Sample records for uav flight testing

  1. UAV Research, Operations, and Flight Test at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosentino, Gary B.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of the projects that have extended NASA Dryden's capabilities in designing, testing, and using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's). Some of the UAV's have been for Science and experimental applications, some have been for flight research and demonstration purposes, and some have been small UAV's for other customers.

  2. Determination of UAV pre-flight Checklist for flight test purpose using qualitative failure analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendarko; Indriyanto, T.; Syardianto; Maulana, F. A.

    2018-05-01

    Safety aspects are of paramount importance in flight, especially in flight test phase. Before performing any flight tests of either manned or unmanned aircraft, one should include pre-flight checklists as a required safety document in the flight test plan. This paper reports on the development of a new approach for determination of pre-flight checklists for UAV flight test based on aircraft’s failure analysis. The Lapan’s LSA (Light Surveillance Aircraft) is used as a study case, assuming this aircraft has been transformed into the unmanned version. Failure analysis is performed on LSA using fault tree analysis (FTA) method. Analysis is focused on propulsion system and flight control system, which fail of these systems will lead to catastrophic events. Pre-flight checklist of the UAV is then constructed based on the basic causes obtained from failure analysis.

  3. Wind and Wake Sensing with UAV Formation Flight: System Development and Flight Testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larrabee, Trenton Jameson

    sensing data using UAVs in formation flight. This has been achieved and well documented before in manned aircraft but very little work has been done on UAV wake sensing especially during flight testing. This document describes the development and flight testing of small unmanned aerial system (UAS) for wind and wake sensing purpose including a Ground Control Station (GCS) and UAVs. This research can be stated in four major components. Firstly, formation flight was obtained by integrating a formation flight controller on the WVU Phastball Research UAV aircraft platform from the Flight Control Systems Laboratory (FCSL) at West Virginia University (WVU). Second, a new approach to wind estimation using an Unscented Kalman filter (UKF) is discussed along with results from flight data. Third, wake modeling within a simulator and wake sensing during formation flight is shown. Finally, experimental results are used to discuss the "sweet spot" for energy harvesting in formation flight, a novel approach to cooperative wind estimation, and gust suppression control for a follower aircraft in formation flight.

  4. Simulation to Flight Test for a UAV Controls Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motter, Mark A.; Logan, Michael J.; French, Michael L.; Guerreiro, Nelson M.

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Flying Controls Testbed (FLiC) is a relatively small and inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle developed specifically to test highly experimental flight control approaches. The most recent version of the FLiC is configured with 16 independent aileron segments, supports the implementation of C-coded experimental controllers, and is capable of fully autonomous flight from takeoff roll to landing, including flight test maneuvers. The test vehicle is basically a modified Army target drone, AN/FQM-117B, developed as part of a collaboration between the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) at Fort Eustis, Virginia and NASA Langley Research Center. Several vehicles have been constructed and collectively have flown over 600 successful test flights, including a fully autonomous demonstration at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) UAV Demo 2005. Simulations based on wind tunnel data are being used to further develop advanced controllers for implementation and flight test.

  5. Formation Flight of Multiple UAVs via Onboard Sensor Information Sharing.

    PubMed

    Park, Chulwoo; Cho, Namhoon; Lee, Kyunghyun; Kim, Youdan

    2015-07-17

    To monitor large areas or simultaneously measure multiple points, multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) must be flown in formation. To perform such flights, sensor information generated by each UAV should be shared via communications. Although a variety of studies have focused on the algorithms for formation flight, these studies have mainly demonstrated the performance of formation flight using numerical simulations or ground robots, which do not reflect the dynamic characteristics of UAVs. In this study, an onboard sensor information sharing system and formation flight algorithms for multiple UAVs are proposed. The communication delays of radiofrequency (RF) telemetry are analyzed to enable the implementation of the onboard sensor information sharing system. Using the sensor information sharing, the formation guidance law for multiple UAVs, which includes both a circular and close formation, is designed. The hardware system, which includes avionics and an airframe, is constructed for the proposed multi-UAV platform. A numerical simulation is performed to demonstrate the performance of the formation flight guidance and control system for multiple UAVs. Finally, a flight test is conducted to verify the proposed algorithm for the multi-UAV system.

  6. Formation Flight of Multiple UAVs via Onboard Sensor Information Sharing

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chulwoo; Cho, Namhoon; Lee, Kyunghyun; Kim, Youdan

    2015-01-01

    To monitor large areas or simultaneously measure multiple points, multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) must be flown in formation. To perform such flights, sensor information generated by each UAV should be shared via communications. Although a variety of studies have focused on the algorithms for formation flight, these studies have mainly demonstrated the performance of formation flight using numerical simulations or ground robots, which do not reflect the dynamic characteristics of UAVs. In this study, an onboard sensor information sharing system and formation flight algorithms for multiple UAVs are proposed. The communication delays of radiofrequency (RF) telemetry are analyzed to enable the implementation of the onboard sensor information sharing system. Using the sensor information sharing, the formation guidance law for multiple UAVs, which includes both a circular and close formation, is designed. The hardware system, which includes avionics and an airframe, is constructed for the proposed multi-UAV platform. A numerical simulation is performed to demonstrate the performance of the formation flight guidance and control system for multiple UAVs. Finally, a flight test is conducted to verify the proposed algorithm for the multi-UAV system. PMID:26193281

  7. Intification and modelling of flight characteristics for self-build shock flyer type UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashid., Z. A.; Dardin, A. S. F. Syed.; Azid, A. A.; Ahmad, K. A.

    2018-02-01

    The development of an autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) requires a fundamentals studies of the UAV's flight characteristic. The aim of this study is to identify and model the flight characteristic of a conventional fixed-wing type UAV. Subsequence to this, the mode of flight of the UAV can be investigated. One technique to identify the characteristic of a UAV is a flight test where it required specific maneuvering to be executed while measuring the attitude sensor. In this study, a simple shock flyer type UAV was used as the aircraft. The result shows that the modeled flight characteristic has a significant relation with actual values but the fitting value is rather small. It is suggested that the future study is conducted with an improvement of the physical UAV, data filtering and better system identification methods.

  8. AirSTAR: A UAV Platform for Flight Dynamics and Control System Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jordan, Thomas L.; Foster, John V.; Bailey, Roger M.; Belcastro, Christine M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program at Langley Research Center, a dynamically scaled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and associated ground based control system are being developed to investigate dynamics modeling and control of large transport vehicles in upset conditions. The UAV is a 5.5% (seven foot wingspan), twin turbine, generic transport aircraft with a sophisticated instrumentation and telemetry package. A ground based, real-time control system is located inside an operations vehicle for the research pilot and associated support personnel. The telemetry system supports over 70 channels of data plus video for the downlink and 30 channels for the control uplink. Data rates are in excess of 200 Hz. Dynamic scaling of the UAV, which includes dimensional, weight, inertial, actuation, and control system scaling, is required so that the sub-scale vehicle will realistically simulate the flight characteristics of the full-scale aircraft. This testbed will be utilized to validate modeling methods, flight dynamics characteristics, and control system designs for large transport aircraft, with the end goal being the development of technologies to reduce the fatal accident rate due to loss-of-control.

  9. Free Flight Rotorcraft Flight Test Vehicle Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, W. Todd; Walker, Gregory W.

    1994-01-01

    A rotary wing, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) is being developed as a research tool at the NASA Langley Research Center by the U.S. Army and NASA. This development program is intended to provide the rotorcraft research community an intermediate step between rotorcraft wind tunnel testing and full scale manned flight testing. The technologies under development for this vehicle are: adaptive electronic flight control systems incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, small-light weight sophisticated sensors, advanced telepresence-telerobotics systems and rotary wing UAV operational procedures. This paper briefly describes the system's requirements and the techniques used to integrate the various technologies to meet these requirements. The paper also discusses the status of the development effort. In addition to the original aeromechanics research mission, the technology development effort has generated a great deal of interest in the UAV community for related spin-off applications, as briefly described at the end of the paper. In some cases the technologies under development in the free flight program are critical to the ability to perform some applications.

  10. Precise Positioning of Uavs - Dealing with Challenging Rtk-Gps Measurement Conditions during Automated Uav Flights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, F.; Eling, C.; Klingbeil, L.; Kuhlmann, H.

    2017-08-01

    For some years now, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are commonly used for different mobile mapping applications, such as in the fields of surveying, mining or archeology. To improve the efficiency of these applications an automation of the flight as well as the processing of the collected data is currently aimed at. One precondition for an automated mapping with UAVs is that the georeferencing is performed directly with cm-accuracies or better. Usually, a cm-accurate direct positioning of UAVs is based on an onboard multi-sensor system, which consists of an RTK-capable (real-time kinematic) GPS (global positioning system) receiver and additional sensors (e.g. inertial sensors). In this case, the absolute positioning accuracy essentially depends on the local GPS measurement conditions. Especially during mobile mapping applications in urban areas, these conditions can be very challenging, due to a satellite shadowing, non-line-of sight receptions, signal diffraction or multipath effects. In this paper, two straightforward and easy to implement strategies will be described and analyzed, which improve the direct positioning accuracies for UAV-based mapping and surveying applications under challenging GPS measurement conditions. Based on a 3D model of the surrounding buildings and vegetation in the area of interest, a GPS geometry map is determined, which can be integrated in the flight planning process, to avoid GPS challenging environments as far as possible. If these challenging environments cannot be avoided, the GPS positioning solution is improved by using obstruction adaptive elevation masks, to mitigate systematic GPS errors in the RTK-GPS positioning. Simulations and results of field tests demonstrate the profit of both strategies.

  11. Flight Testing the X-48B at the Dryden Flight Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosenito, Gary B.

    2010-01-01

    Topics discussed include: a) UAV s at NASA Dryden, Past and Present; b) Why Do We Flight Test?; c) The Blended (or Hybrid) Wing-Body Advantage; d) Program Objectives; e) The X-48B Vehicle and Ground Control Station; and f) Flight Test Highlights & Video.

  12. Solar Cell to Support Perpetual Flight of High Altitude Long Endurance UAV ITB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luqmanul Hakim, Muhammad; Silitonga, Faber Y.; Rosid, Nurhayyan H.; Mochammad Agoes Moelyadi, Ing., Dr.

    2018-04-01

    Research on a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is currently being conducted at Bandung Institute of Technology to reach the flight duration needed and to get the solution of today’s challenges, minimizing pollution. Besides the good aerodynamic efficiency needed, energy resource is now becoming important. The energy resource must have a good endurance, easy to get, and of course, less pollution. Discussion in this paper is about the analysis of power needed by HALE UAV while takeoff and cruise flight conditions, and then determine the amount of solar cell and battery needed by the UAV.

