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Sample records for aerial vehicles uav

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geis, Jack; Arnold, Jack 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, 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Measuring orthometric water heights from lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandini, Filippo; Olesen, Daniel; Jakobsen, Jakob; Reyna-Gutierrez, Jose Antonio; Bauer-Gottwein, Peter

    2016-04-01

    A better quantitative understanding of hydrologic processes requires better observations of hydrological variables, such as surface water area, water surface level, its slope and its temporal change. However, ground-based measurements of water heights are restricted to the in-situ measuring stations. Hence, the objective of remote sensing hydrology is to retrieve these hydraulic variables from spaceborne and airborne platforms. The forthcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission will be able to acquire water heights with an expected accuracy of 10 centimeters for rivers that are at least 100 m wide. Nevertheless, spaceborne missions will always face the limitations of: i) a low spatial resolution which makes it difficult to separate water from interfering surrounding areas and a tracking of the terrestrial water bodies not able to detect water heights in small rivers or lakes; ii) a limited temporal resolution which limits the ability to determine rapid temporal changes, especially during extremes. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are one technology able to fill the gap between spaceborne and ground-based observations, ensuring 1) high spatial resolution; 2) tracking of the water bodies better than any satellite technology; 3) timing of the sampling which only depends on the operator 4) flexibility of the payload. Hence, this study focused on categorizing and testing sensors capable of measuring the range between the UAV and the water surface. The orthometric height of the water surface is then retrieved by subtracting the height above water measured by the sensors from the altitude above sea level retrieved by the onboard GPS. The following sensors were tested: a) a radar, b) a sonar c) a laser digital-camera based prototype developed at Technical University of Denmark. The tested sensors comply with the weight constraint of small UAVs (around 1.5 kg). The sensors were evaluated in terms of accuracy, maximum ranging distance and beam

  9. Wetland Assessment Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (uav) Photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boon, M. A.; Greenfield, R.; Tesfamichael, S.

    2016-06-01

    The use of Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry is a valuable tool to enhance our understanding of wetlands. Accurate planning derived from this technological advancement allows for more effective management and conservation of wetland areas. This paper presents results of a study that aimed at investigating the use of UAV photogrammetry as a tool to enhance the assessment of wetland ecosystems. The UAV images were collected during a single flight within 2½ hours over a 100 ha area at the Kameelzynkraal farm, Gauteng Province, South Africa. An AKS Y-6 MKII multi-rotor UAV and a digital camera on a motion compensated gimbal mount were utilised for the survey. Twenty ground control points (GCPs) were surveyed using a Trimble GPS to achieve geometrical precision and georeferencing accuracy. Structure-from-Motion (SfM) computer vision techniques were used to derive ultra-high resolution point clouds, orthophotos and 3D models from the multi-view photos. The geometric accuracy of the data based on the 20 GCP's were 0.018 m for the overall, 0.0025 m for the vertical root mean squared error (RMSE) and an over all root mean square reprojection error of 0.18 pixel. The UAV products were then edited and subsequently analysed, interpreted and key attributes extracted using a selection of tools/ software applications to enhance the wetland assessment. The results exceeded our expectations and provided a valuable and accurate enhancement to the wetland delineation, classification and health assessment which even with detailed field studies would have been difficult to achieve.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated megapixel spectral camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäkynen, Jussi; Holmlund, Christer; Saari, Heikki; Ojala, Kai; Antila, Tapani

    2011-11-01

    VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a lightweight Fabry-Perot interferometer based hyperspectral imager weighting only 400 g which makes it compatible with various small UAV platforms. The concept of the hyperspectral imager has been published in SPIE Proc. 74741 and 76682. This UAV spectral imager is capable of recording 5 Mpix multispectral data in the wavelength range of 500 - 900 nm at resolutions of 10-40 nm, Full-Width-Half-Maximum (FWHM). An internal memory buffer allows 16 Mpix of image data to be stored during one image burst. The user can configure the system to take either three 5 Mpix images or up to 54 VGA resolution images with each triggering. Each image contains data from one, two or three wavelength bands which can be separated during post processing. This allows a maximum of 9 spectral bands to be stored in high spatial resolution mode or up to 162 spectral bands in VGA-mode during each image burst. Image data is stored in a compact flash memory card which provides the mass storage for the imager. The field of view of the system is 26° × 36° and the ground pixel size at 150 m flying altitude is around 40 mm in high-resolution mode. The design, calibration and test flight results will be presented.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Analysis of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral remote sensing monitoring key technology in coastal wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Yi; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Jingyu

    2016-01-01

    The coastal wetland, a transitional zone between terrestrial ecosystems and marine ecosystems, is the type of great value to ecosystem services. For the recent 3 decades, area of the coastal wetland is decreasing and the ecological function is gradually degraded with the rapid development of economy, which restricts the sustainable development of economy and society in the coastal areas of China in turn. It is a major demand of the national reality to carry out the monitoring of coastal wetlands, to master the distribution and dynamic change. UAV, namely unmanned aerial vehicle, is a new platform for remote sensing. Compared with the traditional satellite and manned aerial remote sensing, it has the advantage of flexible implementation, no cloud cover, strong initiative and low cost. Image-spectrum merging is one character of high spectral remote sensing. At the same time of imaging, the spectral curve of each pixel is obtained, which is suitable for quantitative remote sensing, fine classification and target detection. Aimed at the frontier and hotspot of remote sensing monitoring technology, and faced the demand of the coastal wetland monitoring, this paper used UAV and the new remote sensor of high spectral imaging instrument to carry out the analysis of the key technologies of monitoring coastal wetlands by UAV on the basis of the current situation in overseas and domestic and the analysis of developing trend. According to the characteristic of airborne hyperspectral data on UAV, that is "three high and one many", the key technology research that should develop are promoted as follows: 1) the atmosphere correction of the UAV hyperspectral in coastal wetlands under the circumstance of complex underlying surface and variable geometry, 2) the best observation scale and scale transformation method of the UAV platform while monitoring the coastal wetland features, 3) the classification and detection method of typical features with high precision from multi scale

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Proposed architecture for the UAV family of air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinelli, Louis; Bazow, Steve

    1993-12-01

    As an integral part of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) interoperability and commonality program, Vitro Corporation and the UAV Systems Engineering Directorate developed a UAV family architecture which lays the foundation for future UAV systems.

  18. Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to capture ancient seismic offsets along the Altyn Tagh fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, M.; Xu, X.; Tapponnier, P.; van der Woerd, J.; Klinger, Y.; Derrien, A.; Bradley, K. E.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution topographic data is a key ingredient to assess the amplitude of seismic displacements along strike-slip fault. For faults that slip during earthquakes with centennial to millennial recurrence time, erosion smoothes out the sharpness of both geomorphic markers and surface breaks. Co-registred, high resolution digital elevation models and ground images are thus necessary to reconstruct past displacements and deformations along faults. The recent explosion in centimeter resolution topographic data obtained by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) raises the possibility of mapping geomorphic offsets of active faults with unprecedented accuracy. Here we tested the technique to obtain high-resolution images and generate topographic data along the Altyn Tagh fault, main active strike-slip fault along the northern edge of Tibet. The existence of spectacular scarps, combined with the low level of instrumental seismicity and lack of well documented historical events requires especialy detailed studies of surface faulting. At several sites along the Altun segment of the fault we reconstruct well preserved offsets based on both 2D-orthophotos and 3D-views of the landscape. The results show that the UAV data provides centimeter resolution, allowing accurate mapping of past ruptures. We determine a co-seismic offset of 5.6 m for the last event south of Annanba. We also reconstruct cumulative offsets of 11±0.5 m, 22±1 m and 32±2 m. The horizontal offsets obtained suggest that last and penultimate events had similar slip amounts locally. The larger slip values deduced from the other offsets may also result from repeated 5-5.5 m co-seismic slip but more data is needed to confirm such a characteristic slip behavior. Clearly, UAV-based imagery shows great potential for high-resolution seismotectonic research and seismic hazard assessment.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to model vegetation heights in Hulun Buir grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D.; Xin, X.; Li, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Vertical vegetation structure in grassland ecosystem is needed to assess grassland health and monitor available forage for livestock and wildlife habitat. Traditional ground-based field methods for measuring vegetation heights are time consuming. Most emerging airborne remote sensing techniques capable of measuring surface and vegetation height (e.g., LIDAR) are too expensive to apply at broad scales. Aerial or spaceborne stereo imagery has the cost advantage for mapping height of tall vegetation, such as forest. However, the accuracy and uncertainty of using stereo imagery for modeling heights of short vegetation, such as grass (generally lower than 50cm) needs to be investigated. In this study, 2.5-cm resolution UAV stereo imagery are used to model vegetation heights in Hulun Buir grassland ecosystem. Strong correlations were observed (r > 0.9) between vegetation heights derived from UAV stereo imagery and those field-measured ones at individual and plot level. However, vegetation heights tended to be underestimated in the imagery especially for those areas with high vegetation coverage. The strong correlations between field-collected vegetation heights and metrics derived from UAV stereo imagery suggest that UAV stereo imagery can be used to estimate short vegetation heights such as those in grassland ecosystem. Future work will be needed to verify the extensibility of the methods to other sites and vegetation types.

  4. 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.

  5. Sensitivity analyses for the DTMs derived from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in gully erosion mapping: Nallihan badland area (Ankara, Turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avdan, Ugur; Gorum, Tolga; Comert, Resul; Nefeslioglu, Hakan

    2015-04-01

    The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the spatial resolutions for the Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) derived from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in gully erosion mapping. For the purpose, Nallihan badland area (Ankara, Turkey) was selected to be the experimental site. The investigations were carried out in 3 stages; (i) production of the DTMs having 3 cm and 9 cm spatial resolutions by using the orthophoto imagery acquired from the UAV at 97.5 m and 292.4 m altitudes, respectively, (ii) Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) of the experimental site and production of the DTMs derived from the TLS data resampled at 3 cm and 9 cm spatial resolutions, and (iii) spatial and profile comparisons of the derived data. The average altitude differences were obtained on the intervals (-0.1, 0.1) m and (-0.2, 0.2) m for the comparisons between TLS-3cm and UAV-3cm, and TLS-9cm and UAV-9cm data, respectively. Additionally, considering the profile comparisons, it is revealed that depending on the decreasing of spatial resolution, the erosion rates calculated from the DTMs increase artificially.

  6. Observing changes at Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Aulock, Felix W.; Lavallée, Yan; Hornby, Adrian J.; Lamb, Oliver D.; Andrews, Benjamin J.; Kendrick, Jackie E.

    2016-04-01

    Santiaguito Volcano (Guatemala) is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America, producing several ash venting explosions per day for almost 100 years. Lahars, lava flows and dome and flank collapses that produce major pyroclastic density currents also present a major hazard to nearby farms and communities. Optical observations of both the vent as well as the lava flow fronts can provide scientists and local monitoring staff with important information on the current state of volcanic activity and hazard. Due to the strong activity, and difficult terrain, unmanned aerial vehicles can help to provide valuable data on the activities of the volcano at a safe distance. We collected a series of images and video footage of A.) The active vent of Caliente and B.) The flow front of the active lava flow and its associated lahar channels, both in May 2015 and in December 2015- January 2016. Images of the crater and the lava flows were used for the reconstruction of 3D terrain models using structure-from-motion. These were supported by still frames from the video recording. Video footage of the summit crater (during two separate ash venting episodes) and the lava flow fronts indicate the following differences in activity during those two field campaigns: A.) - A new breach opened on the east side of the crater rim, possibly during the collapse in November 2015. - The active lava dome is now almost completely covered with ash, only leaving the largest blocks and faults exposed in times without gas venting - A recorded explosive event in December 2015 initiates at subparallel linear faults near the centre of the dome, rather than arcuate or ring faults, with a later, separate, and more ash-laden burst occurring from an off-centre fracture, however, other explosions during the observation period were seen to persist along the ring fault system observed on the lava dome since at least 2007 - suggesting a diversification of explosive activity. B.) - The lava flow fronts did

  7. 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

  8. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for spatio-temporal monitoring of soil erosion and roughness in Chania, Crete, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexakis, Dimitrios; Seiradakis, Kostas; Tsanis, Ioannis

    2016-04-01

    This article presents a remote sensing approach for spatio-temporal monitoring of both soil erosion and roughness using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Soil erosion by water is commonly known as one of the main reasons for land degradation. Gully erosion causes considerable soil loss and soil degradation. Furthermore, quantification of soil roughness (irregularities of the soil surface due to soil texture) is important and affects surface storage and infiltration. Soil roughness is one of the most susceptible to variation in time and space characteristics and depends on different parameters such as cultivation practices and soil aggregation. A UAV equipped with a digital camera was employed to monitor soil in terms of erosion and roughness in two different study areas in Chania, Crete, Greece. The UAV followed predicted flight paths computed by the relevant flight planning software. The photogrammetric image processing enabled the development of sophisticated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and ortho-image mosaics with very high resolution on a sub-decimeter level. The DTMs were developed using photogrammetric processing of more than 500 images acquired with the UAV from different heights above the ground level. As the geomorphic formations can be observed from above using UAVs, shadowing effects do not generally occur and the generated point clouds have very homogeneous and high point densities. The DTMs generated from UAV were compared in terms of vertical absolute accuracies with a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) survey. The developed data products were used for quantifying gully erosion and soil roughness in 3D as well as for the analysis of the surrounding areas. The significant elevation changes from multi-temporal UAV elevation data were used for estimating diachronically soil loss and sediment delivery without installing sediment traps. Concerning roughness, statistical indicators of surface elevation point measurements were estimated and various

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Looking Inward to the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Rice Production Assessment in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komaladara, A. A. S. P.; Ambarawati, I. G. A. A.; Wijaya, I. M. A. S.; Hongo, C.; Mirah Adi, A. A. A.

