Science.gov

Sample records for micro aerial vehicles

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehak, M.; Skaloud, J.

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  4. Aerial networking communication solutions using Micro Air Vehicle (MAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balasubramanian, Shyam; de Graaf, Maurits; Hoekstra, Gerard; Corporaal, Henk; Wijtvliet, Mark; Cuadros Linde, Javier

    2014-10-01

    The application of a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) for wireless networking is slowly gaining significance in the field of network robotics. Aerial transport of data requires efficient network protocols along with accurate positional adjustment of the MAV to minimize transaction times. In our proof of concept, we develop an Aerial networking protocol for data transfer using the technology of Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN), a store-and-forward approach for environments that deals with disrupted connectivity. Our results show that close interaction between networking and flight behavior helps in efficient data exchange. Potential applications are in areas where network infrastructure is minimal or unavailable and distances may be large. For example, forwarding video recordings during search and rescue, agriculture, swarm communication, among several others. A practical implementation and validation, as described in this paper, presents the complex dynamics of wireless environments and poses new challenges that are not addressed in earlier work on this topic. Several tests are evaluated in a practical setup to display the networking MAV behavior during such an operation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ifju, Peter

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maglasang, Jonathan; Goto, Norihiro; Isogai, Koji

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Applicability of New Approaches of Sensor Orientation to Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rehak, M.; Skaloud, J.

    2016-06-01

    This study highlights the benefits of precise aerial position and attitude control in the context of mapping with Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). Accurate mapping with MAVs is gaining importance in applications such as corridor mapping, road and pipeline inspections or mapping of large areas with homogeneous surface structure, e.g. forests or agricultural fields. There, accurate aerial control plays a major role in successful terrain reconstruction and artifact-free ortophoto generation. The presented experiments focus on new approaches of aerial control. We confirm practically that the relative aerial position and attitude control can improve accuracy in difficult mapping scenarios. Indeed, the relative orientation method represents an attractive alternative in the context of MAVs for two reasons. First, the procedure is somewhat simplified, e.g. the angular misalignment, so called boresight, between the camera and the inertial measurement unit (IMU) does not have to be determined and, second, the effect of possible systematic errors in satellite positioning (e.g. due to multipath and/or incorrect recovery of differential carrier-phase ambiguities) is mitigated. First, we present a typical mapping project over an agricultural field and second, we perform a corridor road mapping. We evaluate the proposed methods in scenarios with and without automated image observations. We investigate a recently proposed concept where adjustment is performed using image observations limited to ground control and check points, so called fast aerial triangulation (Fast AT). In this context we show that accurate aerial control (absolute or relative) together with a few image observations can deliver accurate results comparable to classical aerial triangulation with thousands of image measurements. This procedure in turns reduces the demands on processing time and the requirements on the existence of surface texture. Finally, we compare the above mentioned procedures with direct sensor

  13. Transition Flight Simulation of Flapping-Wing Micro-Aerial Vehicle Using Aerodynamic Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isogai, Koji; Kawabe, Hiroyasu

    The paper describes how to simulate the flight of a flapping-wing micro-aerial vehicle (MAV). It uses an aerodynamic database generated using three-dimensional Navier-Stokes code. The database is composed of the time mean aerodynamic forces and moments generated at various flapping wing motions in various flight modes. Flight is simulated utilizing the database by interpolation. The procedure is applied to transition flight of a dragonfly-type MAV with two-pairs of resonance-type flapping wings. The present MAV attains the mission of hovering, transition and cruising flights successfully with stable attitude.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Lisa M.

    2011-07-01

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

  17. A lifting surface approximation for roll stall of Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, Matt; Mohseni, Kamran

    2012-11-01

    The lateral stability of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) has been known to be adversely affected by the low aspect ratio (LAR) nature of these aircraft. While this has typically been attributed to the small moments of inertia about the plane of symmetry, recent experimental results display the development of a significant roll stability derivative (Cl , β) for flat plate (0% camber) wings. The roll moment can be attributed to the asymmetric development of the tip vortices of a yawed wing and the resulting deviation from the wing loading at zero sideslip. Furthermore, results indicate that a harmonic yaw oscillation at increasing angular velocities results in a delay effect as the formation of the tip vortex is affected by the rotation of the wing; that is, the roll moment does not reach its steady value at a given yaw angle until after the model yaws past the angle. A model based on modified lifting surface theory is developed to determine the influence of the induced velocities of the skewed tip vortices on the lateral loading of both the static and oscillating wing; experimentally determined parameters are used to compensate for the separated flow experienced by MAV wings and not considered in conventional lifting surface methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoguang; Hua, Wenshen; Liu, Xun

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayakumar, Kolandapaiyan; Chandrasekhar, Uttam; Chandrashekhar, Nagaraj

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Towards Flight Autonomy: Vision-Based Horizon Detection for Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nechyba, Michael C.; Ettinger, Scott M.; Ifju, Peter G.; Wazak, Martin

    2002-01-01

    Recently substantial progress has been made towards design building and testifying remotely piloted Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). This progress in overcoming the aerodynamic obstacles to flight at very small scales has, unfortunately, not been matched by similar progress in autonomous MAV flight. Thus, we propose a robust, vision-based horizon detection algorithm as the first step towards autonomous MAVs. In this paper, we first motivate the use of computer vision for the horizon detection task by examining the flight of birds (biological MAVs) and considering other practical factors. We then describe our vision-based horizon detection algorithm, which has been demonstrated at 30 Hz with over 99.9% correct horizon identification, over terrain that includes roads, buildings large and small, meadows, wooded areas, and a lake. We conclude with some sample horizon detection results and preview a companion paper, where the work discussed here forms the core of a complete autonomous flight stability system.

  4. Flexible Wing Base Micro Aerial Vehicles: Vision-Guided Flight Stability and Autonomy for Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ettinger, Scott M.; Nechyba, Michael C.; Ifju, Peter G.; Wazak, Martin

    2002-01-01

    Substantial progress has been made recently towards design building and test-flying remotely piloted Micro Air Vehicle's (MAVs). We seek to complement this progress in overcoming the aerodynamic obstacles to.flight at very small scales with a vision stability and autonomy system. The developed system based on a robust horizon detection algorithm which we discuss in greater detail in a companion paper. In this paper, we first motivate the use of computer vision for MAV autonomy arguing that given current sensor technology, vision may he the only practical approach to the problem. We then briefly review our statistical vision-based horizon detection algorithm, which has been demonstrated at 30Hz with over 99.9% correct horizon identification. Next we develop robust schemes for the detection of extreme MAV attitudes, where no horizon is visible, and for the detection of horizon estimation errors, due to external factors such as video transmission noise. Finally, we discuss our feed-back controller for self-stabilized flight, and report results on vision autonomous flights of duration exceeding ten minutes.

  5. 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.