  13. Small UAV Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Design Considerations and Flight Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sorokowski, Paul; Skoog, Mark; Burrows, Scott; Thomas, SaraKatie

    2015-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Armstrong Flight Research Center Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) project demonstrated several important collision avoidance technologies. First, the SUAV Auto GCAS design included capabilities to take advantage of terrain avoidance maneuvers flying turns to either side as well as straight over terrain. Second, the design also included innovative digital elevation model (DEM) scanning methods. The combination of multi-trajectory options and new scanning methods demonstrated the ability to reduce the nuisance potential of the SUAV while maintaining robust terrain avoidance. Third, the Auto GCAS algorithms were hosted on the processor inside a smartphone, providing a lightweight hardware configuration for use in either the ground control station or on board the test aircraft. Finally, compression of DEM data for the entire Earth and successful hosting of that data on the smartphone was demonstrated. The SUAV Auto GCAS project demonstrated that together these methods and technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce the number of controlled flight into terrain mishaps across a wide range of aviation platforms with similar capabilities including UAVs, general aviation aircraft, helicopters, and model aircraft.

  14. A High-Throughput Processor for Flight Control Research Using Small UAVs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klenke, Robert H.; Sleeman, W. C., IV; Motter, Mark A.

    2006-01-01

    There are numerous autopilot systems that are commercially available for small (<100 lbs) UAVs. However, they all share several key disadvantages for conducting aerodynamic research, chief amongst which is the fact that most utilize older, slower, 8- or 16-bit microcontroller technologies. This paper describes the development and testing of a flight control system (FCS) for small UAV s based on a modern, high throughput, embedded processor. In addition, this FCS platform contains user-configurable hardware resources in the form of a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) that can be used to implement custom, application-specific hardware. This hardware can be used to off-load routine tasks such as sensor data collection, from the FCS processor thereby further increasing the computational throughput of the system.

  15. Development and Testing of a Two-UAV Communication Relay System.

    PubMed

    Li, Boyang; Jiang, Yifan; Sun, Jingxuan; Cai, Lingfeng; Wen, Chih-Yung

    2016-10-13

    In the development of beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems, communication between the UAVs and the ground control station (GCS) is of critical importance. The commonly used economical wireless modules are restricted by the short communication range and are easily blocked by obstacles. The use of a communication relay system provides a practical way to solve these problems, improving the performance of UAV communication in BLOS and cross-obstacle operations. In this study, a communication relay system, in which a quadrotor was used to relay radio communication for another quadrotor was developed and tested. First, the UAVs used as the airborne platform were constructed, and the hardware for the communication relay system was selected and built up. Second, a set of software programs and protocol for autonomous mission control, communication relay control, and ground control were developed. Finally, the system was fully integrated into the airborne platform and tested both indoor and in-flight. The Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and noise value in two typical application scenarios were recorded. The test results demonstrated the ability of this system to extend the communication range and build communication over obstacles. This system also shows the feasibility to coordinate multiple UAVs' communication with the same relay structure.

  16. UAV Inspection of Electrical Transmission Infrastructure with Path Conformance Autonomy and Lidar-Based Geofences NASA Report on UTM Reference Mission Flights at Southern Company Flights November 2016

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Andrew J.; Schubert, Matthew; Rymer, Nicholas; Balachandran, Swee; Consiglio, Maria; Munoz, Cesar; Smith, Joshua; Lewis, Dexter; Schneider, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Flights at low altitudes in close proximity to electrical transmission infrastructure present serious navigational challenges: GPS and radio communication quality is variable and yet tight position control is needed to measure defects while avoiding collisions with ground structures. To advance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) navigation technology while accomplishing a task with economic and societal benefit, a high voltage electrical infrastructure inspection reference mission was designed. An integrated air-ground platform was developed for this mission and tested in two days of experimental flights to determine whether navigational augmentation was needed to successfully conduct a controlled inspection experiment. The airborne component of the platform was a multirotor UAV built from commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, and the ground component was a commercial laptop running open source software. A compact ultraviolet sensor mounted on the UAV can locate 'hot spots' (potential failure points in the electric grid), so long as the UAV flight path adequately samples the airspace near the power grid structures. To improve navigation, the platform was supplemented with two navigation technologies: lidar-to-polyhedron preflight processing for obstacle demarcation and inspection distance planning, and trajectory management software to enforce inspection standoff distance. Both navigation technologies were essential to obtaining useful results from the hot spot sensor in this obstacle-rich, low-altitude airspace. Because the electrical grid extends into crowded airspaces, the UAV position was tracked with NASA unmanned aerial system traffic management (UTM) technology. The following results were obtained: (1) Inspection of high-voltage electrical transmission infrastructure to locate 'hot spots' of ultraviolet emission requires navigation methods that are not broadly available and are not needed at higher altitude flights above ground structures. (2) The

  17. Real-Time Reliability Verification for UAV Flight Control System Supporting Airworthiness Certification.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haiyang; Wang, Ping

    2016-01-01

    In order to verify the real-time reliability of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control system and comply with the airworthiness certification standard, we proposed a model-based integration framework for modeling and verification of time property. Combining with the advantages of MARTE, this framework uses class diagram to create the static model of software system, and utilizes state chart to create the dynamic model. In term of the defined transformation rules, the MARTE model could be transformed to formal integrated model, and the different part of the model could also be verified by using existing formal tools. For the real-time specifications of software system, we also proposed a generating algorithm for temporal logic formula, which could automatically extract real-time property from time-sensitive live sequence chart (TLSC). Finally, we modeled the simplified flight control system of UAV to check its real-time property. The results showed that the framework could be used to create the system model, as well as precisely analyze and verify the real-time reliability of UAV flight control system.

  18. Real-Time Reliability Verification for UAV Flight Control System Supporting Airworthiness Certification

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haiyang; Wang, Ping

    2016-01-01

    In order to verify the real-time reliability of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control system and comply with the airworthiness certification standard, we proposed a model-based integration framework for modeling and verification of time property. Combining with the advantages of MARTE, this framework uses class diagram to create the static model of software system, and utilizes state chart to create the dynamic model. In term of the defined transformation rules, the MARTE model could be transformed to formal integrated model, and the different part of the model could also be verified by using existing formal tools. For the real-time specifications of software system, we also proposed a generating algorithm for temporal logic formula, which could automatically extract real-time property from time-sensitive live sequence chart (TLSC). Finally, we modeled the simplified flight control system of UAV to check its real-time property. The results showed that the framework could be used to create the system model, as well as precisely analyze and verify the real-time reliability of UAV flight control system. PMID:27918594

  19. Development and Testing of a Two-UAV Communication Relay System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Boyang; Jiang, Yifan; Sun, Jingxuan; Cai, Lingfeng; Wen, Chih-Yung

    2016-01-01

    In the development of beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems, communication between the UAVs and the ground control station (GCS) is of critical importance. The commonly used economical wireless modules are restricted by the short communication range and are easily blocked by obstacles. The use of a communication relay system provides a practical way to solve these problems, improving the performance of UAV communication in BLOS and cross-obstacle operations. In this study, a communication relay system, in which a quadrotor was used to relay radio communication for another quadrotor was developed and tested. First, the UAVs used as the airborne platform were constructed, and the hardware for the communication relay system was selected and built up. Second, a set of software programs and protocol for autonomous mission control, communication relay control, and ground control were developed. Finally, the system was fully integrated into the airborne platform and tested both indoor and in-flight. The Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and noise value in two typical application scenarios were recorded. The test results demonstrated the ability of this system to extend the communication range and build communication over obstacles. This system also shows the feasibility to coordinate multiple UAVs’ communication with the same relay structure. PMID:27754369

  20. Small-scale fixed wing airplane software verification flight test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Natasha R.

    The increased demand for micro Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) driven by military requirements, commercial use, and academia is creating a need for the ability to quickly and accurately conduct low Reynolds Number aircraft design. There exist several open source software programs that are free or inexpensive that can be used for large scale aircraft design, but few software programs target the realm of low Reynolds Number flight. XFLR5 is an open source, free to download, software program that attempts to take into consideration viscous effects that occur at low Reynolds Number in airfoil design, 3D wing design, and 3D airplane design. An off the shelf, remote control airplane was used as a test bed to model in XFLR5 and then compared to flight test collected data. Flight test focused on the stability modes of the 3D plane, specifically the phugoid mode. Design and execution of the flight tests were accomplished for the RC airplane using methodology from full scale military airplane test procedures. Results from flight test were not conclusive in determining the accuracy of the XFLR5 software program. There were several sources of uncertainty that did not allow for a full analysis of the flight test results. An off the shelf drone autopilot was used as a data collection device for flight testing. The precision and accuracy of the autopilot is unknown. Potential future work should investigate flight test methods for small scale UAV flight.

  1. Implementation and Testing of Low Cost Uav Platform for Orthophoto Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brucas, D.; Suziedelyte-Visockiene, J.; Ragauskas, U.; Berteska, E.; Rudinskas, D.

    2013-08-01

    Implementation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for civilian applications is rapidly increasing. Technologies which were expensive and available only for military use have recently spread on civilian market. There is a vast number of low cost open source components and systems for implementation on UAVs available. Using of low cost hobby and open source components ensures considerable decrease of UAV price, though in some cases compromising its reliability. In Space Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) in collaboration with Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) researches have been performed in field of constructing and implementation of small UAVs composed of low cost open source components (and own developments). Most obvious and simple implementation of such UAVs - orthophoto imaging with data download and processing after the flight. The construction, implementation of UAVs, flight experience, data processing and data implementation will be further covered in the paper and presentation.

  2. UAV Flight Control Using Distributed Actuation and Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnwell, William G.; Heinzen, Stearns N.; Hall, Charles E., Jr.; Chokani, Ndaona; Raney, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    An array of effectors and sensors has been designed, tested and implemented on a Blended Wing Body Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This UAV is modified to serve as a flying, controls research, testbed. This effectorhensor array provides for the dynamic vehicle testing of controller designs and the study of decentralized control techniques. Each wing of the UAV is equipped with 12 distributed effectors that comprise a segmented array of independently actuated, contoured control surfaces. A single pressure sensor is installed near the base of each effector to provide a measure of deflections of the effectors. The UAV wings were tested in the North Carolina State University Subsonic Wind Tunnel and the pressure distribution that result from the deflections of the effectors are characterized. The results of the experiments are used to develop a simple, but accurate, prediction method, such that for any arrangement of the effector array the corresponding pressure distribution can be determined. Numerical analysis using the panel code CMARC verifies this prediction method.

  3. Development and testing of instrumentation for ship-based UAV measurements of ocean surface processes and the marine atmospheric boundary layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reineman, B. D.; Lenain, L.; Statom, N.; Melville, W. K.