    2015-12-01

    Rice is the main source of carbohydrate for most Indonesians. Rice production has been very dynamic due to improved infrastructure, research and development, and better farm management. However, rice production is susceptible to loss caused by drought, pest and disease attack and climate change. With the growing concern on sustainable and self-reliance food production in the country, there is an urgency to encourage research and efforts to increase rice productivity. Attempts to provide spatial distribution of rice fields on high resolution optical remote sensing data have been employed to some extent, however this technology could be costly. The use of UAV has been introduced to estimate damage ratio in rice crop recently in Indonesia. This technology is one of the ways to estimate rice production quicker, cost-saving and before harvesting time. This study aims to analyze spatio temporal and damage ratio of rice crop using UAV in Indonesia. The study empirically presents the use of UAV (Phantom 2 Vision +) on rice fields to the soil condition and development of management zone map in Bali as an example. The study concludes that the use of UAV allows researchers to pin point characteristics of crop and land in a specific area of a farm. This will then allow researchers to assist farmers in implementing specific and appropriate solutions to production issues. Key words: UAV, rice production, damage ratio

  2. 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

  3. Aerial Magnetic Sensing with AN Uav Helicopter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eck, C.; Imbach, B.

    2011-09-01

    This paper concentrates on aerial magnetic sensing with an autonomous Scout B1-100 UAV helicopter. A high-resolution 3-axis mag- netic sensor has been mounted on the helicopter in order to generate a detailed magnetic map and to identify various ferrous objects in the soil. The development is based on advanced mission planning for the UAV as well as test flights under challenging weather conditions such as wind gusts and snow fall. Finally, this paper summarizes a real-world application after the collapse of a daylight coal mining where various persons have been killed and multiple infrastructure objects have been buried. The task of magnetic scanning was applied in order to find buried vehicles where miners have been expected based on eyewitnesses during the collapse. However, while several ferrous objects have been located, the van could not be identified in the extensive area of the landslide.

  4. Water level observations from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for improving probabilistic estimations of interaction between rivers and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandini, Filippo; Butts, Michael; Vammen Jacobsen, Torsten; Bauer-Gottwein, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Integrated hydrological models are generally calibrated against observations of river discharge and piezometric head in groundwater aquifers. Integrated hydrological models are rarely calibrated against spatially distributed water level observations measured by either in-situ stations or spaceborne platforms. Indeed in-situ observations derived from ground-based stations are generally spaced too far apart to capture spatial patterns in the water surface. On the other hand spaceborne observations have limited spatial resolution. Additionally satellite observations have a temporal resolution which is not ideal for observing the temporal patterns of the hydrological variables during extreme events. UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) offer several advantages: i) high spatial resolution; ii) tracking of the water body better than any satellite technology; iii) timing of the sampling merely depending on the operators. In this case study the Mølleåen river (Denmark) and its catchment have been simulated through an integrated hydrological model (MIKE 11-MIKE SHE). This model was initially calibrated against observations of river discharge retrieved by in-situ stations and against piezometric head of the aquifers. Subsequently the hydrological model has been calibrated against dense spatially distributed water level observations, which could potentially be retrieved by UAVs. Error characteristics of synthetic UAV water level observations were taken from a recent proof-of-concept study. Since the technology for ranging water level is under development, UAV synthetic water level observations were extracted from another model of the river with higher spatial resolution (cross sections located every 10 m). This model with high resolution is assumed to be absolute truth for the purpose of this work. The river model with the coarser resolution has been calibrated against the synthetic water level observations through Differential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis (DREAM) algorithm, an

  5. Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): Results from the 2014 AROMAT campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merlaud, Alexis; Tack, Frederik; Constantin, Daniel; Fayt, Caroline; Maes, Jeroen; Mingireanu, Florin; Mocanu, Ionut; Georgescu, Lucian; Van Roozendael, Michel

    2015-04-01

    The Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) is an instrument dedicated to atmospheric trace gas retrieval from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The payload is based on a compact visible spectrometer and a scanning mirror to collect scattered sunlight. Its weight, size, and power consumption are respectively 920 g, 27x12x12 cm3, and 6 W. The custom-built 2.5 m flying wing UAV is electrically powered, has a typical airspeed of 100 km/h, and can operate at a maximum altitude of 3 km. Both the payload and the UAV were developed in the framework of a collaboration between the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) and the Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania. We present here SWING-UAV test flights dedicated to NO2 measurements and performed in Romania on 10 and 11 September 2014, during the Airborne ROmanian Measurements of Aerosols and Trace gases (AROMAT) campaign. The UAV performed 5 flights in the vicinity of the large thermal power station of Turceni (44.67° N, 23.4° E). The UAV was operated in visual range during the campaign, up to 900 m AGL , downwind of the plant and crossing its exhaust plume. The spectra recorded on flight are analyzed with the Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) method. The retrieved NO2 Differential Slant Column Densities (DSCDs) are up to 1.5e17 molec/cm2 and reveal the horizontal gradients around the plant. The DSCDs are converted to vertical columns and compared with coincident car-based DOAS measurements. We also present the near-future perspective of the SWING-UAV observation system, which includes flights in 2015 above the Black Sea to quantify ship emissions, the addition of SO2 as a target species, and autopilot flights at higher altitudes to cover a typical satellite pixel extent (10x10 km2).

  6. UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) HYPERSPECTRAL REMOTE SENSING FOR DRYLAND VEGETATION MONITORING

    SciTech Connect

    Nancy F. Glenn; Jessica J. Mitchell; Matthew O. Anderson; Ryan C. Hruska

    2012-06-01

    UAV-based hyperspectral remote sensing capabilities developed by the Idaho National Lab and Idaho State University, Boise Center Aerospace Lab, were recently tested via demonstration flights that explored the influence of altitude on geometric error, image mosaicking, and dryland vegetation classification. The test flights successfully acquired usable flightline data capable of supporting classifiable composite images. Unsupervised classification results support vegetation management objectives that rely on mapping shrub cover and distribution patterns. Overall, supervised classifications performed poorly despite spectral separability in the image-derived endmember pixels. Future mapping efforts that leverage ground reference data, ultra-high spatial resolution photos and time series analysis should be able to effectively distinguish native grasses such as Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), from invasives such as burr buttercup (Ranunculus testiculatus) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum).

  7. Helicopter, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Ground Based Photogrammetric Monitoring of Mass Movements in Deglaciating Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunning, S.; Allan, M. S.; Lim, M.; Rosser, N. J.

    2014-12-01

    When valley glaciers retreat and/or thin, they expose stores of sediment prone to failure and rapid reworking through a range of mass movement processes. The newly exposed bedrock slopes are also thought to undergo a period of more intense, or more frequent, failure before returning to the background norm. However, the magnitude-frequency of failures above and in front of ice is poorly constrained, as are their spatial relationship to previous ice extents. Here we show the results from a combination of repeat helicopter, UAV and ground based photogrammetry that has been processed using Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques to produce high-resolution elevation and change models. These data require few ground control and so lend themselves to deployment in remote, or difficult to access high-mountain regions where our understanding of failure patterns has been limited by a lack of high-quality monitoring data. Our initial data cover the valley walls of Glacier d'Argentiere, Mer De Glace, Glacier des Bossons and the Bionnassay Glacier on the French side of the Mt Blanc massif at the start and end of the summer 2014 season. These glaciers have a rich documented history of ice retreat, thinning, and permafrost locations to link to the spatial patterns of failure.

  8. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operated spectral camera system for forest and agriculture applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saari, Heikki; Pellikka, Ismo; Pesonen, Liisa; Tuominen, Sakari; Heikkilä, Jan; Holmlund, Christer; Mäkynen, Jussi; Ojala, Kai; Antila, Tapani

    2011-11-01

    VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI) based hyperspectral imager compatible with the light weight UAV platforms. The concept of the hyperspectral imager has been published in the SPIE Proc. 7474 and 7668. In forest and agriculture applications the recording of multispectral images at a few wavelength bands is in most cases adequate. The possibility to calculate a digital elevation model of the forest area and crop fields provides means to estimate the biomass and perform forest inventory. The full UAS multispectral imaging system will consist of a high resolution false color imager and a FPI based hyperspectral imager which can be used at resolutions from VGA (480 x 640 pixels) up to 5 Mpix at wavelength range 500 - 900 nm at user selectable spectral resolutions in the range 10...40 nm @ FWHM. The resolution is determined by the order at which the Fabry- Perot interferometer is used. The overlap between successive images of the false color camera is 70...80% which makes it possible to calculate the digital elevation model of the target area. The field of view of the false color camera is typically 80 degrees and the ground pixel size at 150 m flying altitude is around 5 cm. The field of view of the hyperspectral imager is presently is 26 x 36 degrees and ground pixel size at 150 m flying altitude is around 3.5 cm. The UAS system has been tried in summer 2011 in Southern Finland for the forest and agricultural areas. During the first test campaigns the false color camera and hyperspectral imager were flown over the target areas at separate flights. The design and calibration of the hyperspectral imager will be shortly explained. The test flight campaigns on forest and crop fields and their preliminary results are also presented in this paper.

  9. Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): status and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merlaud, Alexis; Tack, Frederik; Constantin, Daniel-Eduard; Fayt, Caroline; Maes, Jeroen; Mingireanu, Florin; Mocanu, Ionut; Georgescu, Lucian; Van Roozendael, Michel

    2014-05-01

    The Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) is a recently developed instrument dedicated to trace gas measurements from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The payload is based on a compact ultra-violet visible spectrometer and a scanning mirror. Its weight, size, and power consumption are respectively 920 g, 27x12x12 cm3, and 6 W. The custom-built UAV is an electrically powered flying wing and can reach an altitude of 3 km at a mean airspeed of 100 km/h. The whole flight can be preprogrammed and controlled by an autopilot. The spectra are analyzed using Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS). One major objective is the mapping of NO2 columns at high spatial resolution allowing to subsample satellite measurements within the extent of a typical ground pixel. We present the preliminary results of two test flights of the SWING-UAV observation system in the vicinity of Galati, Romania (45.45°N, 28.05°E), performed on 11 May 2013 and 20 September 2013. Several atmospheric species are identified in the spectral range covered by the spectrometer (300-600 nm): NO2, water vapor, O4, and O3. From the measurements, the detection limit for NO2 is estimated to lie around 2 ppb. We investigate: (1) the georeferencing issues and the effective spatial resolution achievable with SWING-UAV from the instantaneous field of view and the plane dynamics (2) the main parameters influencing the air mass factors, and (3) the reproducibility of NO2 measurements over the same area during the second flight which included repeated transects. We also present the near-future (2014-2015) campaigns planned for the SWING-UAV observation system.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Experiences with Light Weight Fixed Wing Aerial Mapping UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, W.

    2014-11-01

    UAVs seem to be the next "cloud" like topic, not only in geomatics. Unmanned Airborne Vehicles are not a wonder-tool, but a complementary approach to resolve some tasks more efficiently than before or at all. Since 2006 we commercially apply fixed wing, light weight UAVs for aerial mapping purposes. In this paper we like to share our experiences with UAVs of less than 5 kg and illuminate some limitations as well as potentials. Whereas multicopters seem to be in use everywhere, fixed wing UAVs more frequently seem to be applied in specific and geospatially oriented applications. Having processed several hundred UAV aerial mapping projects there forms a stable picture of this technology. Our impressions on durability, handling, and reliability of fixed wing UAVs get presented. We report on our day-to-day experiences and point to often simple hurdles to overcome. Various cameras were flown, different approaches of handling their geometries with different software packages were undertaken. Remarks to achieved geometric accuracies as well as the consequences of using dual frequency GPS instead of simple yet great single frequency GPS are discussed. All of this packed into the subsequent paper.

  13. 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...

  14. [Retrieval of crown closure of moso bamboo forest using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remotely sensed imagery based on geometric-optical model].

