/or lengthen the time required to realize a return on the investment.

  15. Greenhouse Observations of the Stratosphere and Troposphere (GHOST): a novel shortwave infrared spectrometer developed for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humpage, Neil; Boesch, Hartmut; Palmer, Paul; Parr-Burman, Phil; Vick, Andy; Bezawada, Naidu; Black, Martin; Born, Andy; Pearson, David; Strachan, Jonathan; Wells, Martyn

    2014-05-01

    The tropospheric distribution of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is dependent on surface flux variations, atmospheric chemistry and transport processes over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Errors in assumed atmospheric transport can adversely affect surface flux estimates inferred from surface, aircraft or satellite observations of greenhouse gas concentrations using inverse models. We present a novel, compact shortwave infrared spectrometer (GHOST) for installation on the NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle to provide tropospheric column observations of CO2, CO, CH4, H2O and HDO over the ocean to address the need for large-scale, simultaneous, finely resolved measurements of key GHGs. These species cover a range of lifetimes and source processes, and measurements of their tropospheric columns will reflect the vertically integrated signal of their vertical and horizontal transport within the troposphere. The primary science objectives of GHOST are to: 1) provide observations which can be used to test atmospheric transport models; 2) validate satellite observations of GHG column observations over oceans, thus filling a critical gap in current validation capabilities; and 3) complement in-situ tropopause transition layer tracer observations from other instrumentation on board the Global Hawk to provide a link between upper and lower troposphere concentration measurements. The GHOST spectrometer system comprises a target acquisition module (TAM), a fibre slicer and feed system, and a multiple order spectrograph. The TAM design utilises a gimbal behind an optical dome, which is programmed to direct solar radiation reflected by the ocean surface into a fibre optic bundle. The fibre slicer and feed system then splits the light into the four spectral bands using order sorting filters. The fibres corresponding to each band are arranged with a small sideways offset to correctly centre each spectrum on the detector array. The spectrograph design is unique in that a single grating and detector is used for all four spectral bands. The whole instrument is housed within a liquid nitrogen cooled cryostat to ensure thermal stability. We summarise the GHOST project and its objectives, and will provide a detailed overview of the instrument concept, development, and proposed deployment on board the Global Hawk.

  16. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program: Site Operation Program. Quarterly progress report, July--September 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J.; Bassett, R.R.; Briasco, S.

    1995-12-01

    The Site Operator Program has evolved substantially since its inception in response to the Electric Vehicle Research and Demonstration Act of 1976. In its original form, a commercialization effort was intended but this was not feasible for lack of vehicle suppliers and infrastructure. Nonetheless, with DOE sponsorship and technical participation, a few results (primarily operating experience and data) were forthcoming. The current Program comprises eleven sites and over 200 vehicles, of which about 50 are latest generation vehicles. DOE partially funds the Program participant expenditures and the INEL receives operating and maintenance data for the DOE-owned, and participant-owned or monitored vehicles, as well as Program reports. As noted elsewhere in this report, participants represent several widely differing categories: electric utilities, academic institutions, and federal agencies. While both the utilities and the academic institutions tend to establish beneficial relationships with the industrial community.

  17. 76 FR 34286 - ITS Joint Program Office; Webinar on Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Analysis Report...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-13

    ... ITS Joint Program Office; Webinar on Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Analysis Report... Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Analysis Report. The webinar will provide an opportunity for... Officials (AASHTO) Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Analysis Report developed by the...

  18. Space Technology Research Vehicle (STRV)-2 program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoemaker, James; Brooks, Paul; Korevaar, Eric J.; Arnold, Graham S.; Das, Alok; Stubstad, John; Hay, R. G.