  6. Piezo-stack vortex generators for boundary layer control of a delta wing micro-aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mystkowski, Arkadiusz

    2013-11-01

    This paper presents an idea for the control of flow separation over solid surfaces by piezo-stack vortex generators. The vortex generators are small vibrating plates attached to the delta wing surface. A model of the micro-aerial vehicle (MAV) controlled by vortex piezo-generators is presented. The vortex generators are applied to produce the appropriate aerodynamical forces and moments controlling the flight of the aircraft. The efficiency of the vortex generators is proved by the wind tunnel test results. The oscillatory added lift and drag coefficients versus angle of attack are presented. The optimal vortex generator amplitude and frequency are investigated. Boundary layer control (BLC) for delta wing micro-aircraft increases the manoeuvrability and performance of the MAV.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunget, Gheorghe

    The main objective of the BATMAV project is the development of a biologically-inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) with flexible and foldable wings for flapping flight. While flapping flight in MAV has been previously studied and a number of models were realized they usually had unfoldable wings actuated with DC motors and mechanical transmission to achieve flapping motion. This approach limits the system to a rather small number of degrees of freedom with little flexibility and introduces an additional disadvantage of a heavy flight platform. The BATMAV project aims at the development of a flight platform that features bat-inspired wings with smart materials-based flexible joints and artificial muscles, which has the potential to closely mimic the kinematics of the real mammalian flyer. The bat-like flight platform was selected after an extensive analysis of morphological and aerodynamic flight parameters of small birds, bats and large insects characterized by a superior maneuverability and wind gust rejection. Morphological and aerodynamic parameters were collected from existing literature and compared concluding that bat wing present a suitable platform that can be actuated efficiently using artificial muscles. Due to their wing camber variation, the bat species can operate effectively at a large range of speeds and exhibit a remarkably maneuverable and agile flight. Although numerous studies were recently investigated the flapping flight, flexible and foldable wings that reproduce the natural intricate and efficient flapping motion were not designed yet. A comprehensive analysis of flight styles in bats based on the data collected by Norberg (Norberg, 1976) and the engineering theory of robotic manipulators resulted in a 2 and 3-DOF models which managed to mimic the wingbeat cycle of the natural flyer. The flexible joints of the 2 and 2-DOF models were replicated using smart materials like superelastic Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). The results of these kinematic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rosnell, Tomi; Honkavaara, Eija

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Rosnell, Tomi; Honkavaara, Eija

    2012-01-01

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

  11. MicroProbe Small Unmanned Aerial System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bland, Geoffrey; Miles, Ted

    2012-01-01

    The MicroProbe unmanned aerial system (UAS) concept incorporates twin electric motors mounted on the vehicle wing, thus enabling an aerodynamically and environmentally clean nose area for atmospheric sensors. A payload bay is also incorporated in the fuselage to accommodate remote sensing instruments. A key feature of this concept is lightweight construction combined with low flying speeds to minimize kinetic energy and associated hazards, as well as maximizing spatial resolution. This type of aerial platform is needed for Earth science research and environmental monitoring. There were no vehicles of this type known to exist previously.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadman, Jason Markos

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

  14. Experimental aerodynamic and static elastic deformation characterization of low aspect ratio flexible fixed wings applied to micro aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albertani, Roberto

    The concept of micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) is for a small, inexpensive and sometimes expendable platform, flying by remote pilot, in the field or autonomously. Because of the requirement to be flown either by almost inexperienced pilots or by autonomous control, they need to have very reliable and benevolent flying characteristics drive the design guidelines. A class of vehicles designed by the University of Florida adopts a flexible-wing concept, featuring a carbon fiber skeleton and a thin extensible latex membrane skin. Another typical feature of MAVs is a wingspan to propeller diameter ratio of two or less, generating a substantial influence on the vehicle aerodynamics. The main objectives of this research are to elucidate and document the static elastic flow-structure interactions in terms of measurements of the aerodynamic coefficients and wings' deformation as well as to substantiate the proposed inferences regarding the influence of the wings' structural flexibility on their performance; furthermore the research will provide experimental data to support the validation of CFD and FEA numerical models. A unique facility was developed at the University of Florida to implement a combination of a low speed wind tunnel and a visual image correlation system. The models tested in the wind tunnel were fabricated at the University MAV lab and consisted of a series of ten models with an identical geometry but differing in levels of structural flexibility and deformation characteristics. Results in terms of full-field displacements and aerodynamic coefficients from wind tunnel tests for various wind velocities and angles of attack are presented to demonstrate the deformation of the wing under steady aerodynamic load. The steady state effects of the propeller slipstream on the flexible wing's shape and its performance are also investigated. Analytical models of the aerodynamic and propulsion characteristics are proposed based on a multi dimensional linear regression

  15. 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.

  16. A Study of the Effects of Large Scale Gust Generation in a Small Scale Atmospheric Wind Tunnel: Application to Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadman, Jason; Mohseni, Kamran

    2009-11-01

    Modern technology operating in the atmospheric boundary layer could benefit from more accurate wind tunnel testing. While scaled atmospheric boundary layer tunnels have been well developed, tunnels replicating portions of the turbulence of the atmospheric boundary layer at full scale are a comparatively new concept. Testing at full-scale Reynolds numbers with full-scale turbulence in an ``atmospheric wind tunnel'' is sought. Many programs could utilize such a tool including that of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) and other unmanned aircraft, the wind energy industry, fuel efficient vehicles, and the study of bird and insect fight. The construction of an active ``gust generator'' for a new atmospheric tunnel is reviewed and the turbulence it generates is measured utilizing single and cross hot wires. Results from this grid are compared to atmospheric turbulence and it is shown that various gust strengths can be produced corresponding to days ranging from calm to quite gusty. An initial test is performed in the atmospheric wind tunnel whereby the effects of various turbulence conditions on transition and separation on the upper surface of a MAV wing is investigated using oil flow visualization.

  17. A Primer on Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Design.

    PubMed

    Coppejans, Hugo H G; Myburgh, Herman C

    2015-01-01

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

  18. A Primer on Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Design

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Radiation surveillance using an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles unique cost estimating requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. Exploration of Titan using Vertical Lift Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. A.

    2001-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Precision wildlife monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Exploration of Titan Using Vertical Lift Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. A.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeBusk, Wesley M.

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Uncooled infrared development for small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  4. Sampling-Based Real-Time Motion Planning under State Uncertainty for Autonomous Micro-Aerial Vehicles in GPS-Denied Environments

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dachuan; Li, Qing; Cheng, Nong; Song, Jingyan

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a real-time motion planning approach for autonomous vehicles with complex dynamics and state uncertainty. The approach is motivated by the motion planning problem for autonomous vehicles navigating in GPS-denied dynamic environments, which involves non-linear and/or non-holonomic vehicle dynamics, incomplete state estimates, and constraints imposed by uncertain and cluttered environments. To address the above motion planning problem, we propose an extension of the closed-loop rapid belief trees, the closed-loop random belief trees (CL-RBT), which incorporates predictions of the position estimation uncertainty, using a factored form of the covariance provided by the Kalman filter-based estimator. The proposed motion planner operates by incrementally constructing a tree of dynamically feasible trajectories using the closed-loop prediction, while selecting candidate paths with low uncertainty using efficient covariance update and propagation. The algorithm can operate in real-time, continuously providing the controller with feasible paths for execution, enabling the vehicle to account for dynamic and uncertain environments. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed approach can generate feasible trajectories that reduce the state estimation uncertainty, while handling complex vehicle dynamics and environment constraints. PMID:25412217

  5. Sampling-based real-time motion planning under state uncertainty for autonomous micro-aerial vehicles in GPS-denied environments.