    PubMed

    Wang, Cong; Du, Hua-qiang; Zhou, Guo-mo; Xu, Xiao-jun; Sun, Shao-bo; Gao, Guo-long

    2015-05-01

    This research focused on the application of remotely sensed imagery from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with high spatial resolution for the estimation of crown closure of moso bamboo forest based on the geometric-optical model, and analyzed the influence of unconstrained and fully constrained linear spectral mixture analysis (SMA) on the accuracy of the estimated results. The results demonstrated that the combination of UAV remotely sensed imagery and geometric-optical model could, to some degrees, achieve the estimation of crown closure. However, the different SMA methods led to significant differentiation in the estimation accuracy. Compared with unconstrained SMA, the fully constrained linear SMA method resulted in higher accuracy of the estimated values, with the coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.63 at 0.01 level, against the measured values acquired during the field survey. Root mean square error (RMSE) of approximate 0.04 was low, indicating that the usage of fully constrained linear SMA could bring about better results in crown closure estimation, which was closer to the actual condition in moso bamboo forest. PMID:26571671

  15. The future of structural fieldwork - UAV assisted aerial photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollgger, Stefan; Cruden, Alexander

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, are opening new and low cost possibilities to acquire high-resolution aerial images and digital surface models (DSM) for applications in structural geology. UAVs can be programmed to fly autonomously along a user defined grid to systematically capture high-resolution photographs, even in difficult to access areas. The photographs are subsequently processed using software that employ SIFT (scale invariant feature transform) and SFM (structure from motion) algorithms. These photogrammetric routines allow the extraction of spatial information (3D point clouds, digital elevation models, 3D meshes, orthophotos) from 2D images. Depending on flight altitude and camera setup, sub-centimeter spatial resolutions can be achieved. By "digitally mapping" georeferenced 3D models and images, orientation data can be extracted directly and used to analyse the structural framework of the mapped object or area. We present UAV assisted aerial mapping results from a coastal platform near Cape Liptrap (Victoria, Australia), where deformed metasediments of the Palaeozoic Lachlan Fold Belt are exposed. We also show how orientation and spatial information of brittle and ductile structures extracted from the photogrammetric model can be linked to the progressive development of folds and faults in the region. Even though there are both technical and legislative limitations, which might prohibit the use of UAVs without prior commercial licensing and training, the benefits that arise from the resulting high-resolution, photorealistic models can substantially contribute to the collection of new data and insights for applications in structural geology.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Analysis of material entrainment with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and simulation of the debris-flow event at the Sattelbach torrent - Austria, 2013.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheidl, Christian; Schraml, Klaus; Moser, Markus; Hübl, Johannes

    2014-05-01

    In summer 2013, a disastrous debris-flow destroyed several houses and infrastructure facilities on the fan of the Sattelbach catchment located in the district of St. Johann im Pongau, Salzburg (Austria). Fortunately, no damage to persons could be registered. The debris flow was triggered by shallow landslides within the upper catchment, mobilizing in total approximately 4,000 m3 of debris. However, the volume of the debris-flow event at the fan was documented with 12,000 m3, whereas a maximum discharge of 380 m3/s was estimated near the fan apex. Witnesses reported only one big wave passing the fan area, which seems to be out of character for a typical Alpine debris-flow event showing such high discharge. For the later, one would suppose multiple smaller waves. Due to the fact of evolving material entrainment resulted in one big wave, the debris-flow event at the Sattelbach catchment was chosen as case study to analyze mass bulking. For this reason, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used to establish a digital terrain model (DTM) of the whole reach after the event. This terrain model was then compared to a LiDAR DTM, showing the topographical situation before the event. Based on the analyzed mass bulking along the whole reach, numerical simulations were performed using the DAN3D (Dynamic Analysis of Landslides in Three Dimensions) code. The DAN3D model allows selection between different rheologies as well as the implementation of entrainment. The study will show the applicability of UAV's in small and steep catchments and will test DAN 3D a debris-flow simulation tool with an implemented mass-bulking model.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Use of the Aerosonde Unihabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX 4)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hipskind, R. Stephen; Curry, Judy; Holland, Greg

    2001-01-01

    The Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX 4) was a scientific field experiment based in Florida in summer 2001 focused on the study of hurricanes off the east coast of the United States. Sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Office of Earth Science, and conducted in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual hurricane research program, CAMEX 4 utilized aircraft, ground-based and satellite instrumentation to obtain unprecedented, three dimensional characterizations of these important storms. The Aerosonde UAV was selected by NASA to participate in CAMEX 4 because it provided a unique capability to obtain measurements in the atmospheric boundary layer in and around the storms, unattainable by other platforms or measurement capabilities. This talk focuses on the NASA review process that was followed to coordinate the UAV activity with the conventional aircraft operations, as well as with the other participating agencies and the FAA. We will discuss how Aerosonde addressed the issues of safety, coordination and communication and summarize the lessons learned.

  3. Aerial Terrain Mapping Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tahar, K. N.

    2012-08-01

    This paper looks into the latest achievement in the low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology in their capacity to map the semi-development areas. The objectives of this study are to establish a new methodology or a new algorithm in image registration during interior orientation process and to determine the accuracy of the photogrammetric products by using UAV images. Recently, UAV technology has been used in several applications such as mapping, agriculture and surveillance. The aim of this study is to scrutinize the usage of UAV to map the semi-development areas. The performance of the low cost UAV mapping study was established on a study area with two image processing methods so that the results could be comparable. A non-metric camera was attached at the bottom of UAV and it was used to capture images at both sites after it went through several calibration steps. Calibration processes were carried out to determine focal length, principal distance, radial lens distortion, tangential lens distortion and affinity. A new method in image registration for a non-metric camera is discussed in this paper as a part of new methodology of this study. This method used the UAV Global Positioning System (GPS) onboard to register the UAV image for interior orientation process. Check points were established randomly at both sites using rapid static Global Positioning System. Ground control points are used for exterior orientation process, and check point is used for accuracy assessment of photogrammetric product. All acquired images were processed in a photogrammetric software. Two methods of image registration were applied in this study, namely, GPS onboard registration and ground control point registration. Both registrations were processed by using photogrammetric software and the result is discussed. Two results were produced in this study, which are the digital orthophoto and the digital terrain model. These results were analyzed by using the root mean square

  4. Exploring the evolution of supraglacial drainage networks using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rippin, D. M.; Pomfret, A.

    2013-12-01

    The nature and efficiency of the supraglacial drainage system of valley glaciers is of vital importance, since it is the mechanism by which water is routed across a glacier surface and delivered, via crevasses, to the glacier bed, where it influences ice dynamics. Over a melt-season, a glacier's supraglacial network varies spatially and temporally as the contributing area, surface slope and water volume varies. Similarly, as melt rates change over the longer term, and as glaciers retreat, such changes in supraglacial drainage are also likely to occur, with implications for ice dynamics and for the delivery of meltwater to extra-glacial locations. Despite the importance of supraglacial drainage there are surprisingly few studies of supraglacial drainage pathways, and many that do exist are >20 years old. Furthermore, investigations of such pathways on polythermal glaciers are extremely rare, despite them being ideal laboratories for such investigations. There is an even greater need for an enhanced understanding here following the recent identification of ';cut and closure' drainage pathways by which englacial channels have been shown to evolve from supraglacial channels in polythermal glaciers, thus negating the need for crevasses to facilitate access to the englacial system. Here, we report on a recent field-season to the glacier Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard, where we used a UAV and SfM to explore the evolution of supraglacial channels. We report here on the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and also provide insights into the evolution of supraglacial drainage at high spatial and temporal evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Preservation potential of subtle glacial landforms based on detailed mapping of recently exposed proglacial areas: application of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and structure-from-motion (SfM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewertowski, Marek; Evans, David; Roberts, David; Tomczyk, Aleksandra; Ewertowski, Wojciech

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing glacier retreat results in the continuous exposure of proglacial areas. Such areas contain invaluable information about glacial process-form relationships manifest in specific landform assemblages. However, preservation potential of freshly exposed glacial landforms is very low, as proglacial terrains are one of the most dynamic parts of the landscape. Therefore, rapid mapping and geomorphological characterisation of such areas is important from a glaciological and geomorphological point of view for proper understanding and reconstruction of glacier-landform dynamics and chronology of glacial events. Annual patterns of recession and relatively small areas exposed every year, mean that the performing of regular aerial or satellite survey is expensive and therefore impractical. Recent advances in technology enables the development of low-cost alternatives for traditional aerial surveys. Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can be used to acquire high-resolution (several cm) low-altitude photographs. The UAV-based photographs can be subsequently processed through the structure-from-motion process to generate detailed orthophotomaps and digital elevation models. In this study we present case studies from the forelands of various glaciers on Iceland and Svalbard representing different types of proglacial landscapes: Fláajökull (annual push moraines); Hofellsjökul (bedrock bedforms and push moraines); Fjallsjökull (marginal drainage network); Rieperbreen (crevasse squeeze ridges and longitudinal debris stripes); Ayerbreen (transverse debris ridges); Foxfonna (longitudinal debris stripes);Hørbyebreen (geometric ridge network); Nordenskiöldbreen (fluted till surface); Ebbabreen (controlled moraine complex). UAV campaigns were conducted using a low-cost quadcopter platform. Resultant orthophotos and DEMs enabled mapping and assessment of recent glacial landscape development in different types of glacial landsystems. Results of our study indicate that

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Real-time people and vehicle detection from UAV imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaszczak, Anna; Breckon, Toby P.; Han, Jiwan

    2011-01-01

    A generic and robust approach for the real-time detection of people and vehicles from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is an important goal within the framework of fully autonomous UAV deployment for aerial reconnaissance and surveillance. Here we present an approach for the automatic detection of vehicles based on using multiple trained cascaded Haar classifiers with secondary confirmation in thermal imagery. Additionally we present a related approach for people detection in thermal imagery based on a similar cascaded classification technique combining additional multivariate Gaussian shape matching. The results presented show the successful detection of vehicle and people under varying conditions in both isolated rural and cluttered urban environments with minimal false positive detection. Performance of the detector is optimized to reduce the overall false positive rate by aiming at the detection of each object of interest (vehicle/person) at least once in the environment (i.e. per search patter flight path) rather than every object in each image frame. Currently the detection rate for people is ~70% and cars ~80% although the overall episodic object detection rate for each flight pattern exceeds 90%.

  19. UAV using the open-source flight-control-system in the application of aerial survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ji-chen; Ru, Chen

    2015-12-01

    The aerial survey as one of the branches of the Space Information Technology system, has an important application in data acquisition of the earth's surface. In recent years, the trend of UVA (unmanned aerial vehicle) to replace traditional survey aircraft has become increasingly obvious with the progress of science and technology. At present, the price of the commercial UAV Flight Control System is higher, limiting the application of UVA. This paper mainly discusses the possibility that the open-source's flight-control-system take the place of the commercial one. Result is that the costs of UVA are reduced, and make the application more widely.

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Measured Noise from Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabell, Randolph; McSwain, Robert; Grosveld, Ferdinand

    2016-01-01

    Proposed uses of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including home package delivery, have the potential to expose large portions of communities to a new noise source. This paper discusses results of flyover noise measurements of four small UAVs, including an internal combustion-powered model airplane and three battery-powered multicopters. Basic noise characteristics of these vehicles are discussed, including spectral properties and sound level metrics such as sound pressure level, effective perceived noise level, and sound exposure level. The size and aerodynamic characteristics of the multicopters in particular make their flight path susceptible to atmospheric disturbances such as wind gusts. These gusts, coupled with a flight control system that varies rotor speed to maintain vehicle stability, create an unsteady acoustic signature. The spectral variations resulting from this unsteadiness are explored, in both hover and flyover conditions for the multicopters. The time varying noise, which differs from the relatively steady noise generated by large transport aircraft, may complicate the prediction of human annoyance using conventional sound level metrics.