    2012-12-01

    We have developed instrumentation packages for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to measure ocean surface processes along with momentum fluxes and latent, sensible, and radiative heat fluxes in the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL). The packages have been flown over land on BAE Manta C1s and over water on Boeing-Insitu ScanEagles. The low altitude required for accurate surface flux measurements (< 30 m) is below the typical safety limit of manned research aircraft; however, with advances in laser altimeters, small-aircraft flight control, and real-time kinematic differential GPS, low-altitude flight is now within the capability of small UAV platforms. Fast-response turbulence, hygrometer, and temperature probes permit turbulent flux measurements, and short- and long-wave radiometers allow the determination of net radiation, surface temperature, and albedo. Onboard laser altimetry and high-resolution visible and infrared video permit observations of surface waves and fine-scale (O(10) cm) ocean surface temperature structure. Flight tests of payloads aboard ScanEagle UAVs were conducted in April 2012 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (Dahlgren, VA), where measurements of water vapor, heat, and momentum fluxes were made from low-altitude (31-m) UAV flights over water (Potomac River). ScanEagles are capable of ship-based launch and recovery, which can extend the reach of research vessels and enable scientific measurements out to ranges of O(10-100) km and altitudes up to 5 km. UAV-based atmospheric and surface observations can complement observations of surface and subsurface phenomena made from a research vessel and avoid the well-known problems of vessel interference in MABL measurements. We present a description of the instrumentation, summarize results from flight tests, and discuss potential applications of these UAVs for ship-based MABL studies.

  4. The Influence of Flight Planning and Camera Orientation in UAVs Photogrammetry. a Test in the Area of Rocca San Silvestro (li), Tuscany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiabrando, F.; Lingua, A.; Maschio, P.; Teppati Losè, L.

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss how much the phases of flight planning and the setting of the camera orientation can affect a UAVs photogrammetric survey. The test site chosen for these evaluations was the Rocca of San Silvestro, a medieval monumental castle near Livorno, Tuscany (Italy). During the fieldwork, different sets of data have been acquired using different parameters for the camera orientation and for the set up of flight plans. Acquisition with both nadiral and oblique orientation of the camera have been performed, as well as flights with different direction of the flight lines (related with the shape of the object of the survey). The different datasets were then processed in several blocks using Pix4D software and the results of the processing were analysed and compared. Our aim was to evaluate how much the parameters described above can affect the generation of the final products of the survey, in particular the product chosen for this evaluation was the point cloud.

  5. Formation flight and collision avoidance for multiple UAVs based on modified tentacle algorithm in unstructured environments

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a method for formation flight and collision avoidance of multiple UAVs. Due to the shortcomings such as collision avoidance caused by UAV’s high-speed and unstructured environments, this paper proposes a modified tentacle algorithm to ensure the high performance of collision avoidance. Different from the conventional tentacle algorithm which uses inverse derivation, the modified tentacle algorithm rapidly matches the radius of each tentacle and the steering command, ensuring that the data calculation problem in the conventional tentacle algorithm is solved. Meanwhile, both the speed sets and tentacles in one speed set are reduced and reconstructed so as to be applied to multiple UAVs. Instead of path iterative optimization, the paper selects the best tentacle to obtain the UAV collision avoidance path quickly. The simulation results show that the method presented in the paper effectively enhances the performance of flight formation and collision avoidance for multiple high-speed UAVs in unstructured environments. PMID:28763498

  6. Using Distance Sensors to Perform Collision Avoidance Maneuvres on Uav Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raimundo, A.; Peres, D.; Santos, N.; Sebastião, P.; Souto, N.

    2017-08-01

    The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and its applications are growing for both civilian and military purposes. The operability of an UAV proved that some tasks and operations can be done easily and at a good cost-efficiency ratio. Nowadays, an UAV can perform autonomous missions. It is very useful to certain UAV applications, such as meteorology, vigilance systems, agriculture, environment mapping and search and rescue operations. One of the biggest problems that an UAV faces is the possibility of collision with other objects in the flight area. To avoid this, an algorithm was developed and implemented in order to prevent UAV collision with other objects. "Sense and Avoid" algorithm was developed as a system for UAVs to avoid objects in collision course. This algorithm uses a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), to detect objects facing the UAV in mid-flights. This light sensor is connected to an on-board hardware, Pixhawk's flight controller, which interfaces its communications with another hardware: Raspberry Pi. Communications between Ground Control Station and UAV are made via Wi-Fi or cellular third or fourth generation (3G/4G). Some tests were made in order to evaluate the "Sense and Avoid" algorithm's overall performance. These tests were done in two different environments: A 3D simulated environment and a real outdoor environment. Both modes worked successfully on a simulated 3D environment, and "Brake" mode on a real outdoor, proving its concepts.

  7. SUSI 62 A Robust and Safe Parachute Uav with Long Flight Time and Good Payload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thamm, H. P.

    2011-09-01

    In many research areas in the geo-sciences (erosion, land use, land cover change, etc.) or applications (e.g. forest management, mining, land management etc.) there is a demand for remote sensing images of a very high spatial and temporal resolution. Due to the high costs of classic aerial photo campaigns, the use of a UAV is a promising option for obtaining the desired remote sensed information at the time it is needed. However, the UAV must be easy to operate, safe, robust and should have a high payload and long flight time. For that purpose, the parachute UAV SUSI 62 was developed. It consists of a steel frame with a powerful 62 cm3 2- stroke engine and a parachute wing. The frame can be easily disassembled for transportation or to replace parts. On the frame there is a gimbal mounted sensor carrier where different sensors, standard SLR cameras and/or multi-spectral and thermal sensors can be mounted. Due to the design of the parachute, the SUSI 62 is very easy to control. Two different parachute sizes are available for different wind speed conditions. The SUSI 62 has a payload of up to 8 kg providing options to use different sensors at the same time or to extend flight duration. The SUSI 62 needs a runway of between 10 m and 50 m, depending on the wind conditions. The maximum flight speed is approximately 50 km/h. It can be operated in a wind speed of up to 6 m/s. The design of the system utilising a parachute UAV makes it comparatively safe as a failure of the electronics or the remote control only results in the UAV coming to the ground at a slow speed. The video signal from the camera, the GPS coordinates and other flight parameters are transmitted to the ground station in real time. An autopilot is available, which guarantees that the area of investigation is covered at the desired resolution and overlap. The robustly designed SUSI 62 has been used successfully in Europe, Africa and Australia for scientific projects and also for agricultural, forestry and

  8. Sense and avoid technology for Global Hawk and Predator UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCalmont, John F.; Utt, James; Deschenes, Michael; Taylor, Michael J.

    2005-05-01

    The Sensors Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) along with Defense Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) conducted a flight demonstration of technology that could potentially satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirement for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to sense and avoid local air traffic sufficient to provide an "...equivalent level of safety, comparable to see-and-avoid requirements for manned aircraft". This FAA requirement must be satisfied for autonomous UAV operation within the national airspace. The real-time on-board system passively detects approaching aircraft, both cooperative and non-cooperative, using imaging sensors operating in the visible/near infrared band and a passive moving target indicator algorithm. Detection range requirements for RQ-4 and MQ-9 UAVs were determined based on analysis of flight geometries, avoidance maneuver timelines, system latencies and human pilot performance. Flight data and UAV operating parameters were provided by the system program offices, prime contractors, and flight-test personnel. Flight demonstrations were conducted using a surrogate UAV (Aero Commander) and an intruder aircraft (Beech Bonanza). The system demonstrated target detection ranges out to 3 nautical miles in nose-to-nose scenarios and marginal visual meteorological conditions. (VMC) This paper will describe the sense and avoid requirements definition process and the system concept (sensors, algorithms, processor, and flight rest results) that has demonstrated the potential to satisfy the FAA sense and avoid requirements.

  9. Guidance and Control of an Autonomous Soaring UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Michael J.; Lin, Victor

    2007-01-01

    Thermals caused by convection in the lower atmosphere are commonly used by birds and glider pilots to extend flight duration, increase cross-country speed, improve range, or simply to conserve energy. Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can also increase performance and reduce energy consumption by exploiting atmospheric convection. An autonomous soaring research project was conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to evaluate the concept through flight test of an electric-powered motorglider with a wingspan of 4.27 m (14 ft). The UAV's commercial autopilot software was modified to include outer-loop soaring guidance and control. The aircraft total energy state was used to detect and soar within thermals. Estimated thermal size and position were used to calculate guidance commands for soaring flight. Results from a total of 23 thermal encounters show good performance of the guidance and control algorithms to autonomously detect and exploit thermals. The UAV had an average climb of 172 m (567 ft) during these encounters.

  10. Guidance and Control of an Autonomous Soaring UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Thermals caused by convection in the lower atmosphere are commonly used by birds and glider pilots to extend flight duration, increase cross-country speed, improve range, or simply to conserve energy. Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can also increase performance and reduce energy consumption by exploiting atmospheric convection. An autonomous soaring research project was conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to evaluate the concept through flight test of an electric-powered motor-glider with a wingspan of 4.27 m (14 ft). The UAV's commercial autopilot software was modified to include outer-loop soaring guidance and control. The aircraft total energy state was used to detect and soar within thermals. Estimated thermal size and position were used to calculate guidance commands for soaring flight. Results from a total of 23 thermal encounters show good performance of the guidance and control algorithms to autonomously detect and exploit thermals. The UAV had an average climb of 172 m (567 ft) during these encounters.

  11. Development of Cloud-Based UAV Monitoring and Management System

    PubMed Central

    Itkin, Mason; Kim, Mihui; Park, Younghee

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize commercial industries and the public domain outside of the military. UAVs would be able to speed up rescue and recovery operations from natural disasters and can be used for autonomous delivery systems (e.g., Amazon Prime Air). An increase in the number of active UAV systems in dense urban areas is attributed to an influx of UAV hobbyists and commercial multi-UAV systems. As airspace for UAV flight becomes more limited, it is important to monitor and manage many UAV systems using modern collision avoidance techniques. In this paper, we propose a cloud-based web application that provides real-time flight monitoring and management for UAVs. For each connected UAV, detailed UAV sensor readings from the accelerometer, GPS sensor, ultrasonic sensor and visual position cameras are provided along with status reports from the smaller internal components of UAVs (i.e., motor and battery). The dynamic map overlay visualizes active flight paths and current UAV locations, allowing the user to monitor all aircrafts easily. Our system detects and prevents potential collisions by automatically adjusting UAV flight paths and then alerting users to the change. We develop our proposed system and demonstrate its feasibility and performances through simulation. PMID:27854267

  12. Development of Cloud-Based UAV Monitoring and Management System.

    PubMed

    Itkin, Mason; Kim, Mihui; Park, Younghee

    2016-11-15

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize commercial industries and the public domain outside of the military. UAVs would be able to speed up rescue and recovery operations from natural disasters and can be used for autonomous delivery systems (e.g., Amazon Prime Air). An increase in the number of active UAV systems in dense urban areas is attributed to an influx of UAV hobbyists and commercial multi-UAV systems. As airspace for UAV flight becomes more limited, it is important to monitor and manage many UAV systems using modern collision avoidance techniques. In this paper, we propose a cloud-based web application that provides real-time flight monitoring and management for UAVs. For each connected UAV, detailed UAV sensor readings from the accelerometer, GPS sensor, ultrasonic sensor and visual position cameras are provided along with status reports from the smaller internal components of UAVs (i.e., motor and battery). The dynamic map overlay visualizes active flight paths and current UAV locations, allowing the user to monitor all aircrafts easily. Our system detects and prevents potential collisions by automatically adjusting UAV flight paths and then alerting users to the change. We develop our proposed system and demonstrate its feasibility and performances through simulation.