    2000-11-01

    The STRV-2 program is the second in a series of three collaborative flight test programs between the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and the United Kingdom (UK) Minstry of Defence (MoD). The STRV-2 Experiment Module contains five major experiments to provide proof-of-concept data on system design, data on the mid-earth orbit (MEO) space environment, and data on durability of materials and components operating in the MEO environment. The UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) has provided a mid- wavelength infrared (MWIF) imager to evaluate passive detection of aircraft from space. BMDO, in conjunction with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have provided experiments to evaluate use of adaptive structures for vibration suppression, to investigate the use of high bandwidth laser communications to transmit data from space to ground or airborne receivers, to study the durability of materials and components in the MEO space environment, and to measure radiation and micrometeoroid/debris fluence. These experiments are mounted on all- composite structure. This structure provides a significant reduction in weight and cost over comparable aluminum designs while maintaining the high stiffness required by optical payloads. In 1994, STRV-2 was manifested for launch by the DOD Space Test Program. STRV-2, the primary payload on the Tri-Service eXperiment (TSX)-5 spacecraft, was successfully launched on 7 June 2000 on a Pegasus XL from Vandenbery AFB, CA. The STRV-2 program, like the companion STRV-1 program, validates the viability of multi-national, multi-agency collaborations to provide cost effective acquisition of space test data. The experimental data to be obtained will reduce future satellite risk and provide guidelines for further system development.

  19. Training Program for Operation of Emergency Vehicles. Instructor Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    INNOVATRIX, Inc., Ingomar, PA.

    Unit lesson plans for the three parts of the Emergency Vehicle (EV) Operator training program are provided. The units in parts 1 and 2 are designed for use in a classroom setting and contain the following components: description of the unit; trainees' knowledge objectives; instructor preparation activities; instructional content/presentation…

  20. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Tethered Balloons and U.S. Department of Energy Arm Facilities on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivey, M.; Verlinde, J.

    2013-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through its scientific user facility, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, provides scientific infrastructure and data to the international Arctic research community via its research sites located on the North Slope of Alaska. Facilities and infrastructure to support operations of unmanned aerial systems for science missions in the Arctic and North Slope of Alaska will be established at Oliktok Point Alaska in 2013. Tethered instrumented balloons will be used to make measurements of clouds in the boundary layer including mixed-phase clouds. This poster will present information on opportunities for members of the arctic research community to make atmospheric measurements using unmanned aerial systems or tethered balloons.

  1. Tribal motor vehicle injury prevention programs for reducing disparities in motor vehicle-related injuries.

    PubMed

    West, Bethany A; Naumann, Rebecca B

    2014-04-18

    A previous analysis of National Vital Statistics System data for 2003-2007 that examined disparities in rates of motor vehicle-related death by race/ethnicity and sex found that death rates for American Indians/Alaska Natives were two to four times the rates of other races/ethnicities. To address the disparity in motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives, CDC funded four American Indian tribes during 2004-2009 to tailor, implement, and evaluate evidence-based road safety interventions. During the implementation of these four motor vehicle-related injury prevention pilot programs, seat belt and child safety seat use increased and alcohol-impaired driving decreased. Four American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities-the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Ho-Chunk Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe-implemented evidence-based road safety interventions to reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths. Each community selected interventions from the Guide to Community Preventive Services and implemented them during 2004-2009. Furthermore, each community took a multifaceted approach by incorporating several strategies, such as school and community education programs, media campaigns, and collaborations with law enforcement officers into their programs. Police data and direct observational surveys were the main data sources used to assess results of the programs. Results included increased use of seat belts and child safety seats, increased enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws, and decreased motor vehicle crashes involving injuries or deaths. CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity selected the intervention analysis and discussion as an example of a program that might be effective for reducing motor vehicle-related injury disparities in the United States. The Guide to Community Preventive Services recognizes these selected interventions as effective; this report examines the feasibility and transferability for implementing the interventions in American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities. The findings in this report underscore the effectiveness of community interventions to reduce motor vehicle crashes among selected American Indian/Alaska Native communities. PMID:24743664

  2. 41 CFR 101-26.501-9 - Centralized motor vehicle leasing program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 2 2014-07-01 2012-07-01 true Centralized motor vehicle...-PROCUREMENT SOURCES AND PROGRAM 26.5-GSA Procurement Programs § 101-26.501-9 Centralized motor vehicle leasing program. GSA has a centralized leasing program to provide an additional source of motor vehicle support...

  3. 41 CFR 101-26.501-9 - Centralized motor vehicle leasing program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Centralized motor vehicle...-PROCUREMENT SOURCES AND PROGRAM 26.5-GSA Procurement Programs § 101-26.501-9 Centralized motor vehicle leasing program. GSA has a centralized leasing program to provide an additional source of motor vehicle support...