    PubMed

    Li, Dachuan; Li, Qing; Cheng, Nong; Song, Jingyan

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a real-time motion planning approach for autonomous vehicles with complex dynamics and state uncertainty. The approach is motivated by the motion planning problem for autonomous vehicles navigating in GPS-denied dynamic environments, which involves non-linear and/or non-holonomic vehicle dynamics, incomplete state estimates, and constraints imposed by uncertain and cluttered environments. To address the above motion planning problem, we propose an extension of the closed-loop rapid belief trees, the closed-loop random belief trees (CL-RBT), which incorporates predictions of the position estimation uncertainty, using a factored form of the covariance provided by the Kalman filter-based estimator. The proposed motion planner operates by incrementally constructing a tree of dynamically feasible trajectories using the closed-loop prediction, while selecting candidate paths with low uncertainty using efficient covariance update and propagation. The algorithm can operate in real-time, continuously providing the controller with feasible paths for execution, enabling the vehicle to account for dynamic and uncertain environments. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed approach can generate feasible trajectories that reduce the state estimation uncertainty, while handling complex vehicle dynamics and environment constraints. PMID:25412217

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Micro-unmanned aerodynamic vehicle

    DOEpatents

    Reuel, Nigel; Lionberger, Troy A.; Galambos, Paul C.; Okandan, Murat; Baker, Michael S.

    2008-03-11

    A MEMS-based micro-unmanned vehicle includes at least a pair of wings having leading wing beams and trailing wing beams, at least two actuators, a leading actuator beam coupled to the leading wing beams, a trailing actuator beam coupled to the trailing wing beams, a vehicle body having a plurality of fulcrums pivotally securing the leading wing beams, the trailing wing beams, the leading actuator beam and the trailing actuator beam and having at least one anisotropically etched recess to accommodate a lever-fulcrum motion of the coupled beams, and a power source.

  9. 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.

  10. Flexible vision-based navigation system for unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blasch, Erik P.

    1995-01-01

    A critical component of unmanned aerial vehicles in the navigation system which provides position and velocity feedback for autonomous control. The Georgia Tech Aerial Robotics navigational system (NavSys) consists of four DVTStinger70C Integrated Vision Units (IVUs) with CCD-based panning platforms, software, and a fiducial onboard the vehicle. The IVUs independently scan for the retro-reflective bar-code fiducial while the NavSys image processing software performs a gradient threshold followed by a image search localization of three vertical bar-code lines. Using the (x,y) image coordinate and CCD angle, the NavSys triangulates the fiducial's (x,y) position, differentiates for velocity, and relays the information to the helicopter controller, which independently determines the z direction with an onboard altimeter. System flexibility is demonstrated by recognition of different fiducial shapes, night and day time operation, and is being extended to on-board and off-board navigation of aerial and ground vehicles. The navigation design provides a real-time, inexpensive, and effective system for determining the (x,y) position of the aerial vehicle with updates generated every 51 ms (19.6 Hz) at an accuracy of approximately +/- 2.8 in.

  11. High throughput phenotyping using an unmanned aerial vehicle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field trials are expensive and labor-intensive to carry out. Strategies to maximize data collection from these trials will improve research efficiencies. We have purchased a small unmanned aerial vehicle (AEV) to collect digital images from field plots. The AEV is remote-controlled and can be guided...

  12. Dead Slow: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Loitering in Battlespace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackmore, Tim

    2005-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Robust vehicle detection in low-resolution aerial imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Reliability Assessment for Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, Paul Michael

    Existing low-cost unmanned aerospace systems are unreliable, and engineers must blend reliability analysis with fault-tolerant control in novel ways. This dissertation introduces the University of Minnesota unmanned aerial vehicle flight research platform, a comprehensive simulation and flight test facility for reliability and fault-tolerance research. An industry-standard reliability assessment technique, the failure modes and effects analysis, is performed for an unmanned aircraft. Particular attention is afforded to the control surface and servo-actuation subsystem. Maintaining effector health is essential for safe flight; failures may lead to loss of control incidents. Failure likelihood, severity, and risk are qualitatively assessed for several effector failure modes. Design changes are recommended to improve aircraft reliability based on this analysis. Most notably, the control surfaces are split, providing independent actuation and dual-redundancy. The simulation models for control surface aerodynamic effects are updated to reflect the split surfaces using a first-principles geometric analysis. The failure modes and effects analysis is extended by using a high-fidelity nonlinear aircraft simulation. A trim state discovery is performed to identify the achievable steady, wings-level flight envelope of the healthy and damaged vehicle. Tolerance of elevator actuator failures is studied using familiar tools from linear systems analysis. This analysis reveals significant inherent performance limitations for candidate adaptive/reconfigurable control algorithms used for the vehicle. Moreover, it demonstrates how these tools can be applied in a design feedback loop to make safety-critical unmanned systems more reliable. Control surface impairments that do occur must be quickly and accurately detected. This dissertation also considers fault detection and identification for an unmanned aerial vehicle using model-based and model-free approaches and applies those

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mokhtari, M Rida; Cherki, Brahim

    2015-05-01

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

  15. Development of the unmanned aerial vehicle flight recorder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walendziuk, Wojciech; Kwasniewski, Daniel

    2014-11-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Minimum time trajectory planning for a micro quadrotor aerial robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouktir, Y.; Chettibi, T.

    2008-06-01

    A simple direct method able to generate minimum time trajectories for micro quadrotor aerial robots is presented. It is based on modeling the quadrotor trajectory as a composition of a parametric form P(λ), defining the quadrotor path, and a monotonically increasing function λ(t), specifying the motion on this path. The optimal evolutions of P(λ) and λ(t), which are approximated using algebraic spline functions, are found using a nonlinear optimization technique. The proposed method accounts for the most important constraints inherent to the system behavior, such as underactuation and limits on actuator torques and speeds. Furthermore, this method may be used for generating optimal reference dynamic motions in the presence of obstacles.

  18. Hierarchical Motion Planning for Autonomous Aerial and Terrestrial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowlagi, Raghvendra V.