  6. Simulation study of unmanned aerial vehicle communication networks addressing bandwidth disruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Sixiao; Ge, Linqiang; Yu, Wei; Chen, Genshe; Pham, Khanh; Blasch, Erik; Shen, Dan; Lu, Chao

    2014-06-01

    To date, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been widely used for numerous applications. UAVs can directly connect to ground stations or satellites to transfer data. Multiple UAVs can communicate and cooperate with each other and then construct an ad-hoc network. Multi-UAV systems have the potential to provide reliable and timely services for end users in addition to satellite networks. In this paper, we conduct a simulation study for evaluating the network performance of multi-UAV systems and satellite networks using the ns-2 networking simulation tool. Our simulation results show that UAV communication networks can achieve better network performance than satellite networks and with a lower cost and increased timeliness. We also investigate security resiliency of UAV networks. As a case study, we simulate false data injection attacks against UAV communication networks in ns-2 and demonstrate the impact of false data injection attacks on network performance.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Automated Identification of River Hydromorphological Features Using UAV High Resolution Aerial Imagery

    PubMed Central

    Rivas Casado, Monica; Ballesteros Gonzalez, Rocio; Kriechbaumer, Thomas; Veal, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    European legislation is driving the development of methods for river ecosystem protection in light of concerns over water quality and ecology. Key to their success is the accurate and rapid characterisation of physical features (i.e., hydromorphology) along the river. Image pattern recognition techniques have been successfully used for this purpose. The reliability of the methodology depends on both the quality of the aerial imagery and the pattern recognition technique used. Recent studies have proved the potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to increase the quality of the imagery by capturing high resolution photography. Similarly, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) have been shown to be a high precision tool for automated recognition of environmental patterns. This paper presents a UAV based framework for the identification of hydromorphological features from high resolution RGB aerial imagery using a novel classification technique based on ANNs. The framework is developed for a 1.4 km river reach along the river Dee in Wales, United Kingdom. For this purpose, a Falcon 8 octocopter was used to gather 2.5 cm resolution imagery. The results show that the accuracy of the framework is above 81%, performing particularly well at recognising vegetation. These results leverage the use of UAVs for environmental policy implementation and demonstrate the potential of ANNs and RGB imagery for high precision river monitoring and river management. PMID:26556355

  10. Automated Identification of River Hydromorphological Features Using UAV High Resolution Aerial Imagery.

    PubMed

    Casado, Monica Rivas; Gonzalez, Rocio Ballesteros; Kriechbaumer, Thomas; Veal, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    European legislation is driving the development of methods for river ecosystem protection in light of concerns over water quality and ecology. Key to their success is the accurate and rapid characterisation of physical features (i.e., hydromorphology) along the river. Image pattern recognition techniques have been successfully used for this purpose. The reliability of the methodology depends on both the quality of the aerial imagery and the pattern recognition technique used. Recent studies have proved the potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to increase the quality of the imagery by capturing high resolution photography. Similarly, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) have been shown to be a high precision tool for automated recognition of environmental patterns. This paper presents a UAV based framework for the identification of hydromorphological features from high resolution RGB aerial imagery using a novel classification technique based on ANNs. The framework is developed for a 1.4 km river reach along the river Dee in Wales, United Kingdom. For this purpose, a Falcon 8 octocopter was used to gather 2.5 cm resolution imagery. The results show that the accuracy of the framework is above 81%, performing particularly well at recognising vegetation. These results leverage the use of UAVs for environmental policy implementation and demonstrate the potential of ANNs and RGB imagery for high precision river monitoring and river management. PMID:26556355

  11. Observing snow cover using unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spallek, Waldemar; Witek, Matylda; Niedzielski, Tomasz

    2016-04-01

    Snow cover is a key environmental variable that influences high flow events driven by snow-melt episodes. Estimates of snow extent (SE), snow depth (SD) and snow water equivalent (SWE) allow to approximate runoff caused by snow-melt episodes. These variables are purely spatial characteristics, and hence their pointwise measurements using terrestrial monitoring systems do not offer the comprehensive and fully-spatial information on water storage in snow. Existing satellite observations of snow reveal moderate spatial resolution which, not uncommonly, is not fine enough to estimate the above-mentioned snow-related variables for small catchments. High-resolution aerial photographs and the resulting orthophotomaps and digital surface models (DSMs), obtained using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), may offer spatial resolution of 3 cm/px. The UAV-based observation of snow cover may be done using the near-infrared (NIR) cameras and visible-light cameras. Since the beginning of 2015, in frame of the research project no. LIDER/012/223/L-5/13/NCBR/2014 financed by the National Centre for Research and Development of Poland, we have performed a series of the UAV flights targeted at four sites in the Kwisa catchment in the Izerskie Mts. (part of the Sudetes, SW Poland). Observations are carried out with the ultralight UAV swinglet CAM (produced by senseFly, lightweight 0.5 kg, wingspan 80 cm) which enables on-demand sampling at low costs. The aim of the field work is to acquire aerial photographs taken using the visible-light and NIR cameras for a purpose of producing time series of DSMs and orthophotomaps with snow cover for all sites. The DSMs are used to calculate SD as difference between observational (with snow) and reference (without snow) models. In order to verify such an approach to compute SD we apply several procedures, one of which is the estimation of SE using the corresponding orthophotomaps generated on a basis of visual-light and NIR images. The objective of this

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Land cover/use mapping using multi-band imageries captured by Cropcam Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Autopilot (UAV) over Penang Island, Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuyi, Tan; Boon Chun, Beh; Mat Jafri, Mohd Zubir; Hwee San, Lim; Abdullah, Khiruddin; Mohammad Tahrin, Norhaslinda

    2012-11-01

    The problem of difficulty in obtaining cloud-free scene at the Equatorial region from satellite platforms can be overcome by using airborne imagery. Airborne digital imagery has proved to be an effective tool for land cover studies. Airborne digital camera imageries were selected in this present study because of the airborne digital image provides higher spatial resolution data for mapping a small study area. The main objective of this study is to classify the RGB bands imageries taken from a low-altitude Cropcam UAV for land cover/use mapping over USM campus, penang Island, Malaysia. A conventional digital camera was used to capture images from an elevation of 320 meter on board on an UAV autopilot. This technique was cheaper and economical compared with other airborne studies. The artificial neural network (NN) and maximum likelihood classifier (MLC) were used to classify the digital imageries captured by using Cropcam UAV over USM campus, Penang Islands, Malaysia. The supervised classifier was chosen based on the highest overall accuracy (<80%) and Kappa statistic (<0.8). The classified land cover map was geometrically corrected to provide a geocoded map. The results produced by this study indicated that land cover features could be clearly identified and classified into a land cover map. This study indicates the use of a conventional digital camera as a sensor on board on an UAV autopilot can provide useful information for planning and development of a small area of coverage.

  15. Application of a Very-Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Consumer Grade Camera for the Collection of Research Grade Data: Preliminary Findings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian, P.; Davis, J. D.; Blesius, L.

    2013-12-01

    The use of UAV technology in the field of geoscience research has grown almost exponentially in the last decade. UAVs have been utilized as a sensor platform in many fields including geology, biology, climatology, geomorphology and archaeology. A UAV's ability to fly frequently, at very low altitude, and at relatively little cost makes them a perfect compromise between free, low temporal and spatial resolution satellite data and terrestrial based survey when there are insufficient funds to purchase custom satellite or manned aircraft data. Unfortunately, many available UAVs for research are still relatively expensive and often have predetermined imaging systems. However, the proliferation of hobbyist grade UAVs and consumer point and shoot cameras may provide many research projects with an alternative that is both cost-effective and efficient in data collection. This study therefore seeks to answer the question, can these very low cost, hobby-grade UAVs be used to produce research grade data. To achieve this end, in December of 2012 a small grant was obtained (<$6500) to set up a complete UAV system and to employ it in a diverse range of research. The system is comprised of a 3D Robotics hexacopter, Ardupilot automated flight hardware and software, spare parts and tool kit, two Canon point-and-shoot cameras including one modified for near infrared imagery, and a field laptop. To date, successful research flights have been flown for geomorphic research in degraded and restored montane meadows to study stream channel formation using both visible and near infrared imagery as well as for the creation of digital elevation models of large hillslope gullies using structure from motion (SFM). Other applications for the hexacopter, in progress or planned, include landslide monitoring, vegetation monitoring and mapping using the normalized difference vegetation index, archaeological survey, and bird nest identification on small rock islands. An analysis of the results

  16. Aerial monitoring in active mud volcano by UAV technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisciotta, Antonino; Capasso, Giorgio; Madonia, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    UAV photogrammetry opens various new applications in the close range domain, combining aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, but also introduces low-cost alternatives to the classical manned aerial photogrammetry. Between 2014 and 2015 tree aerial surveys have been carried out. Using a quadrotor drone, equipped with a compact camera, it was possible to generate high resolution elevation models and orthoimages of The "Salinelle", an active mud volcanoes area, located in territory of Paternò (South Italy). The main risks are related to the damages produced by paroxysmal events. Mud volcanoes show different cyclic phases of activity, including catastrophic events and periods of relative quiescence characterized by moderate activity. Ejected materials often are a mud slurry of fine solids suspended in liquids which may include water and hydrocarbon fluids, the bulk of released gases are carbon dioxide, with some methane and nitrogen, usually pond-shaped of variable dimension (from centimeters to meters in diameter). The scope of the presented work is the performance evaluation of a UAV system that was built to rapidly and autonomously acquire mobile three-dimensional (3D) mapping data in a volcanic monitoring scenario.

  17. Earthbound Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVS) As Planetary Science Testbeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Recent advances in the technology of unmanned vehicles have greatly expanded the range of contemplated terrestrial operational environments for their use, including aerial, surface, and submarine. The advances have been most pronounced in the areas of autonomy, miniaturization, durability, standardization, and ease of operation, most notably (especially in the popular press) for airborne vehicles. Of course, for a wide range of planetary venues, autonomy at high cost of both money and risk, has always been a requirement. Most recently, missions to Mars have also featured an unprecedented degree of mobility. Combining the traditional planetary surface deployment operational and science imperatives with emerging, very accessible, and relatively economical small UAV platforms on Earth can provide flexible, rugged, self-directed, test-bed platforms for landed instruments and strategies that will ultimately be directed elsewhere, and, in the process, provide valuable earth science data. While the most direct transfer of technology from terrestrial to planetary venues is perhaps for bodies with atmospheres (and oceans), with appropriate technology and strategy accommodations, single and networked UAVs can be designed to operate on even airless bodies, under a variety of gravities. In this presentation, we present and use results and lessons learned from our recent earth-bound UAV volcano deployments, as well as our future plans for such, to conceptualize a range of planetary and small-body missions. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of students and colleagues at our home institutions, and the government of Costa Rica, without which our UAV deployments would not have been possible. This work was carried out, in part, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology under contract to NASA.

  18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use for Wood Chips Pile Volume Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokroš, M.; Tabačák, M.; Lieskovský, M.; Fabrika, M.

    2016-06-01

    The rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicles is a challenge for applied research. Many technologies are developed and then researcher are looking up for their application in different sectors. Therefore, we decided to verify the use of the unmanned aerial vehicle for wood chips pile monitoring. We compared the use of GNSS device and unmanned aerial vehicle for volume estimation of four wood chips piles. We used DJI Phantom 3 Professional with the built-in camera and GNSS device (geoexplorer 6000). We used Agisoft photoscan for processing photos and ArcGIS for processing points. Volumes calculated from pictures were not statistically significantly different from amounts calculated from GNSS data and high correlation between them was found (p = 0.9993). We conclude that the use of unmanned aerial vehicle instead of the GNSS device does not lead to significantly different results. Tthe data collection consumed from almost 12 to 20 times less time with the use of UAV. Additionally, UAV provides documentation trough orthomosaic.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A Hybrid Vehicle Detection Method Based on Viola-Jones and HOG + SVM from UAV Images.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    A new hybrid vehicle detection scheme which integrates the Viola-Jones (V-J) and linear SVM classifier with HOG feature (HOG + SVM) methods is proposed for vehicle detection from low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images. As both V-J and HOG + SVM are sensitive to on-road vehicles' in-plane rotation, the proposed scheme first adopts a roadway orientation adjustment method, which rotates each UAV image to align the roads with the horizontal direction so the original V-J or HOG + SVM method can be directly applied to achieve fast detection and high accuracy. To address the issue of descending detection speed for V-J and HOG + SVM, the proposed scheme further develops an adaptive switching strategy which sophistically integrates V-J and HOG + SVM methods based on their different descending trends of detection speed to improve detection efficiency. A comprehensive evaluation shows that the switching strategy, combined with the road orientation adjustment method, can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the vehicle detection from UAV images. The results also show that the proposed vehicle detection method is competitive compared with other existing vehicle detection methods. Furthermore, since the proposed vehicle detection method can be performed on videos captured from moving UAV platforms without the need of image registration or additional road database, it has great potentials of field applications. Future research will be focusing on expanding the current method for detecting other transportation modes such as buses, trucks, motors, bicycles, and pedestrians. PMID:27548179

  5. AERIAL OF VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING & SURROUNDING AREA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    AERIAL OF VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING & SURROUNDING AREA KSC-377C-0082.41 116-KSC-377C-82.41, P-15877, ARCHIVE-04151 Aerial view - Shuttle construction progress - VAB and Orbiter Processing Facilities - direction northwest.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Estimate Nitrogen Status of Turfgrasses

    PubMed Central

    Corniglia, Matteo; Gaetani, Monica; Grossi, Nicola; Magni, Simone; Migliazzi, Mauro; Angelini, Luciana; Mazzoncini, Marco; Silvestri, Nicola; Fontanelli, Marco; Raffaelli, Michele; Peruzzi, Andrea; Volterrani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Spectral reflectance data originating from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery is a valuable tool to monitor plant nutrition, reduce nitrogen (N) application to real needs, thus producing both economic and environmental benefits. The objectives of the trial were i) to compare the spectral reflectance of 3 turfgrasses acquired via UAV and by a ground-based instrument; ii) to test the sensitivity of the 2 data acquisition sources in detecting induced variation in N levels. N application gradients from 0 to 250 kg ha-1 were created on 3 different turfgrass species: Cynodon dactylon x transvaalensis (Cdxt) ‘Patriot’, Zoysia matrella (Zm) ‘Zeon’ and Paspalum vaginatum (Pv) ‘Salam’. Proximity and remote-sensed reflectance measurements were acquired using a GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor and a UAV with onboard a multispectral sensor, to determine Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Proximity-sensed NDVI is highly correlated with data acquired from UAV with r values ranging from 0.83 (Zm) to 0.97 (Cdxt). Relating NDVI-UAV with clippings N, the highest r is for Cdxt (0.95). The most reactive species to N fertilization is Cdxt with a clippings N% ranging from 1.2% to 4.1%. UAV imagery can adequately assess the N status of turfgrasses and its spatial variability within a species, so for large areas, such as golf courses, sod farms or race courses, UAV acquired data can optimize turf management. For relatively small green areas, a hand-held crop sensor can be a less expensive and more practical option. PMID:27341674

  9. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Estimate Nitrogen Status of Turfgrasses.