  4. 41 CFR 101-26.501-9 - Centralized motor vehicle leasing program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 2 2011-07-01 2007-07-01 true Centralized motor vehicle...-PROCUREMENT SOURCES AND PROGRAM 26.5-GSA Procurement Programs § 101-26.501-9 Centralized motor vehicle leasing program. GSA has a centralized leasing program to provide an additional source of motor vehicle support...

  5. Field Operations Program Neighborhood Electric Vehicles - Fleet Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, James Edward; Carroll, M.

    2001-07-01

    This report summarizes a study of 15 automotive fleets that operate neighborhood electric vehicles(NEVs) in the United States. The information was obtained to help Field Operations Program personnel understand how NEVs are being used, how many miles they are being driven, and if they are being used to replace other types of fleet vehicles or as additions to fleets. (The Field Operations Program is a U.S. Department of Energy Program within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Transportation Technologies). The NEVs contribution to petroleum avoidance and cleaner air can be estimated based on the miles driven and by assuming gasoline use and air emissions values for the vehicles being replaced. Gasoline and emissions data for a Honda Civic are used as the Civic has the best fuel use for a gasoline-powered vehicle and very clean emissions. Based on these conservation assumptions, the 348 NEVs are being driven a total of about 1.2 million miles per year. This equates to an average of 3,409 miles per NEV annually or 9 miles per day. It is estimated that 29,195 gallons of petroleum use is avoided annually by the 348 NEVs. This equates to 87 gallons of petroleum use avoided per NEV, per year. Using the 348 NEVs avoids the generation of at least 775 pounds of smog- forming emissions annually.

  6. Field Operations Program - Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Fleet Use

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J. E.; Carroll, M. R.

    2001-07-02

    This report summarizes a study of 15 automotive fleets that operate neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) in the United States. The information was obtained to help Field Operations Program personnel understand how NEVs are being used, how many miles they are being driven, and if they are being used to replace other types of fleet vehicles or as additions to fleets. (The Field Operations Program is a U.S. Department of Energy Program within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Transportation Technologies). The NEVs contribution to petroleum avoidance and cleaner air can be estimated based on the miles driven and by assuming gasoline use and air emissions values for the vehicles being replaced. Gasoline and emissions data for a Honda Civic are used as the Civic has the best fuel use for a gasoline-powered vehicle and very clean emissions. Based on these conservation assumptions, the 348 NEVs are being driven a total of about 1.2 million miles per year. This equates to an average of 3,409 miles per NEV annually or 9 miles per day. It is estimated that 29,195 gallons of petroleum use is avoided annually by the 348 NEVs. This equates to 87 gallons of petroleum use avoided per NEV, per year. Using the 348 NEVs avoids the generation of at least 775 pounds of smog-forming emissions annually.

  7. Electric vehicles: Likely consequences of US and other nations` programs and policies

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Kwai-Cheung

    1994-12-30

    This report examines international electric vehicle development and commercialization programs. The study encompassed a review of current barriers to widespread electric vehicle implementation, field visits in seven nations and the United States to examine electric vehicle programs and policies, and analyses of electric vehicle effects on economics, energy, and the environment.

  8. Chemiluminescent methods and instruments for monitoring of the atmosphere and satellite validation on board of research aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnikov, Nikolay; Borisov, Yuriy; Akmulin, Dimitry; Chekulaev, Igor; Sitnikova, Vera; Ulanovsky, Alexey; Sokolov, Alexey

    The results of development of instruments based on heterophase chemiluminescence for measurements of space distribution of ozone and nitrogen oxides concentrations on board of research aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles carried out in Central Aerological Observatory are presented. Some results of atmospheric investigations on board of research aircrafts M55 “Geophysica” (Russia) and “Falcon” (Germany) carried out using developed instruments in frame of international projects are demonstrated. Small and low power instruments based on chemiluminescent principle for UAV are developed. The results of measurements on board of UAV are shown. The development can be used for satellite data validation, as well as operative environmental monitoring of contaminated areas in particular, chemical plants, natural and industrial disasters territories, areas and facilities for space purposes etc.