    Autonomous mobile robots---both aerial and terrestrial vehicles---have gained immense importance due to the broad spectrum of their potential military and civilian applications. One of the indispensable requirements for the autonomy of a mobile vehicle is the vehicle's capability of planning and executing its motion, that is, finding appropriate control inputs for the vehicle such that the resulting vehicle motion satisfies the requirements of the vehicular task. The motion planning and control problem is inherently complex because it involves two disparate sub-problems: (1) satisfaction of the vehicular task requirements, which requires tools from combinatorics and/or formal methods, and (2) design of the vehicle control laws, which requires tools from dynamical systems and control theory. Accordingly, this problem is usually decomposed and solved over two levels of hierarchy. The higher level, called the geometric path planning level, finds a geometric path that satisfies the vehicular task requirements, e.g., obstacle avoidance. The lower level, called the trajectory planning level, involves sufficient smoothening of this geometric path followed by a suitable time parametrization to obtain a reference trajectory for the vehicle. Although simple and efficient, such hierarchical decomposition suffers a serious drawback: the geometric path planner has no information of the kinematical and dynamical constraints of the vehicle. Consequently, the geometric planner may produce paths that the trajectory planner cannot transform into a feasible reference trajectory. Two main ideas appear in the literature to remedy this problem: (a) randomized sampling-based planning, which eliminates the geometric planner altogether by planning in the vehicle state space, and (b) geometric planning supported by feedback control laws. The former class of methods suffer from a lack of optimality of the resultant trajectory, while the latter class of methods makes a restrictive assumption

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Flexible-Wing-Based Micro Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ifju, Peter G.; Jenkins, David A.; Ettinger, Scott; Lian, Yong-Sheng; Shyy, Wei; Waszak, Martin R.

    2002-01-01

    This paper documents the development and evaluation of an original flexible-wing-based Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) technology that reduces adverse effects of gusty wind conditions and unsteady aerodynamics, exhibits desirable flight stability, and enhances structural durability. The flexible wing concept has been demonstrated on aircraft with wingspans ranging from 18 inches to 5 inches. Salient features of the flexible-wing-based MAV, including the vehicle concept, flexible wing design, novel fabrication methods, aerodynamic assessment, and flight data analysis are presented.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Vehicle detection from high-resolution aerial images based on superpixel and color name features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ziyi; Cao, Liujuan; Yu, Zang; Chen, Yiping; Wang, Cheng; Li, Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    Automatic vehicle detection from aerial images is emerging due to the strong demand of large-area traffic monitoring. In this paper, we present a novel framework for automatic vehicle detection from the aerial images. Through superpixel segmentation, we first segment the aerial images into homogeneous patches, which consist of the basic units during the detection to improve efficiency. By introducing the sparse representation into our method, powerful classification ability is achieved after the dictionary training. To effectively describe a patch, the Histogram of Oriented Gradient (HOG) is used. We further propose to integrate color information to enrich the feature representation by using the color name feature. The final feature consists of both HOG and color name based histogram, by which we get a strong descriptor of a patch. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and robust performance of the proposed algorithm for vehicle detection from aerial images.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. An optical water vapor sensor for unmanned aerial vehicles

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Geis, J.; Arnold, J.H.

    1994-09-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Design, fabrication & performance analysis of an unmanned aerial vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, M. I.; Salam, M. A.; Afsar, M. R.; Huda, M. N.; Mahmud, T.

    2016-07-01

    An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was designed, analyzed and fabricated to meet design requirements and perform the entire mission for an international aircraft design competition. The goal was to have a balanced design possessing, good demonstrated flight handling qualities, practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance. The UAV had to complete total three missions named ferry flight (1st mission), maximum load mission (2nd mission) and emergency medical mission (3rd mission). The requirement of ferry flight mission was to fly as many as laps as possible within 4 minutes. The maximum load mission consists of flying 3 laps while carrying two wooden blocks which simulate cargo. The requirement of emergency medical mission was complete 3 laps as soon as possible while carrying two attendances and two patients. A careful analysis revealed lowest rated aircraft cost (RAC) as the primary design objective. So, the challenge was to build an aircraft with minimum RAC that can fly fast, fly with maximum payload, and fly fast with all the possible configurations. The aircraft design was reached by first generating numerous design concepts capable of completing the mission requirements. In conceptual design phase, Figure of Merit (FOM) analysis was carried out to select initial aircraft configuration, propulsion, empennage and landing gear. After completion of the conceptual design, preliminary design was carried out. The preliminary design iterations had a low wing loading, high lift coefficient, and a high thrust to weight ratio. To make the aircraft capable of Rough Field Taxi; springs were added in the landing gears for absorbing shock. An airfoil shaped fuselage was designed to allowed sufficient space for payload and generate less drag to make the aircraft fly fast. The final design was a high wing monoplane with conventional tail, single tractor propulsion system and a tail dragger landing gear. Payload was stored in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Daniel Stephen

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for monitoring glacial moulins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santagata, Tommaso

    2016-04-01

    The exploration of cavities on glaciers has always represented a fascinating activity that attracts scientists and researchers since many decades. Several explorations performed by speleologists and scientists since 1985 on the Gorner Gletscher (Mount Rosa group, SW Switzerland) have allowed to survey more than 40 endoglacial caves and some marginal tunnels of this glacier, which is the most interesting in the Alps for its supraglacial and englacial pseudo-karst forms. In recent years, the study of these caves has led to the distinction of two morphological and genetic types: marginal tunnels, that generally forms at the contact between ice and lateral moraine, and swallow holes (moulins) which are vertical shafts where a supraglacial stream sinks into the ice. During the first International glacier-caving camp organized in October 2014 as part of the project "Inside the glaciers" which had the main objective to explore the cavities of this glacier and to study the cryo-karstic processes that lead to the formation of deep shafts, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with camera and GPS system was used for the first time to perform photogrammetric surveys on three different areas. This technique allowed to derive detailed 3D models with very high resolution and accuracy of the entrance of the main moulins and other interesting parts of this glacier. Thanks to the acquisition of geo-referenced images and post-processing the acquired data (i.e. motion corrections), with the realized 3D point clouds and mesh models it was possible to obtain geo-referenced ortophoto and digital surface models which have been used to calculate contour lines and calculate the difference of position of the same moulins detected during the last years expeditions. Moreover, the data acquired have allowed to perform other different type of surface analysis and obtain an excellent photographic database that will surely be useful for further comparisons in future, proving the importance of

  10. Power Sources for Micro-Autonomous Vehicles- Challenges and Prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayan, S. R.; Kisor, A.; Valdez, T. I.; Manohara, H.

    2009-01-01

    Micro-autonomous vehicle systems are expected to have expanded role in military missions by providing full spectrum intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support on the battlefield, suppression of enemy defenses, and enabling co-operative (swarm-like) configurations. Of the numerous demanding requirements of autonomy, sensing, navigation, mobility, etc., meeting the requirement of mission duration or endurance is a very challenging one. This requirement is demanding because of the constraints of mass and volume that limit the quantity of energy that can be stored on-board. Energy is required for mobility, payload operation, information processing, and communication. Mobility requirements typically place an extraordinary demand on the specific energy (Wh/kg) and specific power (W/kg) of the power source; the actual distribution of the energy between mobility and other system functions could vary substantially with the mission type. The power requirements for continuous mobility can vary from 100-1000 W/kg depending on the terrain, ground speed and flight speed. Even with the power source accounting for 30% of the mass of the vehicle, the best of rechargeable batteries can provide only up to 1-2 hours of run-time for a continuous power demand at 100W/kg. In the case of micro-aerial vehicles with flight speed requirements in the range of 5-15 m s-1, the mission times rarely exceed 20 minutes [2]. Further, the power required during take-off and hover can be twice or thrice that needed for steady level flight, and thus the number and sequence of such events is also limited by the mass and size of the power source. For operations such as "perch and stare" or "silent watch" the power demand is often only a tenth of that required during continuous flight. Thus, variation in power demand during various phases of the mission importantly affects the power source selection.