    PubMed

    Caturegli, Lisa; Corniglia, Matteo; Gaetani, Monica; Grossi, Nicola; Magni, Simone; Migliazzi, Mauro; Angelini, Luciana; Mazzoncini, Marco; Silvestri, Nicola; Fontanelli, Marco; Raffaelli, Michele; Peruzzi, Andrea; Volterrani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Spectral reflectance data originating from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery is a valuable tool to monitor plant nutrition, reduce nitrogen (N) application to real needs, thus producing both economic and environmental benefits. The objectives of the trial were i) to compare the spectral reflectance of 3 turfgrasses acquired via UAV and by a ground-based instrument; ii) to test the sensitivity of the 2 data acquisition sources in detecting induced variation in N levels. N application gradients from 0 to 250 kg ha-1 were created on 3 different turfgrass species: Cynodon dactylon x transvaalensis (Cdxt) 'Patriot', Zoysia matrella (Zm) 'Zeon' and Paspalum vaginatum (Pv) 'Salam'. Proximity and remote-sensed reflectance measurements were acquired using a GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor and a UAV with onboard a multispectral sensor, to determine Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Proximity-sensed NDVI is highly correlated with data acquired from UAV with r values ranging from 0.83 (Zm) to 0.97 (Cdxt). Relating NDVI-UAV with clippings N, the highest r is for Cdxt (0.95). The most reactive species to N fertilization is Cdxt with a clippings N% ranging from 1.2% to 4.1%. UAV imagery can adequately assess the N status of turfgrasses and its spatial variability within a species, so for large areas, such as golf courses, sod farms or race courses, UAV acquired data can optimize turf management. For relatively small green areas, a hand-held crop sensor can be a less expensive and more practical option. PMID:27341674

  10. Extracting Objects for Aerial Manipulation on UAVs Using Low Cost Stereo Sensors.

    PubMed

    Ramon Soria, Pablo; Bevec, Robert; Arrue, Begoña C; Ude, Aleš; Ollero, Aníbal

    2016-01-01

    Giving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) the possibility to manipulate objects vastly extends the range of possible applications. This applies to rotary wing UAVs in particular, where their capability of hovering enables a suitable position for in-flight manipulation. Their manipulation skills must be suitable for primarily natural, partially known environments, where UAVs mostly operate. We have developed an on-board object extraction method that calculates information necessary for autonomous grasping of objects, without the need to provide the model of the object's shape. A local map of the work-zone is generated using depth information, where object candidates are extracted by detecting areas different to our floor model. Their image projections are then evaluated using support vector machine (SVM) classification to recognize specific objects or reject bad candidates. Our method builds a sparse cloud representation of each object and calculates the object's centroid and the dominant axis. This information is then passed to a grasping module. Our method works under the assumption that objects are static and not clustered, have visual features and the floor shape of the work-zone area is known. We used low cost cameras for creating depth information that cause noisy point clouds, but our method has proved robust enough to process this data and return accurate results. PMID:27187413

  11. Extracting Objects for Aerial Manipulation on UAVs Using Low Cost Stereo Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Ramon Soria, Pablo; Bevec, Robert; Arrue, Begoña C.; Ude, Aleš; Ollero, Aníbal

    2016-01-01

    Giving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) the possibility to manipulate objects vastly extends the range of possible applications. This applies to rotary wing UAVs in particular, where their capability of hovering enables a suitable position for in-flight manipulation. Their manipulation skills must be suitable for primarily natural, partially known environments, where UAVs mostly operate. We have developed an on-board object extraction method that calculates information necessary for autonomous grasping of objects, without the need to provide the model of the object’s shape. A local map of the work-zone is generated using depth information, where object candidates are extracted by detecting areas different to our floor model. Their image projections are then evaluated using support vector machine (SVM) classification to recognize specific objects or reject bad candidates. Our method builds a sparse cloud representation of each object and calculates the object’s centroid and the dominant axis. This information is then passed to a grasping module. Our method works under the assumption that objects are static and not clustered, have visual features and the floor shape of the work-zone area is known. We used low cost cameras for creating depth information that cause noisy point clouds, but our method has proved robust enough to process this data and return accurate results. PMID:27187413

  12. Observing river stages using unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedzielski, Tomasz; Witek, Matylda; Spallek, Waldemar

    2016-08-01

    We elaborated a new method for observing water surface areas and river stages using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is based on processing multitemporal five orthophotomaps produced from the UAV-taken visible light images of nine sites of the river, acquired with a sufficient overlap in each part. Water surface areas are calculated in the first place, and subsequently expressed as fractions of total areas of water-covered terrain at a given site of the river recorded on five dates. The logarithms of the fractions are later calculated, producing five samples, each consisted of nine elements. In order to detect statistically significant increments of water surface areas between two orthophotomaps, we apply the asymptotic and bootstrapped versions of the Student's t test, preceded by other tests that aim to check model assumptions. The procedure is applied to five orthophotomaps covering nine sites of the Ścinawka river (south-western (SW) Poland). The data have been acquired during the experimental campaign, at which flight settings were kept unchanged over nearly 3 years (2012-2014). We have found that it is possible to detect transitions between water surface areas associated with all characteristic water levels (low, mean, intermediate and high stages). In addition, we infer that the identified transitions hold for characteristic river stages as well. In the experiment we detected all increments of water level: (1) from low stages to mean, intermediate and high stages; (2) from mean stages to intermediate and high stages; and (3) from intermediate stages to high stages. Potential applications of the elaborated method include verification of hydrodynamic models and the associated predictions of high flows as well as monitoring water levels of rivers in ungauged basins.

  13. Monitoring beach evolution using low-altitude aerial photogrammetry and UAV drones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Beach monitoring is essential in order to understand the mechanisms of evolution of soft coasts, and the rates of erosion. Traditional beach monitoring techniques involve topographic and bathymetric surveys of the beach, and/or aerial photos repeated in time and compared through geographical information systems. A major problem of this kind of approach is the high economic cost. This often leads to increase the time lag between successive monitoring campaigns to reduce survey costs, with the consequence of fragmenting the information available for coastal zone management. MIRAMar is a project funded by Regione Liguria through the PO CRO European Social Fund, and has two main objectives: i) to study and develop an innovative technique, relatively low-cost, to monitor the evolution of the shoreline using low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry; ii) to study the impact of different type of storm events on a vulnerable coastal tract subject to coastal erosion using also the data collected by the UAV instrument. To achieve these aims we use a drone with its hardware and software suit, traditional survey techniques (bathymetric surveys, topographic GPS surveys and GIS techniques) and we implement a numerical modeling chain (coupling hydrodynamic, wave and sand transport modules) in order to study the impact of different type of storm events on a vulnerable coastal tract subject to coastal erosion.

  14. 3D Modelling of Inaccessible Areas using UAV-based Aerial Photography and Structure from Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obanawa, Hiroyuki; Hayakawa, Yuichi; Gomez, Christopher

    2014-05-01

    In hardly accessible areas, the collection of 3D point-clouds using TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanner) can be very challenging, while airborne equivalent would not give a correct account of subvertical features and concave geometries like caves. To solve such problem, the authors have experimented an aerial photography based SfM (Structure from Motion) technique on a 'peninsular-rock' surrounded on three sides by the sea at a Pacific coast in eastern Japan. The research was carried out using UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) combined with a commercial small UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) carrying a compact camera. The UAV is a DJI PHANTOM: the UAV has four rotors (quadcopter), it has a weight of 1000 g, a payload of 400 g and a maximum flight time of 15 minutes. The camera is a GoPro 'HERO3 Black Edition': resolution 12 million pixels; weight 74 g; and 0.5 sec. interval-shot. The 3D model has been constructed by digital photogrammetry using a commercial SfM software, Agisoft PhotoScan Professional®, which can generate sparse and dense point-clouds, from which polygonal models and orthophotographs can be calculated. Using the 'flight-log' and/or GCPs (Ground Control Points), the software can generate digital surface model. As a result, high-resolution aerial orthophotographs and a 3D model were obtained. The results have shown that it was possible to survey the sea cliff and the wave cut-bench, which are unobservable from land side. In details, we could observe the complexity of the sea cliff that is nearly vertical as a whole while slightly overhanging over the thinner base. The wave cut bench is nearly flat and develops extensively at the base of the cliff. Although there are some evidences of small rockfalls at the upper part of the cliff, there is no evidence of very recent activity, because no fallen rock exists on the wave cut bench. This system has several merits: firstly lower cost than the existing measuring methods such as manned-flight survey and aerial laser

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Acoustic atmospheric tomography using multiple unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finn, Anthony; Rogers, Kevin; Meade, Joshua; Franklin, Stephen

    2014-10-01

    This paper presents a method for tomographically reconstructing atmospheric temperature profiles and wind velocity fields based on acoustic travel time measurements between two or more Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The technique offers mobility and the capacity to monitor hazardous atmospheric environments, otherwise not justifiable on the basis of cost or risk. Simulations, in which the parametric fields of the atmosphere are modelled as a weighted sum of Radial Basis Functions, demonstrate the technique's potential performance envelope. The approach also allows local meteorological measurements made at the UAVs to supplement any time delay observations. This increases the accuracy of the technique, which has potential for practical applications in boundary layer meteorology, the theory of atmospheric turbulence, and wave propagation through a turbulent atmosphere.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Trajectory optimization for unmanned aerial vehicle formation reconfiguration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyoung-seok; Kim, Youdan

    2014-01-01

    The results of trajectory optimization to reconfigure unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) formation in the event of a critical failure are presented. The formation reconfiguration process includes two distinct manoeuvres: an escape manoeuvre for a malfunctioning UAV and a replacement movement for an alternative UAV related to its position. This article deals with both manoeuvres but focuses more on the replacement movement. The trajectory optimization problem of the escape manoeuvre is formulated as a minimum-time problem to reduce the possibility of collisions resulting from a failure, whereas the problem of the replacement movement is formulated as a final-time fixed minimum-fuel problem to secure the durability of the group of UAVs. These problems are solved by means of sequential quadratic programming. To evaluate the performance of the optimization results, fuel consumption for the replacement movement is considered and optimization of a three-phase reference trajectory is performed. The results show that the trajectory optimization reduces the fuel consumption and saves time.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Hydrology with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrologic remote sensing currently depends on expensive and infrequent aircraft observations for validation of operational satellite products, typically conducted during field campaigns that also include ground-based measurements. With the advent of new, hydrologically-relevant satellite missions, ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Small UAV Research and Evolution in Long Endurance Electric Powered Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logan, Michael J.; Chu, Julio; Motter, Mark A.; Carter, Dennis L.; Ol, Michael; Zeune, Cale

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes recent research into the advancement of small, electric powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities. Specifically, topics include the improvements made in battery technology, design methodologies, avionics architectures and algorithms, materials and structural concepts, propulsion system performance prediction, and others. The results of prototype vehicle designs and flight tests are discussed in the context of their usefulness in defining and validating progress in the various technology areas. Further areas of research need are also identified. These include the need for more robust operating regimes (wind, gust, etc.), and continued improvement in payload fraction vs. endurance.

  19. 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.

  20. The Potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Large Scale Mapping of Coastal Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwin, N.; Ahmad, A.; Zainon, O.