  9. Remote Sensing of Almond and Walnut Tree Canopy Temperatures Using an Inexpensive Infrared Sensor on a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, Kellen Ethan

    Improving water use efficiency in agriculture will become increasingly important in the face of decreasing water resources and a growing population. Increasing water use efficiency, or water productivity, has been shown to greatly reduce irrigation water usage in many orchard crops with little to no impact on yield. In some specialty crops, improving water productivity can even lead to a higher value crop. Current irrigation practices depend largely on uniform applications of water over large fields with varying degrees of heterogeneity. As a result, much of the field receives more water than it needs. A system to monitor the needs of each plant or smaller groups of plants within the field would be helpful in distributing irrigation water according to each plant or group of plants' needs. Such a system would help conserve water resources. Stomatal conductance is a good indicator of plant water-based stress, as it is the main response a plant has to limit transpiration-related water losses. The difference between leaf temperature and air temperature, when adjusted for environmental conditions, can give a good indication of stomatal conductance. Recent efforts at UC Davis have employed a handheld sensor suite to measure leaf temperature and other environmental variables like wind speed, air temperature, and humidity in almond and walnut trees. Though effective, this method requires walking or driving through the orchard and measuring several leaves on a given tree, so it is impractical for large-scale monitoring. Satellite and aircraft can measure canopy temperatures remotely, but these applications typically do not have the spatial resolution for precise monitoring or the temporal resolution necessary for irrigation decisions, and they are too expensive and impractical for smaller-scale farms. A smaller unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could employ the same methods as satellite and larger aircraft-based systems, but relatively inexpensively and at a scale catered to the needs of a given field for more precise monitoring. The goal of this study was to explore the feasibility of using an inexpensive temperature sensor (Melexis MLX90614; NV Melexis SA, Rozendaalstraat 12, 8900 Ieper, Belgium) on a small UAV (Mikrokopter OktoXL; Hisystems GmbH Flachsmeerstrasse 2, 26802 Moormerland, Germany) to sense the canopy temperatures of almond and walnut trees. To accomplish this goal, we installed an infrared temperature sensor and a digital camera on a small UAV. The camera provided a spatial awareness of the IR temperature measurements which would otherwise require a very expensive thermal imager to obtain. The UAV was flown above almond and walnut trees recording images and temperatures, which were aligned temporally in post-processing. The pixels of each image were classified in to four classes: sunlit leaves, shaded leaves, sunlit soil, and shaded soil. Assuming that the measured temperature could be described as a weighted sum of each class in the field of view of the IR sensor, a linear system of equations was established to estimate the temperature of each class using at least several measurements of the same tree. Results indicated a good correlation between the temperatures estimated from the linear system of equations and the temperatures of those classes sampled on the ground immediately following each flight. With leaf temperatures ranging from about 12 to 40 degrees Celsius between 23 flights over two years, the linear solver was able to estimate the temperature of the sunlit and shaded leaves to within several degrees Celsius of the sampled temperature in most cases, with a coefficient of determination (r2 value) of 0.96 during the first year, and 0.73 during the second year. An additional study was undertaken to detect spatial temperature distribution within the orchard. Ground measurements were taken of every other tree in two walnut rows and one almond row using the handheld sensor, and the UAV was flown over those rows immediately following each ground sampling. An interpolated temperature map of the UAV's temperature measurements indicated a very similar temperature distribution as that measured with the handheld sensor, but the UAV was much faster and, in parts of the rows, it provided a higher spatial resolution than the handheld sensor.

  10. High spatial resolution three-dimensional mapping of vegetation spectral dynamics using computer vision and hobbyist unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dandois, J. P.; Ellis, E. C.