  11. Vehicle Detection of Aerial Image Using TV-L1 Texture Decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Wang, G.; Li, Y.; Huang, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Vehicle detection from high-resolution aerial image facilitates the study of the public traveling behavior on a large scale. In the context of road, a simple and effective algorithm is proposed to extract the texture-salient vehicle among the pavement surface. Texturally speaking, the majority of pavement surface changes a little except for the neighborhood of vehicles and edges. Within a certain distance away from the given vector of the road network, the aerial image is decomposed into a smoothly-varying cartoon part and an oscillatory details of textural part. The variational model of Total Variation regularization term and L1 fidelity term (TV-L1) is adopted to obtain the salient texture of vehicles and the cartoon surface of pavement. To eliminate the noise of texture decomposition, regions of pavement surface are refined by seed growing and morphological operation. Based on the shape saliency analysis of the central objects in those regions, vehicles are detected as the objects of rectangular shape saliency. The proposed algorithm is tested with a diverse set of aerial images that are acquired at various resolution and scenarios around China. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can detect vehicles at the rate of 71.5% and the false alarm rate of 21.5%, and that the speed is 39.13 seconds for a 4656 x 3496 aerial image. It is promising for large-scale transportation management and planning.

  12. 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.

  13. Efficient pedestrian detection from aerial vehicles with object proposals and deep convolutional neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minnehan, Breton; Savakis, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    As Unmanned Aerial Systems grow in numbers, pedestrian detection from aerial platforms is becoming a topic of increasing importance. By providing greater contextual information and a reduced potential for occlusion, the aerial vantage point provided by Unmanned Aerial Systems is highly advantageous for many surveillance applications, such as target detection, tracking, and action recognition. However, due to the greater distance between the camera and scene, targets of interest in aerial imagery are generally smaller and have less detail. Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN's) have demonstrated excellent object classification performance and in this paper we adopt them to the problem of pedestrian detection from aerial platforms. We train a CNN with five layers consisting of three convolution-pooling layers and two fully connected layers. We also address the computational inefficiencies of the sliding window method for object detection. In the sliding window configuration, a very large number of candidate patches are generated from each frame, while only a small number of them contain pedestrians. We utilize the Edge Box object proposal generation method to screen candidate patches based on an "objectness" criterion, so that only regions that are likely to contain objects are processed. This method significantly reduces the number of image patches processed by the neural network and makes our classification method very efficient. The resulting two-stage system is a good candidate for real-time implementation onboard modern aerial vehicles. Furthermore, testing on three datasets confirmed that our system offers high detection accuracy for terrestrial pedestrian detection in aerial imagery.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Finn, Anthony; Rogers, Kevin

    2015-08-01

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

  16. New Concepts and Perspectives on Micro-Rotorcraft and Small Autonomous Rotary-Wing Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.; Aiken, E. W.; Johnson, J. L.; Demblewski, R.; Andrews, J.; Aiken, Irwin W. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A key part of the strategic vision for rotorcraft research as identified by senior technologists within the Army/NASA Rotorcraft Division at NASA Ames Research Center is the development and use of small autonomous rotorcraft. Small autonomous rotorcraft are defined for the purposes of this paper to be a class of vehicles that range in size from rotary-wing micro air vehicles (MAVs) to larger, more conventionally sized, rotorcraft uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) - i.e. vehicle gross weights ranging from hundreds of grams to thousands of kilograms. The development of small autonomous rotorcraft represents both a technology challenge and a potential new vehicle class that will have substantial societal impact for: national security, personal transport, planetary science, and public service.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Modelling rainfall-runoff in urban areas is increasingly applied to support flood risk assessment particularly against the background of a changing climate and an increasing urbanization. These models typically rely on high-quality data for rainfall and surface characteristics of the area. While recent research in urban drainage has been focusing on providing spatially detailed rainfall data, the technological advances in remote sensing that ease the acquisition of detailed land-use information are less prominently discussed within the community. The relevance of such methods increase as in many parts of the globe, accurate land-use information is generally lacking, because detailed image data is unavailable. Modern unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) allow acquiring high-resolution images on a local level at comparably lower cost, performing on-demand repetitive measurements, and obtaining a degree of detail tailored for the purpose of the study. In this study, we investigate for the first time the possibility to derive high-resolution imperviousness maps for urban areas from UAV imagery and to use this information as input for urban drainage models. To do so, an automatic processing pipeline with a modern classification method is tested and applied in a state-of-the-art urban drainage modelling exercise. In a real-life case study in the area of Lucerne, Switzerland, we compare imperviousness maps generated from a consumer micro-UAV and standard large-format aerial images acquired by the Swiss national mapping agency (swisstopo). After assessing their correctness, we perform an end-to-end comparison, in which they are used as an input for an urban drainage model. Then, we evaluate the influence which different image data sources and their processing methods have on hydrological and hydraulic model performance. We analyze the surface runoff of the 307 individual sub-catchments regarding relevant attributes, such as peak runoff and volume. Finally, we evaluate the model

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  14. Insect-Inspired Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Mechanization and Control Concepts for Biologically Inspired Micro Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raney, David L.; Slominski, Eric C.

    2003-01-01

    It is possible that MAV designs of the future will exploit flapping flight in order to perform missions that require extreme agility, such as rapid flight beneath a forest canopy or within the confines of a building. Many of nature's most agile flyers generate flapping motions through resonant excitation of an aeroelastically tailored structure: muscle tissue is used to excite a vibratory mode of their flexible wing structure that creates propulsion and lift. A number of MAV concepts have been proposed that would operate in a similar fashion. This paper describes an ongoing research activity in which mechanization and control concepts with application to resonant flapping MAVs are being explored. Structural approaches, mechanical design, sensing and wingbeat control concepts inspired by hummingbirds, bats and insects are examined. Experimental results from a testbed capable of generating vibratory wingbeat patterns that approximately match those exhibited by hummingbirds in hover, cruise, and reverse flight are presented.

  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. High-resolution Brillouin analysis in a carbon-fiber-composite unmanned aerial vehicle model wing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Yonatan; London, Yosef; Preter, Eyal; Antman, Yair; Shlomi, Orel; Silbiger, Maayan; Adler, Gadi; Zadok, Avi

    2016-05-01

    Standard optical fibers are successfully embedded within a model wing of an unmanned aerial vehicle, constructed of carbon fiber and epoxy, during its production. Time-gated Brillouin optical correlation domain analysis along the embedded optical fibers is performed with a spatial resolution of 4 cm. Tests were carried out using a portable measurement setup prototype. The results represent an important step towards applications of high-resolution Brillouin analysis outside the research laboratory.

  1. Load tracking and structural health monitoring of unmanned aerial vehicles using optical fiber sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handelman, A.; Botsev, Y.; Balter, J.; Gud's, P.; Kressel, I.; Tur, M.; Gali, S.; Pillai, A. C. R.; Hari Prasad, M.; Yadav, A. Kumar; Gupta, Nitesh; Sathya, Sakthi; Sundaram, Ramesh

    2011-08-01

    An airborne, high resolution, load tracking and structural health monitoring system for unmanned aerial vehicles is presented. The system is based on embedded optical fiber Bragg sensors interrogated in real time during flight at 2.5 kHz. By analyzing the recorded vibration signature it is now possible to identify and trace the dynamic response of an airborne structure and track its loads.