  13. Autonomous mission management for UAVs using soar intelligent agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunetti, Paolo; Thompson, Haydn; Dodd, Tony

    2013-05-01

    State-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are typically able to autonomously execute a pre-planned mission. However, UAVs usually fly in a very dynamic environment which requires dynamic changes to the flight plan; this mission management activity is usually tasked to human supervision. Within this article, a software system that autonomously accomplishes the mission management task for a UAV will be proposed. The system is based on a set of theoretical concepts which allow the description of a flight plan and implemented using a combination of Soar intelligent agents and traditional control techniques. The system is capable of automatically generating and then executing an entire flight plan after being assigned a set of objectives. This article thoroughly describes all system components and then presents the results of tests that were executed using a realistic simulation environment.

  14. Application of GIS-based models for delineating the UAV flight region to support Search and Rescue activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurecka, Miroslawa; Niedzielski, Tomasz

    2017-04-01

    The objective of the approach presented in this paper is to demonstrate a potential of using the combination of two GIS-based models - mobility model and ring model - for delineating a region above which an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) should fly to support the Search and Rescue (SAR) activities. The procedure is based on two concepts, both describing a possible distance/path that lost person could travel from the initial planning point (being either the point last seen, or point last known). The first approach (the ring model) takes into account the crow's flight distance traveled by a lost person and its probability distribution. The second concept (the mobility model) is based on the estimated travel speed and the associated features of the geographical environment of the search area. In contrast to the ring model covering global (hence more general) SAR perspective, the mobility model represents regional viewpoint by taking into consideration local impedance. Both models working together can serve well as a starting point for the UAV flight planning to strengthen the SAR procedures. We present the method of combining the two above-mentioned models in order to delineate UAVs flight region and increase the Probability of Success for future SAR missions. The procedure is a part of a larger Search and Rescue (SAR) system which is being developed at the University of Wrocław, Poland (research project no. IP2014 032773 financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland). The mobility and ring models have been applied to the Polish territory, and they act in concert to provide the UAV operator with the optimal search region. This is attained in real time so that the UAV-based SAR mission can be initiated quickly.

  15. Surface target-tracking guidance by self-organizing formation flight of fixed-wing UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regina, N.; Zanzi, M.

    This paper presents a new concept of ground target surveillance based on a formation flight of two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of fixed-wing type. Each UAV considered in this work has its own guidance law specifically designed for two different aims. A self organizing non-symmetric collaborative surveying scheme has been developed based on pursuers with different roles: the close-up-pursuer and the distance-pursuer. The close-up-pursuer behaves according to a guidance law which takes it to continually over-fly the target, also optimizing flight endurance. On the other hand, the distancepursuer behaves so as to circle around the target by flying at a certain distance and altitude from it; moreover, its motion ensures the maximum “ seeability” of the ground based target. In addition, the guidance law designed for the distance-pursuer also implements a collision avoidance feature in order to prevent possible risks of collision with the close-up-pursuer during the tracking maneuvers. The surveying scheme is non-symmetric in the sense that the collision avoidance feature is accomplished by a guidance law implemented only on one of the two pursuers; moreover, it is collaborative because the surveying is performed by different tasks of two UAVs and is self-organizing because, due to the collision avoidance feature, target tracking does not require pre-planned collision-risk-free trajectories but trajectories are generated in real time.

  16. Flight-Test Validation and Flying Qualities Evaluation of a Rotorcraft UAV Flight Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mettler, Bernard; Tuschler, Mark B.; Kanade, Takeo

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents a process of design and flight-test validation and flying qualities evaluation of a flight control system for a rotorcraft-based unmanned aerial vehicle (RUAV). The keystone of this process is an accurate flight-dynamic model of the aircraft, derived by using system identification modeling. The model captures the most relevant dynamic features of our unmanned rotorcraft, and explicitly accounts for the presence of a stabilizer bar. Using the identified model we were able to determine the performance margins of our original control system and identify limiting factors. The performance limitations were addressed and the attitude control system was 0ptimize.d for different three performance levels: slow, medium, fast. The optimized control laws will be implemented in our RUAV. We will first determine the validity of our control design approach by flight test validating our optimized controllers. Subsequently, we will fly a series of maneuvers with the three optimized controllers to determine the level of flying qualities that can be attained. The outcome enable us to draw important conclusions on the flying qualities requirements for small-scale RUAVs.

  17. Development of an Effective System Identification and Control Capability for Quad-copter UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Wei

    In recent years, with the promise of extensive commercial applications, the popularity of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has dramatically increased as witnessed by publications and mushrooming research and educational programs. Over the years, multi-copter aircraft have been chosen as a viable configuration for small-scale VTOL UAVs in the form of quad-copters, hexa-copters and octo-copters. Compared to the single main rotor configuration such as the conventional helicopter, multi-copter airframes require a simpler feedback control system and fewer mechanical parts. These characteristics make these UAV platforms, such as quad-copter which is the main emphasis in this dissertation, a rugged and competitive candidate for many applications in both military and civil areas. Because of its configuration and relative size, the small-scale quad-copter UAV system is inherently very unstable. In order to develop an effective control system through simulation techniques, obtaining an accurate dynamic model of a given quad-copter is imperative. Moreover, given the anticipated stringent safety requirements, fault tolerance will be a crucial component of UAV certification. Accurate dynamic modeling and control of this class of UAV is an enabling technology and is imperative for future commercial applications. In this work, the dynamic model of a quad-copter system in hover flight was identified using frequency-domain system identification techniques. A new and unique experimental system, data acquisition and processing procedure was developed catering specifically to the class of electric powered multi-copter UAV systems. The Comprehensive Identification from FrEquency Responses (CIFER RTM) software package, developed by US Army Aviation Development Directorate -- AFDD, was utilized along with flight tests to develop dynamic models of the quad-copter system. A new set of flight tests were conducted and the predictive capability of the dynamic models were successfully validated

  18. Adaptation of Dubins Paths for UAV Ground Obstacle Avoidance When Using a Low Cost On-Board GNSS Sensor.

    PubMed

    Kikutis, Ramūnas; Stankūnas, Jonas; Rudinskas, Darius; Masiulionis, Tadas

    2017-09-28

    Current research on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) shows a lot of interest in autonomous UAV navigation. This interest is mainly driven by the necessity to meet the rules and restrictions for small UAV flights that are issued by various international and national legal organizations. In order to lower these restrictions, new levels of automation and flight safety must be reached. In this paper, a new method for ground obstacle avoidance derived by using UAV navigation based on the Dubins paths algorithm is presented. The accuracy of the proposed method has been tested, and research results have been obtained by using Software-in-the-Loop (SITL) simulation and real UAV flights, with the measurements done with a low cost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sensor. All tests were carried out in a three-dimensional space, but the height accuracy was not assessed. The GNSS navigation data for the ground obstacle avoidance algorithm is evaluated statistically.

  19. Adaptation of Dubins Paths for UAV Ground Obstacle Avoidance When Using a Low Cost On-Board GNSS Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Kikutis, Ramūnas; Stankūnas, Jonas; Rudinskas, Darius; Masiulionis, Tadas

    2017-01-01

    Current research on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) shows a lot of interest in autonomous UAV navigation. This interest is mainly driven by the necessity to meet the rules and restrictions for small UAV flights that are issued by various international and national legal organizations. In order to lower these restrictions, new levels of automation and flight safety must be reached. In this paper, a new method for ground obstacle avoidance derived by using UAV navigation based on the Dubins paths algorithm is presented. The accuracy of the proposed method has been tested, and research results have been obtained by using Software-in-the-Loop (SITL) simulation and real UAV flights, with the measurements done with a low cost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sensor. All tests were carried out in a three-dimensional space, but the height accuracy was not assessed. The GNSS navigation data for the ground obstacle avoidance algorithm is evaluated statistically. PMID:28956839

  20. Uav Photogrammetry: Block Triangulation Comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gini, R.; Pagliari, D.; Passoni, D.; Pinto, L.; Sona, G.; Dosso, P.

    2013-08-01

    UAVs systems represent a flexible technology able to collect a big amount of high resolution information, both for metric and interpretation uses. In the frame of experimental tests carried out at Dept. ICA of Politecnico di Milano to validate vector-sensor systems and to assess metric accuracies of images acquired by UAVs, a block of photos taken by a fixed wing system is triangulated with several software. The test field is a rural area included in an Italian Park ("Parco Adda Nord"), useful to study flight and imagery performances on buildings, roads, cultivated and uncultivated vegetation. The UAV SenseFly, equipped with a camera Canon Ixus 220HS, flew autonomously over the area at a height of 130 m yielding a block of 49 images divided in 5 strips. Sixteen pre-signalized Ground Control Points, surveyed in the area through GPS (NRTK survey), allowed the referencing of the block and accuracy analyses. Approximate values for exterior orientation parameters (positions and attitudes) were recorded by the flight control system. The block was processed with several software: Erdas-LPS, EyeDEA (Univ. of Parma), Agisoft Photoscan, Pix4UAV, in assisted or automatic way. Results comparisons are given in terms of differences among digital surface models, differences in orientation parameters and accuracies, when available. Moreover, image and ground point coordinates obtained by the various software were independently used as initial values in a comparative adjustment made by scientific in-house software, which can apply constraints to evaluate the effectiveness of different methods of point extraction and accuracies on ground check points.

  1. Autonomous Soaring 2005 Flight Data Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Michael J.

    2006-01-01

    Flight testing of the 14ft span CloudSwift UAV was conducted during the summer of 2005. Test maneuvers included aircraft checkout, Piccolo gain tuning, FTS range tests, and thermal soaring research flights.

  2. UAV State Estimation Modeling Techniques in AHRS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razali, Shikin; Zhahir, Amzari

    2017-11-01

    Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system is depending on state estimation feedback to control flight operation. Estimation on the correct state improves navigation accuracy and achieves flight mission safely. One of the sensors configuration used in UAV state is Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS) with application of Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) or feedback controller. The results of these two different techniques in estimating UAV states in AHRS configuration are displayed through position and attitude graphs.