    2013-12-01

    High spatial resolution three-dimensional (3D) measurements of vegetation by remote sensing are advancing ecological research and environmental management. However, substantial economic and logistical costs limit this application, especially for observing phenological dynamics in ecosystem structure and spectral traits. Here we demonstrate a new aerial remote sensing system enabling routine and inexpensive aerial 3D measurements of canopy structure and spectral attributes, with properties similar to those of LIDAR, but with RGB (red-green-blue) spectral attributes for each point, enabling high frequency observations within a single growing season. This 'Ecosynth' methodology applies photogrammetric ''Structure from Motion'' computer vision algorithms to large sets of highly overlapping low altitude (< 130 m) aerial photographs acquired using off-the-shelf digital cameras mounted on an inexpensive (< USD$4000), lightweight (< 2 kg), hobbyist-grade unmanned aerial system (UAS). Ecosynth 3D point clouds with densities of 30 - 67 points m-2 were produced using commercial computer vision software from digital photographs acquired repeatedly by UAS over three 6.25 ha (250 m x 250 m) Temperate Deciduous forest sites in Maryland USA. Ecosynth canopy height maps (CHMs) were strong predictors of field-measured tree heights (R2 0.63 to 0.84) and were highly correlated with a LIDAR CHM (R 0.87) acquired 4 days earlier, though Ecosynth-based estimates of aboveground biomass densities included significant errors (31 - 36% of field-based estimates). Repeated scanning of a 0.25 ha forested area at six different times across a 16 month period revealed ecologically significant dynamics in canopy color at different heights and a structural shift upward in canopy density, as demonstrated by changes in vertical height profiles of point density and relative RGB brightness. Changes in canopy relative greenness were highly correlated (R2 = 0.88) with MODIS NDVI time series for the same area and vertical differences in canopy color revealed the early green up of the dominant canopy species, Liriodendron tulipifera, strong evidence that Ecosynth time series measurements capture vegetation structural and spectral dynamics at the spatial scale of individual trees. Observing canopy phenology in 3D at high temporal resolutions represents a breakthrough in forest ecology. Inexpensive user-deployed technologies for multispectral 3D scanning of vegetation at landscape scales (< 1 km2) heralds a new era of participatory remote sensing by field ecologists, community foresters and the interested public.

  11. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program, Site Operator Program. Quarterly progress report, January--March 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J.E.; Bassett, R.R.; Briasco, S.

    1996-08-01

    Goals of the site operator program include field evaluation of electric vehicles (EVs) in real-world applications and environments, advancement of electric vehicle technologies, development of infrastructure elements necessary to support significant EV use, and increasing the awareness and acceptance of EVs by the public. The site operator program currently consists of 11 participants under contract and two other organizations with data-sharing agreements with the program. The participants (electric utilities, academic institutions, Federal agencies) are geographically dispersed within US and their vehicles see a broad spectrum of service conditions. Current EV inventories of the site operators exceeds 250 vehicles. Several national organizations have joined DOE to further the introduction and awareness of EVs, including: (1) EVAmerica (a utility program) and DOE conduct performance and evaluation tests to support market development for EVs; (2) DOE, DOT, the Electric Transportation Coalition, and the Electric Vehicle Association of the Americas are conducting a series of workshops to encourage urban groups in Clean Cities (a DOE program) to initiate the policies and infrastructure development necessary to support large-scale demonstrations, and ultimately the mass market use, of EVs. Current focus of the program is collection and dissemination of EV operations and performance data to aid in the evaluation of real- world EV use. This report contains several sections with vehicle evaluation as a focus: EV testing results, energy economics of EVs, and site operators activities.

  12. Development of Integrated Programs for Aerospace-Vehicle Design (IPAD)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, O. L.; Calvery, A. L.; Davis, D. A.; Dickmann, L.; Folger, D. H.; Jochem, E. N.; Kitto, C. M.; Vonlimbach, G.

    1977-01-01

    Integrated Programs for Aerospace Vehicle Design (IPAD) system design requirements are given. The information is based on the IPAD User Requirements Document (D6-IPAD-70013-D) and the Integrated Information Processing Requirements Document (D6-IPAD-70012-D). General information about IPAD and a list of the system design requirements that are to be satisfied by the IPAD system are given. The system design requirements definition is to be considered as a baseline definition of the IPAD system design requirements.

  13. 78 FR 52997 - Connected Vehicle Research Program Public Meeting; Notice of Public Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-27

    ... Connected Vehicle Research Program Public Meeting; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY: ITS Joint Program Office... JPO) will host its annual free public meeting to provide an overview of the ITS JPO Connected Vehicle... opportunity to learn details about the Connected Vehicle research program in anticipation of the...

  14. UAVs in climate research: The ARM Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bolton, W.R.

    1994-05-01

    In the last year, a Department of Energy/Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program project known as ``ARM-UAV`` has made important progress in developing and demonstrating the utility of unmanned aerospace vehicles as platforms for scientific measurements. Recent accomplishments include a series of flights using an atmospheric research payload carried by a General Atomics Gnat UAV at Edwards AFB, California, and over ground instruments located in north-central Oklahoma. The reminder of this discussion will provide background on the program and describe the recent flights.