  2. Load tracking and structural health monitoring of unmanned aerial vehicles using optical fiber sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handelman, A.; Botsev, Y.; Balter, J.; Gud'S, P.; Kressel, I.; Tur, M.; Gali, S.; Pillai, A. C. R.; Hari Prasad, M.; Yadav, A. Kumar; Gupta, Nitesh; Sathya, Sakthi; Sundaram, Ramesh

    2010-12-01

    An airborne, high resolution, load tracking and structural health monitoring system for unmanned aerial vehicles is presented. The system is based on embedded optical fiber Bragg sensors interrogated in real time during flight at 2.5 kHz. By analyzing the recorded vibration signature it is now possible to identify and trace the dynamic response of an airborne structure and track its loads.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, Michael E.; Matsangas, Panagiotis

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Lead-acid batteries in micro-hybrid vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albers, Joern; Meissner, Eberhard; Shirazi, Sepehr

    More and more vehicles hit the European automotive market, which comprise some type of micro-hybrid functionality to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Most carmakers already offer at least one of their vehicles with an optional engine start/stop system, while some other models are sold with micro-hybrid functions implemented by default. But these car concepts show a wide variety in detail-the term "micro-hybrid" may mean a completely different functionality in one vehicle model compared to another. Accordingly, also the battery technologies are not the same. There is a wide variety of batteries from standard flooded and enhanced flooded to AGM which all are claimed to be "best choice" for micro-hybrid applications. A technical comparison of micro-hybrid cars available on the European market has been performed. Different classes of cars with different characteristics have been identified. Depending on the scope and characteristics of micro-hybrid functions, as well as on operational strategies implemented by the vehicle makers, the battery operating duties differ significantly between these classes of vehicles. Additional laboratory investigations have been carried out to develop an understanding of effects observed in batteries operated in micro-hybrid vehicles pursuing different strategies, to identify limitations for applications of different battery technologies.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Gust Mitigation of Micro Air Vehicles Using Passive Articulated Wings

    PubMed Central

    Slegers, Nathan

    2014-01-01

    Birds and insects naturally use passive flexing of their wings to augment their stability in uncertain aerodynamic environments. In a similar manner, micro air vehicle designers have been investigating using wing articulation to take advantage of this phenomenon. The result is a class of articulated micro air vehicles where artificial passive joints are designed into the lifting surfaces. In order to analyze how passive articulation affects performance of micro air vehicles in gusty environments, an efficient 8 degree-of-freedom model is developed. Experimental validation of the proposed mathematical model was accomplished using flight test data of an articulated micro air vehicle obtained from a high resolution indoor tracking facility. Analytical investigation of the gust alleviation properties of the articulated micro air vehicle model was carried out using simulations with varying crosswind gust magnitudes. Simulations show that passive articulation in micro air vehicles can increase their robustness to gusts within a range of joint compliance. It is also shown that if articulation joints are made too compliant that gust mitigation performance is degraded when compared to a rigid system. PMID:24516368

  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. An intelligent algorithm for unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-04-01

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

  11. Micro-electro-mechanical flapping wing technology for micro air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Asha J.; Riddick, Jaret C.

    2012-04-01

    Army combat operations have placed a high premium on reconnaissance missions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) (less than 15 cm in dimension and less than 20 g in mass). One approach for accomplishing this mission is to develop a biologically inspired flapping wing insect that can maneuver into confined areas and possess hovering capabilities. Analysis of insect flight indicates that in addition to the bending excitation (flapping), simultaneous excitation of the twisting degree-of-freedom (pitching) is required to manipulate the control surface adequately. Traditionally, bimorph piezoelectric PZT (Pb(Zr0.55Ti0.45)O3) actuators have been used in many applications to excite the bending degree-of-freedom. In laminated or layered structures, bend-twist coupling is governed by the existence of at least one anisotropic layer not aligned with the primary plate axes. By adding a layer of off-axis PZT segments to a PZT bimorph actuator, thereby producing a layered structure to be referred to as a functionally- modified bimorph, bend-twist coupling may be introduced to the flexural response of the layered PZT. Furthermore, by selectively charging off-axis layers in specific combinations with the bimorph, the response of the functionally-modified bimorph may be tailored yielding a biaxial actuator to actively control the flapping wing response. The present study presents an experimental investigation of both traditional bimorph and functionally-modified PZT bimorph designs intended for active bend-twist actuation of cm-scale flapping wing devices.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drozeski, Graham R.

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ippolito, Corey; Plice, Laura; Pisanich, Greg

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    In this paper we present a novel Navigation and Guidance System (NGS) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) based on Vision Based Navigation (VBN) and other avionics sensors. The main objective of our research is to design a lowcost and low-weight/volume NGS capable of providing the required level of performance in all flight phases of modern small- to medium-size UAVs, with a special focus on automated precision approach and landing, where VBN techniques can be fully exploited in a multisensory integrated architecture. Various existing techniques for VBN are compared and the Appearance-based Navigation (ABN) approach is selected for implementation. Feature extraction and optical flow techniques are employed to estimate flight parameters such as roll angle, pitch angle, deviation from the runway and body rates. Additionally, we address the possible synergies between VBN, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and MEMS-IMU (Micro-Electromechanical System Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors and also the use of Aircraft Dynamics Models (ADMs) to provide additional information suitable to compensate for the shortcomings of VBN sensors in high-dynamics attitude determination tasks. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is developed to fuse the information provided by the different sensors and to provide estimates of position, velocity and attitude of the platform in real-time. Two different integrated navigation system architectures are implemented. The first uses VBN at 20 Hz and GPS at 1 Hz to augment the MEMS-IMU running at 100 Hz. The second mode also includes the ADM (computations performed at 100 Hz) to provide augmentation of the attitude channel. Simulation of these two modes is performed in a significant portion of the Aerosonde UAV operational flight envelope and performing a variety of representative manoeuvres (i.e., straight climb, level turning, turning descent and climb, straight descent, etc.). Simulation of the first integrated navigation system architecture

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Biologically Inspired Micro-Flight Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raney, David L.; Waszak, Martin R.

    2003-01-01

    Natural fliers demonstrate a diverse array of flight capabilities, many of which are poorly understood. NASA has established a research project to explore and exploit flight technologies inspired by biological systems. One part of this project focuses on dynamic modeling and control of micro aerial vehicles that incorporate flexible wing structures inspired by natural fliers such as insects, hummingbirds and bats. With a vast number of potential civil and military applications, micro aerial vehicles represent an emerging sector of the aerospace market. This paper describes an ongoing research activity in which mechanization and control concepts for biologically inspired micro aerial vehicles are being explored. Research activities focusing on a flexible fixed- wing micro aerial vehicle design and a flapping-based micro aerial vehicle concept are presented.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochala, Zdzisław

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haro, Helida C.