  3. Repurposing Radiosonde Sensors for UAV Integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clowney, F. A.

    2015-12-01

    Radiosondes provide accurate, high-resolution meteorological data for a variety of purposes but are inefficient for studying the atmospheric boundary layer. Tethered balloons can provide greater temporal resolution but are difficult to acquire, hard to manage and limited in vertical resolution. UAVs appear to offer a more cost-effective method for gathering low-level meteorological data in situ, with a strong possibility of adding atmospheric chemistry. This potential is enhanced by the availability of new generations of small sensors along with dramatic advances in low-cost UAVs, especially rotary-wing. InterMet is using its experience in radiosonde design and manufacturing to develop sensor packages for fixed and rotary-wing UAVs, with the goal of delivering high-quality data at low cost. The challenge is to adapt affordable, high-accuracy sensors to the different UAV flight modes. Equally important is learning from the research community what is required for this data to have useful scientific value. Specific topics to be covered include data sampling and output rates, sensor response times, calibration, sensor placement, data storage and transfer, power consumption, integration with flight management systems and wind calculations. Beta test results for the iMet-XQ and iMet-XF sensor packages will be presented if available.

  4. UAV measurements of aerosol properties at the Cyprus institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neitola, Kimmo; Sciare, Jean; Keleshis, Christos; Pikridas, Michael; Argyrides, Marios; Vouterakos, Panagiotis; Antoniou, Panyiota; Apostolou, Apostolos; Savvides, Constantinos; Vrekoussis, Mihalis; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Biskos, George; Gao, Ru-Shan; Murphy, Daniel; Schrod, Jann; Weber, Daniel; Bingemer, Heinz; Mocnik, Grisa

    2017-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide a cost-effective and easy-to-use method to document the vertical profiles of aerosol particles and their physical and optical properties, within and above the boundary layer. These observations combined with satellite and ground data together can provide important information and model constrains regarding the impact of aerosols on the air quality and regional climate. Cyprus is a unique place to observe long-range transported pollution and dust originating from different areas (Europe, Africa, Turkey, and Middle East) and perform such aerosol profiling. The USRL team at the Cyprus Institute has recently started weekly routine flights with a newly developed UAV fleet to build a unique dataset of vertical profile observations. Instrumentation on the UAVs includes miniature Scanning Aerosol Sun Photometer (miniSASP, Murphy et al., 2015), Printed Optical Particle Spectrometer (POPS, Gao et al., 2016), Ice nuclei sampler (IN) and Dual Wavelength absorption Prototype (DWP) together with the measured meteorological parameters (P, T and RH). The UAV fleet is still expanding, as well as the instrumentation, and preliminary test flights have led to very promising results. The UAV ascend up to approximately the middle of the boundary layer, defined by LIDAR measurements at Limassol, where the UAV will fly on one altitude for several minutes ensuring stable data collection. After flying on one altitude, the UAV will continue ascending above the boundary layer, where another level flight will take place for data gathering, before descending for safe landing. The miniSASP measures the sun irradiance and sky radiance at four wavelengths (460, 550, 670 and 680nm) by doing continuous almucantar scans every 30 s. The instrument installation compensates for the pitch and roll of the UAV with 4 Hz frequency. For this reason, the flights are designed to maintain level flight conditions, to ensure proper data acquisition, and to obtain data from

  5. Spectral Imaging from Uavs Under Varying Illumination Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakala, T.; Honkavaara, E.; Saari, H.; Mäkynen, J.; Kaivosoja, J.; Pesonen, L.; Pölönen, I.

    2013-08-01

    Rapidly developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have provided the remote sensing community with a new rapidly deployable tool for small area monitoring. The progress of small payload UAVs has introduced greater demand for light weight aerial payloads. For applications requiring aerial images, a simple consumer camera provides acceptable data. For applications requiring more detailed spectral information about the surface, a new Fabry-Perot interferometer based spectral imaging technology has been developed. This new technology produces tens of successive images of the scene at different wavelength bands in very short time. These images can be assembled in spectral data cubes with stereoscopic overlaps. On field the weather conditions vary and the UAV operator often has to decide between flight in sub optimal conditions and no flight. Our objective was to investigate methods for quantitative radiometric processing of images taken under varying illumination conditions, thus expanding the range of weather conditions during which successful imaging flights can be made. A new method that is based on insitu measurement of irradiance either in UAV platform or in ground was developed. We tested the methods in a precision agriculture application using realistic data collected in difficult illumination conditions. Internal homogeneity of the original image data (average coefficient of variation in overlapping images) was 0.14-0.18. In the corrected data, the homogeneity was 0.10-0.12 with a correction based on broadband irradiance measured in UAV, 0.07-0.09 with a correction based on spectral irradiance measurement on ground, and 0.05-0.08 with a radiometric block adjustment based on image data. Our results were very promising, indicating that quantitative UAV based remote sensing could be operational in diverse conditions, which is prerequisite for many environmental remote sensing applications.

  6. Control of fixed-wing UAV at levelling phase using artificial intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayfeddine, Daher

    2018-03-01

    The increase in the share of fly-by-wire and software controlled UAV is explained by the need to release the human-operator and the desire to reduce the degree of influence of the human factor errors that account for 26% of aircraft accidents. An important reason for the introduction of new control algorithms is also the high level of UAV failures due loss of communication channels and possible hacking. This accounts for 17% of the total number of accidents. The comparison with manned flights shows that the frequency of accidents of unmanned flights is 27,000 times higher. This means that the UAV has 1611 failures per million flight hours and only 0.06 failures at the same time for the manned flight. In view of that, this paper studies the flight autonomy of fixed-wing UAV at the levelling phase. Landing parameters of the UAV are described. They will be used to setup a control scheme for an autopilot based on fuzzy logic algorithm.

  7. Development of a bio-inspired UAV perching system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Pu

    of animals and human arms approaching to a fixed or moving target for grasping or capturing. The autonomous flight control was also implemented through a PID controller. Autonomous flight performance was proved through simulation in SimMechanics. Finally, the prototyping of our designs were conducted in different generations of our bio-inspired UAV perching system, which include the leg prototype, gripper prototype, and system prototype. Both the machined prototype and 3D printed prototype were tried. The performance of these prototypes was tested through experiments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. An Analysis of the Influence of Flight Parameters in the Generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Orthomosaicks to Survey Archaeological Areas.

    PubMed

    Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco-Javier; Notario García, María Dolores; Meroño de Larriva, Jose Emilio; García-Ferrer, Alfonso

    2016-11-01

    This article describes the configuration and technical specifications of a multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a red-green-blue (RGB) sensor for the acquisition of images needed for the production of orthomosaics to be used in archaeological applications. Several flight missions were programmed as follows: flight altitudes at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 m above ground level; two forward and side overlap settings (80%-50% and 70%-40%); and the use, or lack thereof, of ground control points. These settings were chosen to analyze their influence on the spatial quality of orthomosaicked images processed by Inpho UASMaster (Trimble, CA, USA). Changes in illumination over the study area, its impact on flight duration, and how it relates to these settings is also considered. The combined effect of these parameters on spatial quality is presented as well, defining a ratio between ground sample distance of UAV images and expected root mean square of a UAV orthomosaick. The results indicate that a balance between all the proposed parameters is useful for optimizing mission planning and image processing, altitude above ground level (AGL) being main parameter because of its influence on root mean square error (RMSE).

  11. Radar sensing via a Micro-UAV-borne system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catapano, Ilaria; Ludeno, Giovanni; Gennarelli, Gianluca; Soldovieri, Francesco; Rodi Vetrella, Amedeo; Fasano, Giancarmine

    2017-04-01

    -equipped drone. The system is made by a commercial radar system, whose mass, size, power and cost budgets is compatible with the installation on micro-UAV. The radar system has been mounted on a DJI 550 UAV, a flexible hexacopter allowing both complex flight operations and static flight, and has been equipped with small size log-periodic antennas, having a 6 dB gain over the frequency range from 2 GHz to 11 GHz. An ad-hoc signal processing chain has been adopted to process the collected raw data and obtain an image of the investigated scenario providing an accurate target detection and localization. This chain involves a SVD-based noise filter procedure and an advanced data processing approach, which assumes a linear model of the underlying scattering phenomenon. REFERENCES [1] K. Whitehead, C. H. Hugenholtz, "Remote sensing of the environment with small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), part 1: a review of progress and challenges", J. Unmanned Vehicle Systems, vol.2, pp. 69-85, 2014. [2] K. Ouchi, Recent trend and advance of synthetic aperture radar with selected topics, Remote Sens, vol.5, pp.716-807, 2013. [3] D. Altdor et al., UAV-borne electromagnetic induction and ground-penetrating radar measurements: a feasibility test, 74th Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft in Karlsruhe, Germany, March 9 - 13, 2014.

  12. Guidance and Control of a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Autonomous Flight Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujinaga, Jin; Tokutake, Hiroshi; Sunada, Shigeru

    This paper describes the development of a fixed-wing small-size UAV and the design of its flight controllers. The developed UAV’s wing span is 0.6m, and gross weight is 0.27kg. In order to ensure robust performances of the longitudinal and lateral-directional motions of the UAV, flight controllers are designed for these motions with μ-synthesis. Numerical simulations show that the designed controllers attain good robust stabilities and performances, and have good tracking performance for command. After an order-reduction and discretization, the designed flight controllers were implemented in the UAV. A flight test was performed, and the ability of the UAV to fly autonomously, passing over waypoints, was demonstrated.

  13. Positional quality assessment of orthophotos obtained from sensors onboard multi-rotor UAV platforms.

    PubMed

    Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco Javier; Rumbao, Inmaculada Clavero; Berrocal, Juan Alberto Barrera; Porras, Alfonso García-Ferrer

    2014-11-26

    In this study we explored the positional quality of orthophotos obtained by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A multi-rotor UAV was used to obtain images using a vertically mounted digital camera. The flight was processed taking into account the photogrammetry workflow: perform the aerial triangulation, generate a digital surface model, orthorectify individual images and finally obtain a mosaic image or final orthophoto. The UAV orthophotos were assessed with various spatial quality tests used by national mapping agencies (NMAs). Results showed that the orthophotos satisfactorily passed the spatial quality tests and are therefore a useful tool for NMAs in their production flowchart.

  14. Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field for Uav Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dąbrowski, R.; Jenerowicz, A.