  15. Aerial photos of KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This aerial photo focuses on the remote launch vehicle (RLV) hangar, still under construction. It sits at the south end of the Shuttle Landing Facility. Adjacent to the multi-purpose RLV hangar (above it) are facilities for related ground support equipment and administrative/technical support. The top of the photo captures a portion of the parking tarmac near the runway.

  16. Aerial of the VAB

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Even in this aerial view at KSC, the Vehicle Assembly Building is imposing. In front of it is the Launch Control Center. In the background is the Rotation/Processing Facility, next to the Banana Creek. In the foreground is the Saturn Causeway that leads to Launch Pads 39A and 39B.

  17. Recovery Act - Sustainable Transportation: Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program

    SciTech Connect

    Caille, Gary

    2013-12-13

    The collective goals of this effort include: 1) reach all facets of this society with education regarding electric vehicles (EV) and plug–in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), 2) prepare a workforce to service these advanced vehicles, 3) create web–based learning at an unparalleled level, 4) educate secondary school students to prepare for their future and 5) train the next generation of professional engineers regarding electric vehicles. The Team provided an integrated approach combining secondary schools, community colleges, four–year colleges and community outreach to provide a consistent message (Figure 1). Colorado State University Ventures (CSUV), as the prime contractor, plays a key program management and co–ordination role. CSUV is an affiliate of Colorado State University (CSU) and is a separate 501(c)(3) company. The Team consists of CSUV acting as the prime contractor subcontracted to Arapahoe Community College (ACC), CSU, Motion Reality Inc. (MRI), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and Ricardo. Collaborators are Douglas County Educational Foundation/School District and Gooru (www.goorulearning.org), a nonprofit web–based learning resource and Google spin–off.

  18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Dynamic-Tracking Directional Wireless Antennas for Low Powered Applications that Require Reliable Extended Range Operations in Time Critical Scenarios

    SciTech Connect

    Scott G. Bauer; Matthew O. Anderson; James R. Hanneman

    2005-10-01

    The proven value of DOD Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will ultimately transition to National and Homeland Security missions that require real-time aerial surveillance, situation awareness, force protection, and sensor placement. Public services first responders who routinely risk personal safety to assess and report a situation for emergency actions will likely be the first to benefit from these new unmanned technologies. ‘Packable’ or ‘Portable’ small class UAVs will be particularly useful to the first responder. They require the least amount of training, no fixed infrastructure, and are capable of being launched and recovered from the point of emergency. All UAVs require wireless communication technologies for real- time applications. Typically on a small UAV, a low bandwidth telemetry link is required for command and control (C2), and systems health monitoring. If the UAV is equipped with a real-time Electro-Optical or Infrared (EO/Ir) video camera payload, a dedicated high bandwidth analog/digital link is usually required for reliable high-resolution imagery. In most cases, both the wireless telemetry and real-time video links will be integrated into the UAV with unity gain omni-directional antennas. With limited on-board power and payload capacity, a small UAV will be limited with the amount of radio-frequency (RF) energy it transmits to the users. Therefore, ‘packable’ and ‘portable’ UAVs will have limited useful operational ranges for first responders. This paper will discuss the limitations of small UAV wireless communications. The discussion will present an approach of utilizing a dynamic ground based real-time tracking high gain directional antenna to provide extend range stand-off operation, potential RF channel reuse, and assured telemetry and data communications from low-powered UAV deployed wireless assets.

  19. 41 CFR 101-26.501-9 - Centralized motor vehicle leasing program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... leasing program. 101-26.501-9 Section 101-26.501-9 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal...-PROCUREMENT SOURCES AND PROGRAM 26.5-GSA Procurement Programs 101-26.501-9 Centralized motor vehicle leasing program. GSA has a centralized leasing program to provide an additional source of motor vehicle support...

  20. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - A Tool for Acquiring Spatial Data for Research and Commercial Purposes. New Course in the Geography and Cartography Curriculum in Higher Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeziorska, J.