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-10

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Surveying a Landslide in a Road Embankment Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

    Most of the works of civil engineering, and some others applications, need to be designed using a basic cartography with a suitable scale to the accuracy and extension of the plot.The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Photogrammetry covers the gap between classical manned aerial photogrammetry and hand- made surveying techniques because it works in the close-range domain, combining aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry, but also introduces low-cost alternatives. The aim of this work is developing of an accurate and low-cost method to characterize landslides located on the size of a road. It was applied at the kilometric point 339 belonging to the A92 dual carriageway, in the Abla municipal term, province of Almeria, Spain. A photogrammetric project was carried out from a set of images taken from an md4-200 Microdrones with an on-board calibrated camera 12 Megapixels Pentax Optio A40. The flight was previously planned to cover the whole extension of the embankment with three passes composed of 18 photos each one. All the images were taken with the vertical axe and it was registered 85% and 60% longitudinal and transversal overlaps respectively. The accuracy of the products, with planimetric and altimetric errors of 0.049 and 0.108m repectively, lets to take measurements of the landslide and projecting preventive and palliative actuations.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredericks, William J.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Power line field sensing to support autonomous navigation of small unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, John; Bukshpun, Leonid; Pradhan, Ranjit

    2013-06-01

    Autonomous navigation around power lines in a complex urban environment is a critical challenge facing small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs). As part of an ongoing development of an electric and magnetic field sensor system designed to provide SUAVs with the capability to sense and avoid power transmission and distribution lines by monitoring their electric and magnetic field signatures, we have performed field measurements and analysis of power-line signals. We discuss the nature of the power line signatures to be detected, and optimal strategies for detecting these signals amid SUAV platform noise and environmental interference. Based on an analysis of measured power line signals and vehicle noise, we have found that, under certain circumstances, power line harmonics can be detected at greater range than the fundamental. We explain this phenomenon by combining a model of power line signal nonlinearity with the quasi-static electric and magnetic signatures of multiphase power lines.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  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. Hierarchical flight control system synthesis for rotorcraft-based unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shim, Hyunchul

    The Berkeley Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) research aims to design, implement, and analyze a group of autonomous intelligent UAVs and UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles). The goal of this dissertation is to provide a comprehensive procedural methodology to design, implement, and test rotorcraft-based unmanned aerial vehicles (RUAVs). We choose the rotorcraft as the base platform for our aerial agents because it offers ideal maneuverability for our target scenarios such as the pursuit-evasion game. Aided by many enabling technologies such as lightweight and powerful computers, high-accuracy navigation sensors and communication devices, it is now possible to construct RUAVs capable of precise navigation and intelligent behavior by the decentralized onboard control system. Building a fully functioning RUAV requires a deep understanding of aeronautics, control theory and computer science as well as a tremendous effort for implementation. These two aspects are often inseparable and therefore equally highlighted throughout this research. The problem of multiple vehicle coordination is approached through the notion of a hierarchical system. The idea behind the proposed architecture is to build a hierarchical multiple-layer system that gradually decomposes the abstract mission objectives into the physical quantities of control input. Each RUAV incorporated into this system performs the given tasks and reports the results through the hierarchical communication channel back to the higher-level coordinator. In our research, we provide a theoretical and practical approach to build a number of RUAVs based on commercially available navigation sensors, computer systems, and radio-controlled helicopters. For the controller design, the dynamic model of the helicopter is first built. The helicopter exhibits a very complicated multi-input multi-output, nonlinear, time-varying and coupled dynamics, which is exposed to severe exogenous disturbances. This poses considerable difficulties for

  4. Use of 3D laser radar for navigation of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles in urban and indoor environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uijt de Haag, Maarten; Venable, Don; Smearcheck, Mark

    2007-04-01

    changes. These "delta" position and attitudes are then used calibrate the IMU. Note, that the IMU is not only required to form the point cloud of the environment expressed in the navigation frame, but also to perform association of the features from one flash Ladar frame to the next. This paper will discuss the performance of the proposed 3D imaging sensor feature extraction, position change estimator and attitude change estimator using both simulator data and data collected from a moving platform in an indoor environment. The former consists of data from a simulated IMU and flash Ladar installed on an aerial vehicle for various trajectories through an urban environment. The latter consists of measurements from a CSEM Swissranger 3D imaging sensor and a MicroStrain low-cost IMU. Data was collected on a manually operated aerial vehicle inside the Ohio University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anders, Niels; Masselink, Rens; Keesstra, Saskia

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. 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 (...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Visual Servoing of Quadrotor Micro-Air Vehicle Using Color-Based Tracking Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azrad, Syaril; Kendoul, Farid; Nonami, Kenzo

    This paper describes a vision-based tracking system using an autonomous Quadrotor Unmanned Micro-Aerial Vehicle (MAV). The vision-based control system relies on color target detection and tracking algorithm using integral image, Kalman filters for relative pose estimation, and a nonlinear controller for the MAV stabilization and guidance. The vision algorithm relies on information from a single onboard camera. An arbitrary target can be selected in real-time from the ground control station, thereby outperforming template and learning-based approaches. Experimental results obtained from outdoor flight tests, showed that the vision-control system enabled the MAV to track and hover above the target as long as the battery is available. The target does not need to be pre-learned, or a template for detection. The results from image processing are sent to navigate a non-linear controller designed for the MAV by the researchers in our group.

  17. Fully self-contained vision-aided navigation and landing of a micro air vehicle independent from external sensor inputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brockers, Roland; Susca, Sara; Zhu, David; Matthies, Larry

    2012-06-01

    Direct-lift micro air vehicles have important applications in reconnaissance. In order to conduct persistent surveillance in urban environments, it is essential that these systems can perform autonomous landing maneuvers on elevated surfaces that provide high vantage points without the help of any external sensor and with a fully contained on-board software solution. In this paper, we present a micro air vehicle that uses vision feedback from a single down looking camera to navigate autonomously and detect an elevated landing platform as a surrogate for a roof top. Our method requires no special preparation (labels or markers) of the landing location. Rather, leveraging the planar character of urban structure, the landing platform detection system uses a planar homography decomposition to detect landing targets and produce approach waypoints for autonomous landing. The vehicle control algorithm uses a Kalman filter based approach for pose estimation to fuse visual SLAM (PTAM) position estimates with IMU data to correct for high latency SLAM inputs and to increase the position estimate update rate in order to improve control stability. Scale recovery is achieved using inputs from a sonar altimeter. In experimental runs, we demonstrate a real-time implementation running on-board a micro aerial vehicle that is fully self-contained and independent from any external sensor information. With this method, the vehicle is able to search autonomously for a landing location and perform precision landing maneuvers on the detected targets.