    2014-02-01

    Many countries in the tropical region are covered with cloud for most of the time, hence, it is difficult to get clear images especially from high resolution satellite imagery. Aerial photogrammetry can be used but most of the time the cloud problem still exists. Today, this problem could be solved using a system known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) where the aerial images can be acquired at low altitude and the system can fly under the cloud. The UAV system could be used in various applications including mapping coastal area. The UAV system is equipped with an autopilot system and automatic method known as autonomous flying that can be utilized for data acquisition. To achieve high resolution imagery, a compact digital camera of high resolution was used to acquire the aerial images at an altitude. In this study, the UAV system was employed to acquire aerial images of a coastal simulation model at low altitude. From the aerial images, photogrammetric image processing was executed to produce photogrammetric outputs such a digital elevation model (DEM), contour line and orthophoto. In this study, ground control point (GCP) and check point (CP) were established using conventional ground surveying method (i.e total station). The GCP is used for exterior orientation in photogrammetric processes and CP for accuracy assessment based on Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). From this study, it was found that the UAV system can be used for large scale mapping of coastal simulation model with accuracy at millimeter level. It is anticipated that the same system could be used for large scale mapping of real coastal area and produces good accuracy. Finally, the UAV system has great potential to be used for various applications that require accurate results or products at limited time and less man power.

  1. 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.

  2. Overview of Uav Activities in Wageningen Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suomalainen, J.; Anders, N.; Franke, J.; Bartholomeus, H.; Nolet, C.; van Puijenbroek, M.; Kramer, H.; Keesstra, S.; Mücher, S.; Kooistra, L.

    2015-08-01

    The WUR Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF) (www.wageningenur.nl/uarsf) is a co-operation organization of different groups within Wageningen University and Research Centre to use UAVs in remote sensing applications. The facility was founded in 2012. Since then the facility has taken part in numerous of mapping campaigns exploiting UAVs with researchers with in WUR as well as external cooperating partners. In this paper/poster we present the facility, the UAV platforms, the camera systems, and demonstrate some highlights of our results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chelaru, Teodor-Viorel; Chelaru, Adrian

    2014-12-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Aerial Images from AN Uav System: 3d Modeling and Tree Species Classification in a Park Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gini, R.; Passoni, D.; Pinto, L.; Sona, G.

    2012-07-01

    The use of aerial imagery acquired by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is scheduled within the FoGLIE project (Fruition of Goods Landscape in Interactive Environment): it starts from the need to enhance the natural, artistic and cultural heritage, to produce a better usability of it by employing audiovisual movable systems of 3D reconstruction and to improve monitoring procedures, by using new media for integrating the fruition phase with the preservation ones. The pilot project focus on a test area, Parco Adda Nord, which encloses various goods' types (small buildings, agricultural fields and different tree species and bushes). Multispectral high resolution images were taken by two digital compact cameras: a Pentax Optio A40 for RGB photos and a Sigma DP1 modified to acquire the NIR band. Then, some tests were performed in order to analyze the UAV images' quality with both photogrammetric and photo-interpretation purposes, to validate the vector-sensor system, the image block geometry and to study the feasibility of tree species classification. Many pre-signalized Control Points were surveyed through GPS to allow accuracy analysis. Aerial Triangulations (ATs) were carried out with photogrammetric commercial software, Leica Photogrammetry Suite (LPS) and PhotoModeler, with manual or automatic selection of Tie Points, to pick out pros and cons of each package in managing non conventional aerial imagery as well as the differences in the modeling approach. Further analysis were done on the differences between the EO parameters and the corresponding data coming from the on board UAV navigation system.

  6. Draper Laboratory small autonomous aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeBitetto, Paul A.; Johnson, Eric N.; Bosse, Michael C.; Trott, Christian A.

    1997-06-01

    The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. and students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University have cooperated to develop an autonomous aerial vehicle that won the 1996 International Aerial Robotics Competition. This paper describes the approach, system architecture and subsystem designs for the entry. This entry represents a combination of many technology areas: navigation, guidance, control, vision processing, human factors, packaging, power, real-time software, and others. The aerial vehicle, an autonomous helicopter, performs navigation and control functions using multiple sensors: differential GPS, inertial measurement unit, sonar altimeter, and a flux compass. The aerial transmits video imagery to the ground. A ground based vision processor converts the image data into target position and classification estimates. The system was designed, built, and flown in less than one year and has provided many lessons about autonomous vehicle systems, several of which are discussed. In an appendix, our current research in augmenting the navigation system with vision- based estimates is presented.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparison of Digital Surface Models for Snow Depth Mapping with Uav and Aerial Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boesch, R.; Bühler, Y.; Marty, M.; Ginzler, C.

    2016-06-01

    Photogrammetric workflows for aerial images have improved over the last years in a typically black-box fashion. Most parameters for building dense point cloud are either excessive or not explained and often the progress between software releases is poorly documented. On the other hand, development of better camera sensors and positional accuracy of image acquisition is significant by comparing product specifications. This study shows, that hardware evolutions over the last years have a much stronger impact on height measurements than photogrammetric software releases. Snow height measurements with airborne sensors like the ADS100 and UAV-based DSLR cameras can achieve accuracies close to GSD * 2 in comparison with ground-based GNSS reference measurements. Using a custom notch filter on the UAV camera sensor during image acquisition does not yield better height accuracies. UAV based digital surface models are very robust. Different workflow parameter variations for ADS100 and UAV camera workflows seem to have only random effects.

  12. 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.

  13. Fractal methods for extracting artificial objects from the unmanned aerial vehicle images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markov, Eugene

    2016-04-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become used increasingly in earth surface observations, with a special interest put into automatic modes of environmental control and recognition of artificial objects. Fractal methods for image processing well detect the artificial objects in digital space images but were not applied previously to the UAV-produced imagery. Parameters of photography, on-board equipment, and image characteristics differ considerably for spacecrafts and UAVs. Therefore, methods that work properly with space images can produce different results for the UAVs. In this regard, testing the applicability of fractal methods for the UAV-produced images and determining the optimal range of parameters for these methods represent great interest. This research is dedicated to the solution of this problem. Specific features of the earth's surface images produced with UAVs are described in the context of their interpretation and recognition. Fractal image processing methods for extracting artificial objects are described. The results of applying these methods to the UAV images are presented.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Use of Acoustic Wind Profilers for Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Flight Test Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donnohue, Casey J.; Underwood, Ken; Bellue, Dan G.

    2001-01-01

    Sonic detection and ranging (SODAR) systems provide crucial information to meteorologists for advising uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) flight crews and mission directors on historical, current, and forecasted wind and turbulence conditions. The SODAR system provided advanced warning of increasing surface winds for an X-38 flight on February 6, 1999. The SODAR system has also provided important postflight data for X-38 engineers to review the performance of the parafoil in the presence of strong wind shears near the surface at landing.

  20. Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle-mounted video camera to assess feeding behavior of Raramuri Criollo cows

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We determined the feasibility of using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) video monitoring to predict intake of discrete food items of rangeland-raised Raramuri Criollo non-nursing beef cows. Thirty-five cows were released into a 405-m2 rectangular dry lot, either in pairs (pilot tests) or individually (...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Direct Penguin Counting Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, C. U.; Kim, H. C.; Kim, J. H.; Hong, S. G.

    2015-12-01

    This study presents an application of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images to monitor penguin colony in Baton Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica. The area around Narębski Point located on the southeast coast of Barton Peninsula was designated as Antarctic Specially Protected Area No. 171 (ASPA 171), and Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins inhabit in this area. The UAV images were acquired in a part of ASPA 171 from four flights in a single day, Jan 18, 2014. About 360 images were mosaicked as an image of about 3 cm spatial resolution and then a subset including representative penguin rookeries was selected. The subset image was segmented based on gradient map of pixel values, and spectral and spatial attributes were assigned to each segment. The object based image analysis (OBIA) was conducted with consideration of spectral attributes including mean and minimum values of each segment and various shape attributes such as area, length, compactness and roundness to detect individual penguin. The segments indicating individual penguin were effectively detected on rookeries with high contrasts in the spectral and shape attributes. The importance of periodic and precise monitoring of penguins has been recognized because variations of their populations reflect environmental changes and disturbance from human activities. Utilization of very high resolution imaging method shown in this study can be applied to other penguin habitats in Antarctica, and the results will be able to support establishing effective environmental management plans.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Research for new UAV capabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, G.H.; Leadabrand, R.

    1996-07-01

    This paper discusses research for new Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) capabilities. Findings indicate that UAV performance could be greatly enhanced by modest research. Improved sensors and communications enhance near term cost effectiveness. Improved engines, platforms, and stealth improve long term effectiveness.

  9. Autonomous Navigation of Small Uavs Based on Vehicle Dynamic Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khaghani, M.; Skaloud, J.

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to autonomous navigation for small UAVs, in which the vehicle dynamic model (VDM) serves as the main process model within the navigation filter. The proposed method significantly increases the accuracy and reliability of autonomous navigation, especially for small UAVs with low-cost IMUs on-board. This is achieved with no extra sensor added to the conventional INS/GNSS setup. This improvement is of special interest in case of GNSS outages, where inertial coasting drifts very quickly. In the proposed architecture, the solution to VDM equations provides the estimate of position, velocity, and attitude, which is updated within the navigation filter based on available observations, such as IMU data or GNSS measurements. The VDM is also fed with the control input to the UAV, which is available within the control/autopilot system. The filter is capable of estimating wind velocity and dynamic model parameters, in addition to navigation states and IMU sensor errors. Monte Carlo simulations reveal major improvements in navigation accuracy compared to conventional INS/GNSS navigation system during the autonomous phase, when satellite signals are not available due to physical obstruction or electromagnetic interference for example. In case of GNSS outages of a few minutes, position and attitude accuracy experiences improvements of orders of magnitude compared to inertial coasting. It means that during such scenario, the position-velocity-attitude (PVA) determination is sufficiently accurate to navigate the UAV to a home position without any signal that depends on vehicle environment.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Uav Aerial Survey: Accuracy Estimation for Automatically Generated Dense Digital Surface Model and Orthothoto Plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altyntsev, M. A.; Arbuzov, S. A.; Popov, R. A.; Tsoi, G. V.; Gromov, M. O.

    2016-06-01

    A dense digital surface model is one of the products generated by using UAV aerial survey data. Today more and more specialized software are supplied with modules for generating such kind of models. The procedure for dense digital model generation can be completely or partly automated. Due to the lack of reliable criterion of accuracy estimation it is rather complicated to judge the generation validity of such models. One of such criterion can be mobile laser scanning data as a source for the detailed accuracy estimation of the dense digital surface model generation. These data may be also used to estimate the accuracy of digital orthophoto plans created by using UAV aerial survey data. The results of accuracy estimation for both kinds of products are presented in the paper.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Moving object detection using dynamic motion modelling from UAV aerial images.

    PubMed

    Saif, A F M Saifuddin; Prabuwono, Anton Satria; Mahayuddin, Zainal Rasyid

    2014-01-01

    Motion analysis based moving object detection from UAV aerial image is still an unsolved issue due to inconsideration of proper motion estimation. Existing moving object detection approaches from UAV aerial images did not deal with motion based pixel intensity measurement to detect moving object robustly. Besides current research on moving object detection from UAV aerial images mostly depends on either frame difference or segmentation approach separately. There are two main purposes for this research: firstly to develop a new motion model called DMM (dynamic motion model) and secondly to apply the proposed segmentation approach SUED (segmentation using edge based dilation) using frame difference embedded together with DMM model. The proposed DMM model provides effective search windows based on the highest pixel intensity to segment only specific area for moving object rather than searching the whole area of the frame using SUED. At each stage of the proposed scheme, experimental fusion of the DMM and SUED produces extracted moving objects faithfully. Experimental result reveals that the proposed DMM and SUED have successfully demonstrated the validity of the proposed methodology. PMID:24892103

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Atmospheric radiation measurement unmanned aerospace vehicle (ARM-UAV) program

    SciTech Connect

    Bolton, W.R.

    1996-11-01

    ARM-UAV is part of the multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program and is addressing the largest source of uncertainty in predicting climatic response: the interaction of clouds and the sun`s energy in the Earth`s atmosphere. An important aspect of the program is the use of unmanned aerospace vehicles (UAVs) as the primary airborne platform. The ARM-UAV Program has completed two major flight series: The first series conducted in April, 1994, using an existing UAV (the General Atomics Gnat 750) consisted of eight highly successful flights at the DOE climate site in Oklahoma. The second series conducted in September/October, 1995, using two piloted aircraft (Egrett and Twin Otter), featured simultaneous measurements above and below clouds and in clear sky. Additional flight series are planned to continue study of the cloudy and clear sky energy budget in the Spring and Fall of 1996 over the DOE climate site in Oklahoma. 3 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Challenges in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Photogrammetry for Archaeological Mapping at High Elevations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, J. A.; Wernke, S.