    2015-08-01

    Nowadays the imagery data acquired from UAV sensors are the main source of all data used in various remote sensing applications, photogrammetry projects and in imagery intelligence (IMINT) as well as in other tasks as decision support. Therefore quality assessment of such imagery is an important task. The research team from Military University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Geodesy Institute, Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry has designed and prepared special test field- The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field (PIQuAT) that provides quality assessment in field conditions of images obtained with sensors mounted on UAVs. The PIQuAT consists of 6 individual segments, when combined allow for determine radiometric, spectral and spatial resolution of images acquired from UAVs. All segments of the PIQuAT can be used together in various configurations or independently. All elements of The Portable Imagery Quality Assessment Test Field were tested in laboratory conditions in terms of their radiometry and spectral reflectance characteristics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ji-chen; Ru, Chen

    2015-12-01

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

  16. An Analysis of the Influence of Flight Parameters in the Generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Orthomosaicks to Survey Archaeological Areas

    PubMed Central

    Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco-Javier; Notario García, María Dolores; Meroño de Larriva, Jose Emilio; García-Ferrer, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the configuration and technical specifications of a multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a red–green–blue (RGB) sensor for the acquisition of images needed for the production of orthomosaics to be used in archaeological applications. Several flight missions were programmed as follows: flight altitudes at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 m above ground level; two forward and side overlap settings (80%–50% and 70%–40%); and the use, or lack thereof, of ground control points. These settings were chosen to analyze their influence on the spatial quality of orthomosaicked images processed by Inpho UASMaster (Trimble, CA, USA). Changes in illumination over the study area, its impact on flight duration, and how it relates to these settings is also considered. The combined effect of these parameters on spatial quality is presented as well, defining a ratio between ground sample distance of UAV images and expected root mean square of a UAV orthomosaick. The results indicate that a balance between all the proposed parameters is useful for optimizing mission planning and image processing, altitude above ground level (AGL) being main parameter because of its influence on root mean square error (RMSE). PMID:27809293

  17. Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments

    PubMed Central

    Vanegas, Fernando; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can navigate with low risk in obstacle-free environments using ground control stations that plan a series of GPS waypoints as a path to follow. This GPS waypoint navigation does however become dangerous in environments where the GPS signal is faulty or is only present in some places and when the airspace is filled with obstacles. UAV navigation then becomes challenging because the UAV uses other sensors, which in turn generate uncertainty about its localisation and motion systems, especially if the UAV is a low cost platform. Additional uncertainty affects the mission when the UAV goal location is only partially known and can only be discovered by exploring and detecting a target. This navigation problem is established in this research as a Partially-Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), so as to produce a policy that maps a set of motion commands to belief states and observations. The policy is calculated and updated on-line while flying with a newly-developed system for UAV Uncertainty-Based Navigation (UBNAV), to navigate in cluttered and GPS-denied environments using observations and executing motion commands instead of waypoints. Experimental results in both simulation and real flight tests show that the UAV finds a path on-line to a region where it can explore and detect a target without colliding with obstacles. UBNAV provides a new method and an enabling technology for scientists to implement and test UAV navigation missions with uncertainty where targets must be detected using on-line POMDP in real flight scenarios. PMID:27171096

  18. Enabling UAV Navigation with Sensor and Environmental Uncertainty in Cluttered and GPS-Denied Environments.

    PubMed

    Vanegas, Fernando; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2016-05-10

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can navigate with low risk in obstacle-free environments using ground control stations that plan a series of GPS waypoints as a path to follow. This GPS waypoint navigation does however become dangerous in environments where the GPS signal is faulty or is only present in some places and when the airspace is filled with obstacles. UAV navigation then becomes challenging because the UAV uses other sensors, which in turn generate uncertainty about its localisation and motion systems, especially if the UAV is a low cost platform. Additional uncertainty affects the mission when the UAV goal location is only partially known and can only be discovered by exploring and detecting a target. This navigation problem is established in this research as a Partially-Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), so as to produce a policy that maps a set of motion commands to belief states and observations. The policy is calculated and updated on-line while flying with a newly-developed system for UAV Uncertainty-Based Navigation (UBNAV), to navigate in cluttered and GPS-denied environments using observations and executing motion commands instead of waypoints. Experimental results in both simulation and real flight tests show that the UAV finds a path on-line to a region where it can explore and detect a target without colliding with obstacles. UBNAV provides a new method and an enabling technology for scientists to implement and test UAV navigation missions with uncertainty where targets must be detected using on-line POMDP in real flight scenarios.

  19. Optimal trajectory planning for a UAV glider using atmospheric thermals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagabo, Wilson B.

    An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Glider (UAV glider) uses atmospheric energy in its different forms to remain aloft for extended flight durations. This UAV glider's aim is to extract atmospheric thermal energy and use it to supplement its battery energy usage and increase the mission period. Given an infrared camera identified atmospheric thermal of known strength and location; current wind speed and direction; current battery level; altitude and location of the UAV glider; and estimating the expected altitude gain from the thermal, is it possible to make an energy-efficient based motivation to fly to an atmospheric thermal so as to achieve UAV glider extended flight time? For this work, an infrared thermal camera aboard the UAV glider takes continuous forward-looking ground images of "hot spots". Through image processing a candidate atmospheric thermal strength and location is estimated. An Intelligent Decision Model incorporates this information with the current UAV glider status and weather conditions to provide an energy-based recommendation to modify the flight path of the UAV glider. Research, development, and simulation of the Intelligent Decision Model is the primary focus of this work. Three models are developed: (1) Battery Usage Model, (2) Intelligent Decision Model, and (3) Altitude Gain Model. The Battery Usage Model comes from the candidate flight trajectory, wind speed & direction and aircraft dynamic model. Intelligent Decision Model uses a fuzzy logic based approach. The Altitude Gain Model requires the strength and size of the thermal and is found a priori.

  20. Path planning and Ground Control Station simulator for UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajami, A.; Balmat, J.; Gauthier, J.-P.; Maillot, T.

    In this paper we present a Universal and Interoperable Ground Control Station (UIGCS) simulator for fixed and rotary wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and all types of payloads. One of the major constraints is to operate and manage multiple legacy and future UAVs, taking into account the compliance with NATO Combined/Joint Services Operational Environment (STANAG 4586). Another purpose of the station is to assign the UAV a certain degree of autonomy, via autonomous planification/replanification strategies. The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we describe the non-linear models of the fixed and rotary wing UAVs that we use in the simulator. In Section 3, we describe the simulator architecture, which is based upon interacting modules programmed independently. This simulator is linked with an open source flight simulator, to simulate the video flow and the moving target in 3D. To conclude this part, we tackle briefly the problem of the Matlab/Simulink software connection (used to model the UAV's dynamic) with the simulation of the virtual environment. Section 5 deals with the control module of a flight path of the UAV. The control system is divided into four distinct hierarchical layers: flight path, navigation controller, autopilot and flight control surfaces controller. In the Section 6, we focus on the trajectory planification/replanification question for fixed wing UAV. Indeed, one of the goals of this work is to increase the autonomy of the UAV. We propose two types of algorithms, based upon 1) the methods of the tangent and 2) an original Lyapunov-type method. These algorithms allow either to join a fixed pattern or to track a moving target. Finally, Section 7 presents simulation results obtained on our simulator, concerning a rather complicated scenario of mission.

  1. Autonomous Control of a Quadrotor UAV Using Fuzzy Logic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sureshkumar, Vijaykumar

    UAVs are being increasingly used today than ever before in both military and civil applications. They are heavily preferred in "dull, dirty or dangerous" mission scenarios. Increasingly, UAVs of all kinds are being used in policing, fire-fighting, inspection of structures, pipelines etc. Recently, the FAA gave its permission for UAVs to be used on film sets for motion capture and high definition video recording. The rapid development in MEMS and actuator technology has made possible a plethora of UAVs that are suited for commercial applications in an increasingly cost effective manner. An emerging popular rotary wing UAV platform is the Quadrotor A Quadrotor is a helicopter with four rotors, that make it more stable; but more complex to model and control. Characteristics that provide a clear advantage over other fixed wing UAVs are VTOL and hovering capabilities as well as a greater maneuverability. It is also simple in construction and design compared to a scaled single rotorcraft. Flying such UAVs using a traditional radio Transmitter-Receiver setup can be a daunting task especially in high stress situations. In order to make such platforms widely applicable, a certain level of autonomy is imperative to the future of such UAVs. This thesis paper presents a methodology for the autonomous control of a Quadrotor UAV using Fuzzy Logic. Fuzzy logic control has been chosen over conventional control methods as it can deal effectively with highly nonlinear systems, allows for imprecise data and is extremely modular. Modularity and adaptability are the key cornerstones of FLC. The objective of this thesis is to present the steps of designing, building and simulating an intelligent flight control module for a Quadrotor UAV. In the course of this research effort, a Quadrotor UAV is indigenously developed utilizing the resources of an online open source project called Aeroquad. System design is comprehensively dealt with. A math model for the Quadrotor is developed and a

  2. Gimbal Influence on the Stability of Exterior Orientation Parameters of UAV Acquired Images.

    PubMed

    Gašparović, Mateo; Jurjević, Luka

    2017-02-18

    In this paper, results from the analysis of the gimbal impact on the determination of the camera exterior orientation parameters of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) are presented and interpreted. Additionally, a new approach and methodology for testing the influence of gimbals on the exterior orientation parameters of UAV acquired images is presented. The main motive of this study is to examine the possibility of obtaining better geometry and favorable spatial bundles of rays of images in UAV photogrammetric surveying. The subject is a 3-axis brushless gimbal based on a controller board (Storm32). Only two gimbal axes are taken into consideration: roll and pitch axes. Testing was done in a flight simulation, and in indoor and outdoor flight mode, to analyze the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and photogrammetric data. Within these tests the change of the exterior orientation parameters without the use of a gimbal is determined, as well as the potential accuracy of the stabilization with the use of a gimbal. The results show that using a gimbal has huge potential. Significantly, smaller discrepancies between data are noticed when a gimbal is used in flight simulation mode, even four times smaller than in other test modes. In this test the potential accuracy of a low budget gimbal for application in real conditions is determined.

  3. Gimbal Influence on the Stability of Exterior Orientation Parameters of UAV Acquired Images

    PubMed Central

    Gašparović, Mateo; Jurjević, Luka

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, results from the analysis of the gimbal impact on the determination of the camera exterior orientation parameters of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) are presented and interpreted. Additionally, a new approach and methodology for testing the influence of gimbals on the exterior orientation parameters of UAV acquired images is presented. The main motive of this study is to examine the possibility of obtaining better geometry and favorable spatial bundles of rays of images in UAV photogrammetric surveying. The subject is a 3-axis brushless gimbal based on a controller board (Storm32). Only two gimbal axes are taken into consideration: roll and pitch axes. Testing was done in a flight simulation, and in indoor and outdoor flight mode, to analyze the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and photogrammetric data. Within these tests the change of the exterior orientation parameters without the use of a gimbal is determined, as well as the potential accuracy of the stabilization with the use of a gimbal. The results show that using a gimbal has huge potential. Significantly, smaller discrepancies between data are noticed when a gimbal is used in flight simulation mode, even four times smaller than in other test modes. In this test the potential accuracy of a low budget gimbal for application in real conditions is determined. PMID:28218699

  4. Positional Quality Assessment of Orthophotos Obtained from Sensors Onboard Multi-Rotor UAV Platforms

    PubMed Central

    Mesas-Carrascosa, Francisco Javier; Rumbao, Inmaculada Clavero; Berrocal, Juan Alberto Barrera; Porras, Alfonso García-Ferrer

    2014-01-01

    In this study we explored the positional quality of orthophotos obtained by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A multi-rotor UAV was used to obtain images using a vertically mounted digital camera. The flight was processed taking into account the photogrammetry workflow: perform the aerial triangulation, generate a digital surface model, orthorectify individual images and finally obtain a mosaic image or final orthophoto. The UAV orthophotos were assessed with various spatial quality tests used by national mapping agencies (NMAs). Results showed that the orthophotos satisfactorily passed the spatial quality tests and are therefore a useful tool for NMAs in their production flowchart. PMID:25587877

  5. Towards FAA Certification of UAVs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Stacy

    2003-01-01

    As of June 30, 2003, all Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), no matter how small, must adhere to the same FAA regulations as human-piloted aircraft. These regulations include certification for flying in controlled airspace and certification of flight software based on RTCA DO-178B. This paper provides an overview of the steps necessary to obtain certification, as well as a discussion about the challenges UAV's face when trying to meet these requirements. It is divided into two parts: 1) Certifications for Flying in Controlled Airspace; 2) Certification of Flight Software per RTCA DO-178B.