  18. Fully Self-Contained Vision-Aided Navigation and Landing of a Micro Air Vehicle Independent from External Sensor Inputs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brockers, Roland; Susca, Sara; Zhu, David; Matthies, Larry

    2012-01-01

    Direct-lift micro air vehicles have important applications in reconnaissance. In order to conduct persistent surveillance in urban environments, it is essential that these systems can perform autonomous landing maneuvers on elevated surfaces that provide high vantage points without the help of any external sensor and with a fully contained on-board software solution. In this paper, we present a micro air vehicle that uses vision feedback from a single down looking camera to navigate autonomously and detect an elevated landing platform as a surrogate for a roof top. Our method requires no special preparation (labels or markers) of the landing location. Rather, leveraging the planar character of urban structure, the landing platform detection system uses a planar homography decomposition to detect landing targets and produce approach waypoints for autonomous landing. The vehicle control algorithm uses a Kalman filter based approach for pose estimation to fuse visual SLAM (PTAM) position estimates with IMU data to correct for high latency SLAM inputs and to increase the position estimate update rate in order to improve control stability. Scale recovery is achieved using inputs from a sonar altimeter. In experimental runs, we demonstrate a real-time implementation running on-board a micro aerial vehicle that is fully self-contained and independent from any external sensor information. With this method, the vehicle is able to search autonomously for a landing location and perform precision landing maneuvers on the detected targets.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chelaru, Teodor-Viorel; Chelaru, Adrian

    2014-12-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Challenges for micro-scale flapping-wing micro air vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Robert J.; Finio, Benjamin; Karpelson, Michael; Pérez-Arancibia, Nestor O.; Sreetharan, Pratheev; Whitney, John P.

    2012-06-01

    The challenges for successful flight of insect-scale micro air vehicles encompass basic questions of fabrication, design, propulsion, actuation, control, and power - topics that have in general been answered for larger aircraft. When developing a flying robot on the scale of flies and bees, all hardware must be developed from scratch as there are no "off-the-shelf" sensors, actuators, or microcontrollers that can satisfy the extreme mass and power limitations imposed by such vehicles. Similar challenges exist for fabrication and assembly of the structural and aeromechanical components of insect-scale micro air vehicles that neither macro-scale techniques nor MEMS can adequately solve. With these challenges in mind, this paper presents progress in the essential technologies for micro-scale flapping-wing robots.

  17. An autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle sensing system for structural health monitoring of bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reagan, Daniel; Sabato, Alessandro; Niezrecki, Christopher; Yu, Tzuyang; Wilson, Richard

    2016-04-01

    As civil infrastructure (i.e. bridges, railways, and tunnels) continues to age; the frequency and need to perform inspection more quickly on a broader scale increases. Traditional inspection and monitoring techniques (e.g., visual inspection, mechanical sounding, rebound hammer, cover meter, electrical potential measurements, ultrasound, and ground penetrating radar) may produce inconsistent results, require lane closure, are labor intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, new structural health monitoring systems must be developed that are automated, highly accurate, minimally invasive, and cost effective. Three-dimensional (3D) digital image correlation (DIC) systems have the merits of extracting full-field strain, deformation, and geometry profiles. These profiles can then be stitched together to generate a complete integrity map of the area of interest. Concurrently, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as valuable resources for positioning sensing equipment where it is either difficult to measure or poses a risk to human safety. UAVs have the capability to expedite the optical-based measurement process, offer increased accessibility, and reduce interference with local traffic. Within this work, an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle in conjunction with 3D DIC was developed for monitoring bridges. The capabilities of the proposed system are demonstrated in both laboratory measurements and data collected from bridges currently in service. Potential measurement influences from platform instability, rotor vibration and positioning inaccuracy are also studied in a controlled environment. The results of these experiments show that the combination of autonomous flight with 3D DIC and other non-contact measurement systems provides a valuable and effective civil inspection platform.

  18. Observing Entrainment Processes Using a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: A Feasibility Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Sabrina; Beyrich, Frank; Bange, Jens

    2014-03-01

    Measurement flights with the meteorological mini aerial vehicle (MAV) were performed in spring 2011 to assess the capability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to measure the structure of the transition zone between the convective boundary layer and the stably stratified free atmosphere. The campaign took place at the Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg/Richard-Aßmann-Observatory of the German Meteorological Service. Besides the MAV flights, observations were made from a 12-m and a 99-m tower, a sodar, two ceilometers, radiosondes, and a tethered balloon with sensor packages at six different levels. MAV measurements were intentionally combined with remote sensing systems. The height range of the entrainment zone as well as its diurnal cycle were provided by the remote sensing instruments. The UAV provided the high-resolution in situ data of temperature and wind for the study of turbulent processes. It is shown that the MAV is able to maintain constant altitude with very small deviations—a pre-requisite to study processes inside the often quite thin entrainment zone and that MAV high-resolution wind and temperature measurements allow for very detailed studies of the fine structure of the atmosphere and thus for the identification of quite local and/or short-duration processes such as overshooting thermals or downward intrusions of warm air. Spatial series measured by the MAV during horizontal flights show turbulent exchange of heat in short turbulent bursts at heights close to and within the entrainment zone. Scaled vertical profiles of vertical velocity, potential temperature variance, and sensible heat flux confirm the general shape found by previous measurements and numerical studies.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Adaptive mode transition control architecture with an application to unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez Zea, Luis Benigno

    In this thesis, an architecture for the adaptive mode transition control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is presented. The proposed architecture consists of three levels: the highest level is occupied by mission planning routines where information about way points the vehicle must follow is processed. The middle level uses a trajectory generation component to coordinate the task execution and provides set points for low-level stabilizing controllers. The adaptive mode transitioning control algorithm resides at the lowest level of the hierarchy consisting of a mode transitioning controller and the accompanying adaptation mechanism. The mode transition controller is composed of a mode transition manager, a set of local controllers, a set of active control models, a set point filter, a state filter, an automatic trimming mechanism and a dynamic compensation filter. Local controllers operate in local modes and active control models operate in transitions between two local modes. The mode transition manager determines the actual mode of operation of the vehicle based on a set of mode membership functions and activates a local controller or an active control model accordingly. The adaptation mechanism uses an indirect adaptive control methodology to adapt the active control models. For this purpose, a set of plant models based on fuzzy neural networks is trained based on input/output information from the vehicle and used to compute sensitivity matrices providing the linearized models required by the adaptation algorithms. The effectiveness of the approach is verified through software-in-the-loop simulations, hardware-in-the-loop simulations and flight testing.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Almeida, Eduardo DeBrito

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Aerial Explorers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufrene, Warren R., Jr.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamoorthy, Kiruthika

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Stereoscopic Imaging for Obstacle Detection Onboard Low-Flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanna, Emad

    Obstacle detection for low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) poses unique engineering challenges in terms of real-time implementation as well as system accuracy. Of all the available techniques for carrying out this task, optical sensors stand out as an inexpensive, lightweight and reliable solution. Image processing methods are used to analyze the images captured by the UAV camera(s) and to generate information pertaining to the location and motion of the obstacles in the field of view. These methods, however, can be computationally intensive and must be optimized if they are to be implemented in a moving vehicle. Additionally, the measurement of distance usually requires a high level of calibration before the results are useful. This thesis proposes a calibration method rooted in image data analysis and shows how this can be used to accurately predict the distance to obstacles. An algorithm tailored specifically to low-flying UAVs (Sparse Edge Reconstruction) is presented. Both the calibration method and the algorithm were used to analyze video gathered on a low-altitude test flight.

  10. 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.