    2014-04-01

    This paper describes the syllabus for the innovative course "Unmanned aerial observations of Terrain" introduced to the curriculum by the Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography of the University of Wroclaw (Poland). It indicates the objectives of the new subject, its didactic purpose, methods used in the teaching process, specifications of teaching materials, and the knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire. Finally, it presents the content of the course and description of lesson units. The subject will be obligatory for graduate students majoring in Geography, who are participants in the Geoinformatics and Cartography Master's program. Thirty-eight hours in a summer semester has been earmarked for the course. That includes 30 hours of instructor-guided laboratory and fieldtrip work, and 8 hours of individual work. The course aims to prepare future geographers to conduct a multi-step process that includes defining the purpose of using UAV in light of the chosen research problem, preparation of the mission, flight execution; geoprocessing of acquired aerial imagery; generation of cartomertic final products, and analysis of outcomes in order to answer the initially asked research question. This comprehensive approach will allow students, future experts in the field of geoinformatics and cartography, to gain the skills needed to acquire spatial data using an UAV, process them, and apply the results of their analysis in practice.

  1. 40 CFR 89.914 - What provisions apply to vehicles certified under the motor-vehicle program?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... COMPRESSION-IGNITION ENGINES Exemption Provisions § 89.914 What provisions apply to vehicles certified under the motor-vehicle program? You may use the provisions of 40 CFR 1039.610 to introduce new nonroad... under 40 CFR parts 85 and 86. However, when using the provisions of 40 CFR 1039.610, references to...

  2. 40 CFR 89.914 - What provisions apply to vehicles certified under the motor-vehicle program?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... COMPRESSION-IGNITION ENGINES Exemption Provisions § 89.914 What provisions apply to vehicles certified under the motor-vehicle program? You may use the provisions of 40 CFR 1039.610 to introduce new nonroad... under 40 CFR parts 85 and 86. However, when using the provisions of 40 CFR 1039.610, references to...

  3. 10 CFR 611.202 - Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 10 Energy 4 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program. 611.202 Section 611.202 Energy DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (CONTINUED) ASSISTANCE REGULATIONS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY VEHICLES MANUFACTURER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Facility/Funding Awards § 611.202 Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility...

  4. 10 CFR 611.202 - Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program. DOE may issue, under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program, 10 CFR part 611, subpart C, awards for eligible projects. ... 10 Energy 4 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility...

  5. 10 CFR 611.202 - Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program. DOE may issue, under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility Award Program, 10 CFR part 611, subpart C, awards for eligible projects. ... 10 Energy 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Facility...

  6. 78 FR 78467 - Connected Vehicle Research Program Public Meeting; Notice of Public Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-26

    ... Connected Vehicle Research Program Public Meeting; Notice of Public Meeting AGENCY: ITS Joint Program Office... Vehicle Systems. The meeting will take place Thursday, January 16, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. (EST) to 4:00 p.m... the successful implementation and operations of connected vehicle technologies. The primary...

  7. City of Las Vegas Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program

    SciTech Connect

    2013-12-31

    The City of Las Vegas was awarded Department of Energy (DOE) project funding in 2009, for the City of Las Vegas Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program. This project allowed the City of Las Vegas to purchase electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and associated electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The City anticipated the electric vehicles having lower overall operating costs and emissions similar to traditional and hybrid vehicles.

  8. Overview of Sandia`s Electric Vehicle Battery Program

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, R.P.

    1993-12-31

    Sandia National Laboratories is actively involved several projects which are part of an overall Electric Vehicle Battery Program. Part of this effort is funded by the United States Department of Energy/Office of Transportation Technologies (DOE/OTT) and the remainder is funded through the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC). DOE/OTT supported activities include research and development of zinc/air and sodium/sulfur battery technologies as well as double layer capacitor (DLC) R&D. Projects in the USABC funded work include lithium/polymer electrolyte (LPE) R&D, sodium/sulfur activities and battery test and evaluation.

  9. Overview of integrated programs for aerospace-vehicle design (IPAD)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fulton, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    An overview of a joint industry/government project, denoted Integrated Programs for Aerospace-Vehicle Design (IPAD), which focuses on development of technology and associated software for integrated company-wide management of engineering information is presented. Results to date are summarized and include an in-depth documentation of a representative design process for a large engineering project, the definition and design of computer-aided design software needed to support that process, and the release of prototype software to integrated selected design functions.

  10. Automatic iden