  6. a Three-Dimensional Simulation and Visualization System for Uav Photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Y.; Qu, Y.; Cui, T.

    2017-08-01

    Nowadays UAVs has been widely used for large-scale surveying and mapping. Compared with manned aircraft, UAVs are more cost-effective and responsive. However, UAVs are usually more sensitive to wind condition, which greatly influences their positions and orientations. The flight height of a UAV is relative low, and the relief of the terrain may result in serious occlusions. Moreover, the observations acquired by the Position and Orientation System (POS) are usually less accurate than those acquired in manned aerial photogrammetry. All of these factors bring in uncertainties to UAV photogrammetry. To investigate these uncertainties, a three-dimensional simulation and visualization system has been developed. The system is demonstrated with flight plan evaluation, image matching, POS-supported direct georeferencing, and ortho-mosaicing. Experimental results show that the presented system is effective for flight plan evaluation. The generated image pairs are accurate and false matches can be effectively filtered. The presented system dynamically visualizes the results of direct georeferencing in three-dimensions, which is informative and effective for real-time target tracking and positioning. The dynamically generated orthomosaic can be used in emergency applications. The presented system has also been used for teaching theories and applications of UAV photogrammetry.

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

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Bolton, W.R.

    1996-11-01

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

  8. A Turbine-powered UAV Controls Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motter, Mark A.; High, James W.; Guerreiro, Nelson M.; Chambers, Ryan S.; Howard, Keith D.

    2007-01-01

    The latest version of the NASA Flying Controls Testbed (FLiC) integrates commercial-off-the-shelf components including airframe, autopilot, and a small turbine engine to provide a low cost experimental flight controls testbed capable of sustained speeds up to 200 mph. The series of flight tests leading up to the demonstrated performance of the vehicle in sustained, autopiloted 200 mph flight at NASA Wallops Flight Facility's UAV runway in August 2006 will be described. Earlier versions of the FLiC were based on a modified Army target drone, AN/FQM-117B, developed as part of a collaboration between the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis, Virginia and NASA Langley Research Center. The newer turbine powered platform (J-FLiC) builds on the successes using the relatively smaller, slower and less expensive unmanned aerial vehicle developed specifically to test highly experimental flight control approaches with the implementation of C-coded experimental controllers. Tracking video was taken during the test flights at Wallops and will be available for presentation at the conference. Analysis of flight data from both remotely piloted and autopiloted flights will be presented. Candidate experimental controllers for implementation will be discussed. It is anticipated that flight testing will resume in Spring 2007 and those results will be included, if possible.

  9. Autonomous Soaring Flight Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Michael J.

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on autonomous soaring flight results for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)'s is shown. The topics include: 1) Background; 2) Thermal Soaring Flight Results; 3) Autonomous Dolphin Soaring; and 4) Future Plans.

  10. Research on performance requirements of turbofan engine used on carrier-based UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shufan; Li, Benwei; Zhang, Wenlong; Wu, Heng; Feng, Tang

    2017-05-01

    According to the mission requirements of the carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a mode level flight was established to calculate the thrust requirements from altitude 9 km to 13 km. Then, the estimation method of flight profile was used to calculate the weight of UAV in each stage to get the specific fuel consumption requirements of the UAV in standby stage. The turbofan engine of carrier-based UAV should meet the thrust and specific fuel consumption requirements. Finally, the GSP software was used to verify the simulation of a small high-bypass turbofan engine. The conclusion is useful for the turbofan engine selection of carrier-based UAV.

  11. Fiber Optic Wing Shape Sensing on NASA's Ikhana UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richards, Lance; Parker, Allen R.; Ko, William L.; Piazza, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    Fiber Optic Wing Shape Sensing on Ikhana involves five major areas 1) Algorithm development: Local-strain-to-displacement algorithms have been developed for complex wing shapes for real-time implementation (NASA TP-2007-214612, patent application submitted) 2) FBG system development: Dryden advancements to fiber optic sensing technology have increased data sampling rates to levels suitable for monitoring structures in flight (patent application submitted) 3) Instrumentation: 2880 FBG strain sensors have been successfully installed on the Ikhana wings 4) Ground Testing: Fiber optic wing shape sensing methods for high aspect ratio UAVs have been validated through extensive ground testing in Dryden s Flight Loads Laboratory 5) Flight Testing: Real time fiber Bragg strain measurements successfully acquired and validated in flight (4/28/2008) Real-time fiber optic wing shape sensing successfully demonstrated in flight

  12. The NASA Dryden Flight Test Approach to an Aerial Refueling System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Jennifer L.; Murray, James E.; Campos, Norma V.

    2005-01-01

    The integration of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) into controlled airspace has generated a new era of autonomous technologies and challenges. Autonomous aerial refueling would enable UAVs to travel further distances and loiter for extended periods over time-critical targets. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center recently has completed a flight research project directed at developing a dynamic hose and drogue system model to support the development of an automated aerial refueling system. A systematic dynamic model of the hose and drogue system would include the effects of various influences on the system, such as flight condition, hose and drogue type, tanker type and weight, receiver type, and tanker and receiver maneuvering. Using two NASA F/A-18 aircraft and a conventional hose and drogue aerial refueling store from the Navy, NASA has obtained flight research data that document the response of the hose and drogue system to these effects. Preliminary results, salient trends, and important lessons are presented

  13. Pressurized Structure Technology for UAVS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    deficiencies of the UAVs just listed is to employ lighter-than-air or pressurized structure-based ( PSB ) technology. Basically, the UAV will be built such...that a considerable percentage of its weight is supported by or constructed from inflatable structures containing air or helium. PSB technology...neutral buoyancy will allow much slower flight speeds and increased maneuverability while expending little power. PSB airframes used in conjunction

  14. Forced Oscillation Wind Tunnel Testing for FASER Flight Research Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoe, Garrison; Owens, Donald B.; Denham, Casey

    2012-01-01

    As unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) continue to expand their flight envelopes into areas of high angular rate and high angle of attack, modeling the complex unsteady aerodynamics for simulation in these regimes has become more difficult using traditional methods. The goal of this experiment was to improve the current six degree-of-freedom aerodynamic model of a small UAV by replacing the analytically derived damping derivatives with experimentally derived values. The UAV is named the Free-flying Aircraft for Sub-scale Experimental Research, FASER, and was tested in the NASA Langley Research Center 12- Foot Low-Speed Tunnel. The forced oscillation wind tunnel test technique was used to measure damping in the roll and yaw axes. By imparting a variety of sinusoidal motions, the effects of non-dimensional angular rate and reduced frequency were examined over a large range of angle of attack and side-slip combinations. Tests were performed at angles of attack from -5 to 40 degrees, sideslip angles of -30 to 30 degrees, oscillation amplitudes from 5 to 30 degrees, and reduced frequencies from 0.010 to 0.133. Additionally, the effect of aileron or elevator deflection on the damping coefficients was examined. Comparisons are made of two different data reduction methods used to obtain the damping derivatives. The results show that the damping derivatives are mainly a function of angle of attack and have dependence on the non-dimensional rate and reduced frequency only in the stall/post-stall regime

  15. GPS Remote Sensing Measurements Using Aerosonde UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, Michael S.; Katzberg, Stephen J.; Lawrence, R. W.

    2005-01-01

    In February 2004, a NASA-Langley GPS Remote Sensor (GPSRS) unit was flown on an Aerosonde unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia. Using direct and surface-reflected 1.575 GHz coarse acquisition (C/A) coded GPS signals, remote sensing measurements were obtained over land and portions of open water. The strength of the surface-reflected GPS signal is proportional to the amount of moisture in the surface, and is also influenced by surface roughness. Amplitude and other characteristics of the reflected signal allow an estimate of wind speed over open water. In this paper we provide a synopsis of the instrument accommodation requirements, installation procedures, and preliminary results from what is likely the first-ever flight of a GPS remote sensing instrument on a UAV. The correct operation of the GPSRS unit on this flight indicates that Aerosonde-like UAV's can serve as platforms for future GPS remote sensing science missions.

  16. Fielding An Amphibious UAV: Development, Results, and Lessons Learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pisanich, Greg; Morris, Stephen

    2002-01-01

    This report summarizes the work completed on the design and flight-testing of a small, unmanned, amphibious demonstrator aircraft that flies autonomously. The aircraft named ACAT (Autonomous Cargo Amphibious Transport) is intended to be a large cargo carrying unmanned aircraft that operates from water to avoid airspace and airfield conflict issues between manned and unmanned aircraft. To demonstrate the feasibility of this concept, a demonstrator ACAT was designed, built, and flown that has a six-foot wingspan and can fly autonomously from land or water airfield. The demonstrator was designed for a 1-hour duration and 1-mile telemetry range. A sizing code was used to design the smallest demonstrator UAV to achieve these goals. The final design was a six-foot wingspan, twin hull configuration that distributes the cargo weight across the span, reducing the wing structural weight. The demonstrator airframe was constructed from balsa wood, fiberglass, and plywood. A 4-stroke model airplane engine powered by methanol fuel was mounted in a pylon above the wing and powers the ACAT UAV. Initial flight tests from land and water were conducted under manual radio control and confirmed the amphibious capability of the design. Flight avionics that were developed by MLB for production UAVs were installed in the ACAT demonstrator. The flight software was also enhanced to permit autonomous takeoff and landing from water. A complete autonomous flight from ahard runway was successfully completed on July 5, 2001 and consisted of a take-off, rectangular flight pattern, and landing under complete computer control. A completely autonomous flight that featured a water takeoff and landing was completed on October 4, 2001. This report describes these activities in detail and highlights the challenges encountered and solved during the development of the ACAT demonstrator. hard runway was successfully completed on July 5, 2001 and consisted of a take-off, rectangular flight pattern, and

  17. The Practical Application of Uav-Based Photogrammetry Under Economic Aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauerbier, M.; Siegrist, E.; Eisenbeiss, H.; Demir, N.