    2015-12-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), especially multi-rotor vehicles, are becoming ubiquitous and their appeal for generating photogrammetry-based maps has grown. The options are many and costs have plummeted in last five years; however, many challenges persist with their deployment. We mapped the archaeological site Maw­chu Llacta, a settlement in the southern highlands of Peru (Figure 1). Mawchu Llacta is a planned colonial town built over a major Inka-era center in the high-elevation grasslands at ~4,000m asl. The "general resettlement of Indians" was a massive forced resettlement program, for which very little local-level documentation exists. Mawachu Llacta's excellently preserved architecture includes >500 buildings and hundreds of walls spread across ~13h posed significant mapping challenges. Many environmental factors impact UAV deployment. The air pressure at 4,100 m asl is dramatically lower than at sea level. The dry season diurnal temperature differentials can vary from 7°C to 22°C daily. High and hot conditions frequently occur from late morning to early afternoon. Reaching Mawchu Llacta requires hiking 4km with 400m of vertical gain over steep and rocky terrain. There is also no on-site power or secure storage. Thus, the UAV must be packable. FAA regulations govern US UAV deployments, but regulations were less stringent in Peru. However, ITAR exemptions and Peruvian customs requirements were required. The Peruvian government has established an importation and approval process that entails leaving the UAV at customs, while obtaining the necessary government approvals, both of which can be problematic. We have deployed the Aurora Flight Sciences Skate fixed wing ßUAV, an in-house fixed wing UAV based on the Skywalker X-5 flying wing, and a tethered 9 m3 capacity latex meteorological weather balloon. Development of an autonomous blimp/balloon has been ruled-out. A 3DR Solo is being assessed for excavation mapping.

  2. 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

  3. Estimating snow depth in real time using unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedzielski, Tomasz; Mizinski, Bartlomiej; Witek, Matylda; Spallek, Waldemar; Szymanowski, Mariusz

    2016-04-01

    In frame of the project no. LIDER/012/223/L-5/13/NCBR/2014, financed by the National Centre for Research and Development of Poland, we elaborated a fully automated approach for estimating snow depth in real time in the field. The procedure uses oblique aerial photographs taken by the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The geotagged images of snow-covered terrain are processed by the Structure-from-Motion (SfM) method which is used to produce a non-georeferenced dense point cloud. The workflow includes the enhanced RunSFM procedure (keypoint detection using the scale-invariant feature transform known as SIFT, image matching, bundling using the Bundler, executing the multi-view stereo PMVS and CMVS2 software) which is preceded by multicore image resizing. The dense point cloud is subsequently automatically georeferenced using the GRASS software, and the ground control points are borrowed from positions of image centres acquired from the UAV-mounted GPS receiver. Finally, the digital surface model (DSM) is produced which - to improve the accuracy of georeferencing - is shifted using a vector obtained through precise geodetic GPS observation of a single ground control point (GCP) placed on the Laboratory for Unmanned Observations of Earth (mobile lab established at the University of Wroclaw, Poland). The DSM includes snow cover and its difference with the corresponding snow-free DSM or digital terrain model (DTM), following the concept of the digital elevation model of differences (DOD), produces a map of snow depth. Since the final result depends on the snow-free model, two experiments are carried out. Firstly, we show the performance of the entire procedure when the snow-free model reveals a very high resolution (3 cm/px) and is produced using the UAV-taken photographs and the precise GCPs measured by the geodetic GPS receiver. Secondly, we perform a similar exercise but the 1-metre resolution light detection and ranging (LIDAR) DSM or DTM serves as the snow-free model

  4. a Uav Based Close-Range Rapid Aerial Monitoring System for Emergency Responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, K.; Lee, I.

    2011-09-01

    As the occurrences and scales of disasters and accidents have been increased due to the global warming, the terrorists' attacks, and many other reasons, the demand for rapid responses for the emergent situations also has been thus ever-increasing. These emergency responses are required to be customized to each individual site for more effective management of the emergent situations. These requirements can be satisfied with the decisions based on the spatial changes on the target area, which should be detected immediately or in real-time. Aerial monitoring without human operators is an appropriate means because the emergency areas are usually inaccessible. Therefore, a UAV is a strong candidate as the platform for the aerial monitoring. In addition, the sensory data from the UAV system usually have higher resolution than other system because the system can operate at a lower altitude. If the transmission and processing of the data could be performed in real-time, the spatial changes of the target area can be detected with high spatial and temporal resolution by the UAV rapid mapping systems. As a result, we aim to develop a rapid aerial mapping system based on a UAV, whose key features are the effective acquisition of the sensory data, real-time transmission and processing of the data. In this paper, we will introduce the general concept of our system, including the main features, intermediate results, and explain our real-time sensory data georeferencing algorithm which is a core for prompt generation of the spatial information from the sensory data.

  5. 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

  6. Unmanned air vehicle (UAV) ultra-persitence research

    SciTech Connect

    Dron, S. B.

    2012-03-01

    Sandia National Laboratories and Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Systems, Unmanned Systems (NGIS UMS) collaborated to further ultra-persistence technologies for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The greatest shortfalls in UAV capabilities have been repeatedly identified as (1) insufficient flight persistence or 'hang time,' (2) marginal electrical power for running higher power avionics and payload systems, and (3) inadequate communications bandwidth and reach. NGIS UMS requested support from Sandia to develop an ultra-persistent propulsion and power system (UP3S) for potential incorporation into next generation UAV systems. The team members tried to determine which energy storage and power generation concepts could most effectively push UAV propulsion and electrical power capabilities to increase UAV sortie duration from days to months while increasing available electrical power at least two-fold. Primary research and development areas that were pursued included these goals: perform general system engineering and integration analyses; develop initial thermal and electrical power estimates; provide mass, volume, dimensional, and balance estimates; conduct preliminary safety assessments; assess logistics support requirements; perform, preliminary assessments of any security and safeguards; evaluate options for removal, replacement, and disposition of materials; generally advance the potential of the UP3S concept. The effort contrasted and compared eight heat sources technologies, three power conversion, two dual cycle propulsion system configurations, and a single electrical power generation scheme. Overall performance, specific power parameters, technical complexities, security, safety, and other operational features were successfully investigated. Large and medium sized UAV systems were envisioned and operational flight profiles were developed for each concept. Heat source creation and support challenges for domestic and expeditionary operations were

  7. Detecting lost persons using the k-mean method applied to aerial photographs taken by unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedzielski, Tomasz; Stec, Magdalena; Wieczorek, Malgorzata; Slopek, Jacek; Jurecka, Miroslawa

    2016-04-01

    The objective of this work is to discuss the usefulness of the k-mean method in the process of detecting persons on oblique aerial photographs acquired by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The detection based on the k-mean procedure belongs to one of the modules of a larger Search and Rescue (SAR) system which is being developed at the University of Wroclaw, Poland (research project no. IP2014 032773 financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland). The module automatically processes individual geotagged visual-light UAV-taken photographs or their orthorectified versions. Firstly, we separate red (R), green (G) and blue (B) channels, express raster data as numeric matrices and acquire coordinates of centres of images using the exchangeable image file format (EXIF). Subsequently, we divide the matrices into matrices of smaller dimensions, the latter being associated with the size of spatial window which is suitable for discriminating between human and terrain. Each triplet of the smaller matrices (R, G and B) serves as input spatial data for the k-mean classification. We found that, in several configurations of the k-mean parameters, it is possible to distinguish a separate class which characterizes a person. We compare the skills of this approach by performing two experiments, based on UAV-taken RGB photographs and their orthorectified versions. This allows us to verify the hypothesis that the two exercises lead to similar classifications. In addition, we discuss the performance of the approach for dissimilar spatial windows, hence various dimensions of the above-mentioned matrices, and we do so in order to find the one which offers the most adequate classification. The numerical experiment is carried out using the data acquired during a dedicated observational UAV campaign carried out in the Izerskie Mountains (SW Poland).

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Configuration and Specifications of AN Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Precision Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erena, M.; Montesinos, S.; Portillo, D.; Alvarez, J.; Marin, C.; Fernandez, L.; Henarejos, J. M.; Ruiz, L. A.

    2016-06-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with multispectral sensors are increasingly attractive in geosciences for data capture and map updating at high spatial and temporal resolutions. These autonomously-flying systems can be equipped with different sensors, such as a six-band multispectral camera (Tetracam mini-MCA-6), GPS Ublox M8N, and MEMS gyroscopes, and miniaturized sensor systems for navigation, positioning, and mapping purposes. These systems can be used for data collection in precision viticulture. In this study, the efficiency of a light UAV system for data collection, processing, and map updating in small areas is evaluated, generating correlations between classification maps derived from remote sensing and production maps. Based on the comparison of the indices derived from UAVs incorporating infrared sensors with those obtained by satellites (Sentinel 2A and Landsat 8), UAVs show promise for the characterization of vineyard plots with high spatial variability, despite the low vegetative coverage of these crops. Consequently, a procedure for zoning map production based on UAV/UV images could provide important information for farmers.

  15. Construction of an unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing system for crop monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Seungtaek; Ko, Jonghan; Kim, Mijeong; Kim, Jongkwon

    2016-04-01

    We constructed a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing system and determined the ideal method for equipment setup, image acquisition, and image processing. Fields of rice paddy (Oryza sativa cv. Unkwang) grown under three different nitrogen (N) treatments of 0, 50, or 115 kg/ha were monitored at Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea, in 2013. A multispectral camera was used to acquire UAV images from the study site. Atmospheric correction of these images was completed using the empirical line method, and three-point (black, gray, and white) calibration boards were used as pseudo references. Evaluation of our corrected UAV-based remote sensing data revealed that correction efficiency and root mean square errors ranged from 0.77 to 0.95 and 0.01 to 0.05, respectively. The time series maps of simulated normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) produced using the UAV images reproduced field variations of NDVI reasonably well, both within and between the different N treatments. We concluded that the UAV-based remote sensing technology utilized in this study is potentially an easy and simple way to quantitatively obtain reliable two-dimensional remote sensing information on crop growth.

  16. Low-cost, quantitative assessment of highway bridges through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellenberg, Andrew; Kontsos, Antonios; Moon, Franklin; Bartoli, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    Many envision that in the near future the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will impact the civil engineering industry. Use of UAVs is currently experiencing tremendous growth, primarily in military and homeland security applications. It is only a matter of time until UAVs will be widely accepted as platforms for implementing monitoring/surveillance and inspection in other fields. Most UAVs already have payloads as well as hardware/software capabilities to incorporate a number of non-contact remote sensors, such as high resolution cameras, multi-spectral imaging systems, and laser ranging systems (LIDARs). Of critical importance to realizing the potential of UAVs within the infrastructure realm is to establish how (and the extent to which) such information may be used to inform preservation and renewal decisions. Achieving this will depend both on our ability to quantify information from images (through, for example, optical metrology techniques) and to fuse data from the array of non-contact sensing systems. Through a series of applications to both laboratory-scale and field implementations on operating infrastructure, this paper will present and evaluate (through comparison with conventional approaches) various image processing and data fusion strategies tailored specifically for the assessment of highway bridges. Example scenarios that guided this study include the assessment of delaminations within reinforced concrete bridge decks, the quantification of the deterioration of steel coatings, assessment of the functionality of movement mechanisms, and the estimation of live load responses (inclusive of both strain and displacement).

  17. 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.

  18. Random Forest and Objected-Based Classification for Forest Pest Extraction from Uav Aerial Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Yi; Hu, Xiangyun

    2016-06-01

    Forest pest is one of the most important factors affecting the health of forest. However, since it is difficult to figure out the pest areas and to predict the spreading ways just to partially control and exterminate it has not effective enough so far now. The infected areas by it have continuously spreaded out at present. Thus the introduction of spatial information technology is highly demanded. It is very effective to examine the spatial distribution characteristics that can establish timely proper strategies for control against pests by periodically figuring out the infected situations as soon as possible and by predicting the spreading ways of the infection. Now, with the UAV photography being more and more popular, it has become much cheaper and faster to get UAV images which are very suitable to be used to monitor the health of forest and detect the pest. This paper proposals a new method to effective detect forest pest in UAV aerial imagery. For an image, we segment it to many superpixels at first and then we calculate a 12-dimension statistical texture information for each superpixel which are used to train and classify the data. At last, we refine the classification results by some simple rules. The experiments show that the method is effective for the extraction of forest pest areas in UAV images.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for High-Throughput Phenotyping and Agronomic Research

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yeyin; Thomasson, J. Alex; Murray, Seth C.; Pugh, N. Ace; Rooney, William L.; Shafian, Sanaz; Rajan, Nithya; Rouze, Gregory; Morgan, Cristine L. S.; Neely, Haly L.; Rana, Aman; Bagavathiannan, Muthu V.; Henrickson, James; Bowden, Ezekiel; Valasek, John; Olsenholler, Jeff; Bishop, Michael P.; Sheridan, Ryan; Putman, Eric B.; Popescu, Sorin; Burks, Travis; Cope, Dale; Ibrahim, Amir; McCutchen, Billy F.; Baltensperger, David D.; Avant, Robert V.; Vidrine, Misty; Yang, Chenghai

    2016-01-01

    Advances in automation and data science have led agriculturists to seek real-time, high-quality, high-volume crop data to accelerate crop improvement through breeding and to optimize agronomic practices. Breeders have recently gained massive data-collection capability in genome sequencing of plants. Faster phenotypic trait data collection and analysis relative to genetic data leads to faster and better selections in crop improvement. Furthermore, faster and higher-resolution crop data collection leads to greater capability for scientists and growers to improve precision-agriculture practices on increasingly larger farms; e.g., site-specific application of water and nutrients. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have recently gained traction as agricultural data collection systems. Using UAVs for agricultural remote sensing is an innovative technology that differs from traditional remote sensing in more ways than strictly higher-resolution images; it provides many new and unique possibilities, as well as new and unique challenges. Herein we report on processes and lessons learned from year 1—the summer 2015 and winter 2016 growing seasons–of a large multidisciplinary project evaluating UAV images across a range of breeding and agronomic research trials on a large research farm. Included are team and project planning, UAV and sensor selection and integration, and data collection and analysis workflow. The study involved many crops and both breeding plots and agronomic fields. The project’s goal was to develop methods for UAVs to collect high-quality, high-volume crop data with fast turnaround time to field scientists. The project included five teams: Administration, Flight Operations, Sensors, Data Management, and Field Research. Four case studies involving multiple crops in breeding and agronomic applications add practical descriptive detail. Lessons learned include critical information on sensors, air vehicles, and configuration parameters for both. As the first

  2. Design of a nonlinear robust controller for a complete unmanned aerial vehicle mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadraey, Mohammad Hashem

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight control systems must be capable of delivering the required performance while handling nonlinearities and uncertainties in the vehicle model, the atmosphere, and ambient wind. These factors necessitate the development of nonlinear flight control system design methods that can handle large nonlinearities and uncertainties. Variable approaches to the linear control of UAVs have been discussed in the recent literature. However, the development of a nonlinear robust autopilot has not been addressed to any significant degree. The development of a nonlinear autopilot based on robust control methods will be discussed in this dissertation. In this design technique, the nonlinear UAV model is not linearized. The control law is designed using the Hinfinity technique. This dissertation presents the results of an exploratory study to examine robust autopilot nonlinear design methods for the UAV and compare this new approach with existing PID, LQR, and linear Hinfinity techniques. Since the method must then be verified, its flight simulation will be done using MATLAB/SIMULINK. Verification, validation and robustness tests are documented at the end of this dissertation. The airplane examined is called the Hawkeye. It was designed and built by KU students in the fall of 2004. It is a small, 14 foot wingspan, remotely controlled airplane made from composite materials with a maximum takeoff weight of 90 lbs. It will be used in the future as a small UAV for research programs at KU. The mission includes take-off, climb, cruise, a one and a half circle accomplished in a level turn, and a return back to its original airfield accomplished by cruising back, descending, and completing an approach and landing. After take-off, the airplane is required to climb to 1,000 ft altitude, and then it travels 5,000 ft over the ground into the target area. It will then take some photos of that target using its camera. The complete mission for the UAV lasts about

  3. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for High-Throughput Phenotyping and Agronomic Research.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yeyin; Thomasson, J Alex; Murray, Seth C; Pugh, N Ace; Rooney, William L; Shafian, Sanaz; Rajan, Nithya; Rouze, Gregory; Morgan, Cristine L S; Neely, Haly L; Rana, Aman; Bagavathiannan, Muthu V; Henrickson, James; Bowden, Ezekiel; Valasek, John; Olsenholler, Jeff; Bishop, Michael P; Sheridan, Ryan; Putman, Eric B; Popescu, Sorin; Burks, Travis; Cope, Dale; Ibrahim, Amir; McCutchen, Billy F; Baltensperger, David D; Avant, Robert V; Vidrine, Misty; Yang, Chenghai

    2016-01-01

    Advances in automation and data science have led agriculturists to seek real-time, high-quality, high-volume crop data to accelerate crop improvement through breeding and to optimize agronomic practices. Breeders have recently gained massive data-collection capability in genome sequencing of plants. Faster phenotypic trait data collection and analysis relative to genetic data leads to faster and better selections in crop improvement. Furthermore, faster and higher-resolution crop data collection leads to greater capability for scientists and growers to improve precision-agriculture practices on increasingly larger farms; e.g., site-specific application of water and nutrients. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have recently gained traction as agricultural data collection systems. Using UAVs for agricultural remote sensing is an innovative technology that differs from traditional remote sensing in more ways than strictly higher-resolution images; it provides many new and unique possibilities, as well as new and unique challenges. Herein we report on processes and lessons learned from year 1-the summer 2015 and winter 2016 growing seasons-of a large multidisciplinary project evaluating UAV images across a range of breeding and agronomic research trials on a large research farm. Included are team and project planning, UAV and sensor selection and integration, and data collection and analysis workflow. The study involved many crops and both breeding plots and agronomic fields. The project's goal was to develop methods for UAVs to collect high-quality, high-volume crop data with fast turnaround time to field scientists. The project included five teams: Administration, Flight Operations, Sensors, Data Management, and Field Research. Four case studies involving multiple crops in breeding and agronomic applications add practical descriptive detail. Lessons learned include critical information on sensors, air vehicles, and configuration parameters for both. As the first and

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Vectorization of Road Data Extracted from Aerial and Uav Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulatov, Dimitri; Häufel, Gisela; Pohl, Melanie

    2016-06-01

    Road databases are essential instances of urban infrastructure. Therefore, automatic road detection from sensor data has been an important research activity during many decades. Given aerial images in a sufficient resolution, dense 3D reconstruction can be performed. Starting at a classification result of road pixels from combined elevation and optical data, we present in this paper a fivestep procedure for creating vectorized road networks. These main steps of the algorithm are: preprocessing, thinning, polygonization, filtering, and generalization. In particular, for the generalization step, which represents the principal area of innovation, two strategies are presented. The first strategy corresponds to a modification of the Douglas-Peucker-algorithm in order to reduce the number of vertices while the second strategy allows a smoother representation of street windings by Bezir curves, which results in reduction - to a decimal power - of the total curvature defined for the dataset. We tested our approach on three datasets with different complexity. The quantitative assessment of the results was performed by means of shapefiles from OpenStreetMap data. For a threshold of 6 m, completeness and correctness values of up to 85% were achieved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. On the measurement of turbulence with unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witte, Brandon; Thamann, Michael; Bailey, Sean

    2014-11-01

    We address the challenge of taking the novel approach of using highly instrumented and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to spatially interrogate the atmospheric boundary layer's turbulent flow structure over a wide range of length scales. This approach will introduce new capabilities not available in contemporary micro-meteorological measurement techniques: the ability to spatially sample the flow field over a wide range of spatial scales; a reduced reliance on assumptions regarding the temporal evolution of the turbulence; 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 developing purpose-built airframes, 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 NASA Kentucky Award NNX10AL96H and NSF Award CBET-1351411.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Application of Technical Measures and Software in Constructing Photorealistic 3D Models of Historical Building Using Ground-Based and Aerial (UAV) Digital Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarnowski, Aleksander; Banaszek, Anna; Banaszek, Sebastian

    2015-12-01

    Preparing digital documentation of historical buildings is a form of protecting cultural heritage. Recently there have been several intensive studies using non-metric digital images to construct realistic 3D models of historical buildings. Increasingly often, non-metric digital images are obtained with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Technologies and methods of UAV flights are quite different from traditional photogrammetric approaches. The lack of technical guidelines for using drones inhibits the process of implementing new methods of data acquisition. This paper presents the results of experiments in the use of digital images in the construction of photo-realistic 3D model of a historical building (Raphaelsohns' Sawmill in Olsztyn). The aim of the study at the first stage was to determine the meteorological and technical conditions for the acquisition of aerial and ground-based photographs. At the next stage, the technology of 3D modelling was developed using only ground-based or only aerial non-metric digital images. At the last stage of the study, an experiment was conducted to assess the possibility of 3D modelling with the comprehensive use of aerial (UAV) and ground-based digital photographs in terms of their labour intensity and precision of development. Data integration and automatic photo-realistic 3D construction of the models was done with Pix4Dmapper and Agisoft PhotoScan software Analyses have shown that when certain parameters established in an experiment are kept, the process of developing the stock-taking documentation for a historical building moves from the standards of analogue to digital technology with considerably reduced cost.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Demonstration of a multimode longwave infrared imaging system on an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Terry L.; Romanski, John G.; Buckley, John J.; Girata, Anthony J.

    1999-07-01

    The RISTA II sensor was integrated into the Altus Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and flown over Camp Roberts and Ft. Hunter Ligget, CA in July 1998. The RISTA II demonstration system consisted of a long-wave IR imager, a digital data link, and a ground processing facility (GPF) containing an aided target recognizer, data storage devices, and operator workstations. Imagery was compressed on the UAV and sent on the GPF over a 10.71 Mbit per second digital data link. Selected image frames from the GPF were sent near real-time over a T1 link to observers in Rosslyn, VA. The sensor operated in a variety of scanning and framing modes. Both manual and automatic sensor pointing were demonstrated. Seven flights were performed at altitudes up to 7500m and range sup to 60 km from the GPF. Applicability to numerous military and civilian scenarios was demonstrated.

  2. Three-Dimensional Building Reconstruction Using Images Obtained by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wefelscheid, C.; Hänsch, R.; Hellwich, O.

    2011-09-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer several new possibilities in a wide range of applications. One example is the 3D reconstruction of buildings. In former times this was either restricted by earthbound vehicles to the reconstruction of facades or by air-borne sensors to generate only very coarse building models. This paper describes an approach for fully automatic image-based 3D reconstruction of buildings using UAVs. UAVs are able to observe the whole 3D scene and to capture images of the object of interest from completely different perspectives. The platform used by this work is a Falcon 8 octocopter from Ascending Technologies. A slightly modified high-resolution consumer camera serves as sensor for data acquisition. The final 3D reconstruction is computed offline after image acquisition and follows a reconstruction process originally developed for image sequences obtained by earthbound vehicles. The per- formance of the described method is evaluated on benchmark datasets showing that the achieved accuracy is high and even comparable with Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). Additionally, the results of the application of the complete processing-chain starting at image acquisition and ending in a dense surface-mesh are presented and discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. An Overview of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Air Quality Measurements: Present Applications and Future Prospectives

    PubMed Central

    Villa, Tommaso Francesco; Gonzalez, Felipe; Miljievic, Branka; Ristovski, Zoran D.; Morawska, Lidia

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of air quality has been traditionally conducted by ground based monitoring, and more recently by manned aircrafts and satellites. However, performing fast, comprehensive data collection near pollution sources is not always feasible due to the complexity of sites, moving sources or physical barriers. Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with different sensors have been introduced for in-situ air quality monitoring, as they can offer new approaches and research opportunities in air pollution and emission monitoring, as well as for studying atmospheric trends, such as climate change, while ensuring urban and industrial air safety. The aims of this review were to: (1) compile information on the use of UAVs for air quality studies; and (2) assess their benefits and range of applications. An extensive literature review was conducted using three bibliographic databases (Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar) and a total of 60 papers was found. This relatively small number of papers implies that the field is still in its early stages of development. We concluded that, while the potential of UAVs for air quality research has been established, several challenges still need to be addressed, including: the flight endurance, payload capacity, sensor dimensions/accuracy, and sensitivity. However, the challenges are not simply technological, in fact, policy and regulations, which differ between countries, represent the greatest challenge to facilitating the wider use of UAVs in atmospheric research. PMID:27420065

  7. An Overview of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Air Quality Measurements: Present Applications and Future Prospectives.

    PubMed

    Villa, Tommaso Francesco; Gonzalez, Felipe; Miljievic, Branka; Ristovski, Zoran D; Morawska, Lidia

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of air quality has been traditionally conducted by ground based monitoring, and more recently by manned aircrafts and satellites. However, performing fast, comprehensive data collection near pollution sources is not always feasible due to the complexity of sites, moving sources or physical barriers. Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with different sensors have been introduced for in-situ air quality monitoring, as they can offer new approaches and research opportunities in air pollution and emission monitoring, as well as for studying atmospheric trends, such as climate change, while ensuring urban and industrial air safety. The aims of this review were to: (1) compile information on the use of UAVs for air quality studies; and (2) assess their benefits and range of applications. An extensive literature review was conducted using three bibliographic databases (Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar) and a total of 60 papers was found. This relatively small number of papers implies that the field is still in its early stages of development. We concluded that, while the potential of UAVs for air quality research has been established, several challenges still need to be addressed, including: the flight endurance, payload capacity, sensor dimensions/accuracy, and sensitivity. However, the challenges are not simply technological, in fact, policy and regulations, which differ between countries, represent the greatest challenge to facilitating the wider use of UAVs in atmospheric research. PMID:27420065

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.