    2011-09-01

    Nowadays, small size UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have reached a level of practical reliability and functionality that enables this technology to enter the geomatics market as an additional platform for spatial data acquisition. Though one could imagine a wide variety of interesting sensors to be mounted on such a device, here we will focus on photogrammetric applications using digital cameras. In praxis, UAV-based photogrammetry will only be accepted if it a) provides the required accuracy and an additional value and b) if it is competitive in terms of economic application compared to other measurement technologies. While a) was already proven by the scientific community and results were published comprehensively during the last decade, b) still has to be verified under real conditions. For this purpose, a test data set representing a realistic scenario provided by ETH Zurich was used to investigate cost effectiveness and to identify weak points in the processing chain that require further development. Our investigations are limited to UAVs carrying digital consumer cameras, for larger UAVs equipped with medium format cameras the situation has to be considered as significantly different. Image data was acquired during flights using a microdrones MD4-1000 quadrocopter equipped with an Olympus PE-1 digital compact camera. From these images, a subset of 5 images was selected for processing in order to register the effort of time required for the whole production chain of photogrammetric products. We see the potential of mini UAV-based photogrammetry mainly in smaller areas, up to a size of ca. 100 hectares. Larger areas can be efficiently covered by small airplanes with few images, reducing processing effort drastically. In case of smaller areas of a few hectares only, it depends more on the products required. UAVs can be an enhancement or alternative to GNSS measurements, terrestrial laser scanning and ground based photogrammetry. We selected the above mentioned

  18. UAV-based L-band SAR with precision flight path control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, Soren N.; Hensley, Scott; Wheeler, Kevin; Sadowy, Gregory A.; Miller, Tim; Muellerschoen, Ron; Lou, Yunling; Rosen, Paul A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is currently implementing a reconfigurable polarimetric L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), specifically designed to acquire airborne repeat track interferometric (RTI) SAR data, also know as differential interferometric measurements. Differential interferometry can provide key displacement measurements, important for the scientific studies of Earthquakes and volcanoes1. Using precision real-time GPS and a sensor controlled flight management system, the system will be able to fly predefined paths with great precision. The radar will be designed to operate on a UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) but will initially be demonstrated on a minimally piloted vehicle (MPV), such as the Proteus build by Scaled Composites. The application requires control of the flight path to within a 10 m tube to support repeat track and formation flying measurements. The design is fully polarimetric with an 80 MHz bandwidth (2 m range resolution) and 16 km range swath. The antenna is an electronically steered array to assure that the actual antenna pointing can be controlled independent of the wind direction and speed. The system will nominally operate at 45,000 ft. The program started out as a Instrument Incubator Project (IIP) funded by NASA Earth Science and Technology Office (ESTO).

  19. UAV-Based L-Band SAR with Precision Flight Path Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madsen, Soren N.; Hensley, Scott; Wheeler, Kevin; Sadowy, Greg; Miller, Tim; Muellerschoen, Ron; Lou, Yunling; Rosen, Paul

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is currently implementing a reconfigurable polarimetric L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), specifically designed to acquire airborne repeat track interferometric (RTI) SAR data, also know as differential interferometric measurements. Differential interferometry can provide key displacement measurements, important for the scientific studies of Earthquakes and volcanoes. Using precision real-time GPS and a sensor controlled flight management system, the system will be able to fly predefined paths with great precision. The radar will be designed to operate on a UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) but will initially be demonstrated on a minimally piloted vehicle (MPV), such as the Proteus build by Scaled Composites. The application requires control of the flight path to within a 10 meter tube to support repeat track and formation flying measurements. The design is fully polarimetric with an 80 MHz bandwidth (2 meter range resolution) and 16 kilometer range swath. The antenna is an electronically steered array to assure that the actual antenna pointing can be controlled independent of the wind direction and speed. The system will nominally operate at 45,000 ft. The program started out as a Instrument Incubator Project (IIP) funded by NASA Earth Science and Technology Office (ESTO).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. Guidance and Control of an Autonomous Soaring Vehicle with Flight Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    A guidance and control method was developed to detect and exploit thermals for energy gain. Latency in energy rate estimation degraded performance. The concept of a UAV harvesting energy from the atmosphere has been shown to be feasible with existing technology. Many UAVs have similar mission constraints to birds and sailplanes. a) Surveillance; b) Point to point flight with minimal energy; and c) Increased ground speed.

  2. Development of the Main Wing Structure of a High Altitude Long Endurance UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sang Wook; Shin, Jeong Woo; Kim, Tae-Uk

    2018-04-01

    To enhance the flight endurance of a HALE UAV, the main wing of the UAV should have a high aspect ratio and low structural weight. Since a main wing constructed with the thin walled and slender components needed for low structural weight can suffer catastrophic failure during flight, it is important to develop a light-weight airframe without sacrificing structural integrity. In this paper, the design of the main wing of the HALE UAV was conducted using spars which were composed of a carbon-epoxy cylindrical tube and bulkheads to achieve both the weight reduction and structural integrity. The spars were sized using numerical analysis considering non-linear deformation under bending moment. Static strength testing of the wing was conducted under the most critical load condition. Then, the experimental results obtained for the wing were compared to the analytical result from the non-linear finite-element analysis. It was found that the developed main wing reduced its structural weight without any failure under the ultimate load condition of the static strength testing.

  3. Bringing UAVs to the fight: recent army autonomy research and a vision for the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moorthy, Jay; Higgins, Raymond; Arthur, Keith

    2008-04-01

    The Unmanned Autonomous Collaborative Operations (UACO) program was initiated in recognition of the high operational burden associated with utilizing unmanned systems by both mounted and dismounted, ground and airborne warfighters. The program was previously introduced at the 62nd Annual Forum of the American Helicopter Society in May of 20061. This paper presents the three technical approaches taken and results obtained in UACO. All three approaches were validated extensively in contractor simulations, two were validated in government simulation, one was flight tested outside the UACO program, and one was flight tested in Part 2 of UACO. Results and recommendations are discussed regarding diverse areas such as user training and human-machine interface, workload distribution, UAV flight safety, data link bandwidth, user interface constructs, adaptive algorithms, air vehicle system integration, and target recognition. Finally, a vision for UAV As A Wingman is presented.

  4. Recording animal vocalizations from a UAV: bat echolocation during roost re-entry.

    PubMed

    Kloepper, Laura N; Kinniry, Morgan

    2018-05-17

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are rising in popularity for wildlife monitoring, but direct recordings of animal vocalizations have not yet been accomplished, likely due to the noise generated by the UAV. Echolocating bats, especially Tadarida brasiliensis, are good candidates for UAV recording due to their high-speed, high-altitude flight. Here, we use a UAV to record the signals of bats during morning roost re-entry. We designed a UAV to block the noise of the propellers from the receiving microphone, and report on the characteristics of bioacoustic recordings from a UAV. We report the first published characteristics of echolocation signals from bats during group flight and cave re-entry. We found changes in inter-individual time-frequency shape, suggesting that bats may use differences in call design when sensing in complex groups. Furthermore, our first documented successful recordings of animals in their natural habitat demonstrate that UAVs can be important tools for bioacoustic monitoring, and we discuss the ethical considerations for such monitoring.

  5. A Natural Interaction Interface for UAVs Using Intuitive Gesture Recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandarana, Meghan; Trujillo, Anna; Shimada, Kenji; Allen, Danette

    2016-01-01

    The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is increasing as technological advancements boost their favorability for a broad range of applications. One application is science data collection. In fields like Earth and atmospheric science, researchers are seeking to use UAVs to augment their current portfolio of platforms and increase their accessibility to geographic areas of interest. By increasing the number of data collection platforms UAVs will significantly improve system robustness and allow for more sophisticated studies. Scientists would like be able to deploy an available fleet of UAVs to fly a desired flight path and collect sensor data without needing to understand the complex low-level controls required to describe and coordinate such a mission. A natural interaction interface for a Ground Control System (GCS) using gesture recognition is developed to allow non-expert users (e.g., scientists) to define a complex flight path for a UAV using intuitive hand gesture inputs from the constructed gesture library. The GCS calculates the combined trajectory on-line, verifies the trajectory with the user, and sends it to the UAV controller to be flown.

  6. Classical Photogrammetry and Uav - Selected Ascpects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikrut, S.

    2016-06-01

    The UAV technology seems to be highly future-oriented due to its low costs as compared to traditional aerial images taken from classical photogrammetry aircrafts. The AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow - Department of Geoinformation, Photogrammetry and Environmental Remote Sensing focuses mainly on geometry and radiometry of recorded images. Various scientific research centres all over the world have been conducting the relevant research for years. The paper presents selected aspects of processing digital images made with the UAV technology. It provides on a practical example a comparison between a digital image taken from an airborne (classical) height, and the one made from an UAV level. In his research the author of the paper is trying to find an answer to the question: to what extent does the UAV technology diverge today from classical photogrammetry, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods? The flight plan was made over the Tokarnia Village Museum (more than 0.5 km2) for two separate flights: the first was made by an UAV - System FT-03A built by FlyTech Solution Ltd. The second was made with the use of a classical photogrammetric Cesna aircraft furnished with an airborne photogrammetric camera (Ultra Cam Eagle). Both sets of photographs were taken with pixel size of about 3 cm, in order to have reliable data allowing for both systems to be compared. The project has made aerotriangulation independently for the two flights. The DTM was generated automatically, and the last step was the generation of an orthophoto. The geometry of images was checked under the process of aerotriangulation. To compare the accuracy of these two flights, control and check points were used. RMSE were calculated. The radiometry was checked by a visual method and using the author's own algorithm for feature extraction (to define edges with subpixel accuracy). After initial pre-processing of data, the images were put together, and shown side by side

  7. Uav Photgrammetric Workflows: a best Practice Guideline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Federman, A.; Santana Quintero, M.; Kretz, S.; Gregg, J.; Lengies, M.; Ouimet, C.; Laliberte, J.

    2017-08-01

    The increasing commercialization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has opened the possibility of performing low-cost aerial image acquisition for the documentation of cultural heritage sites through UAV photogrammetry. The flying of UAVs in Canada is regulated through Transport Canada and requires a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) in order to fly. Various image acquisition techniques have been explored in this review, as well as well software used to register the data. A general workflow procedure has been formulated based off of the literature reviewed. A case study example of using UAV photogrammetry at Prince of Wales Fort is discussed, specifically in relation to the data acquisition and processing. Some gaps in the literature reviewed highlight the need for streamlining the SFOC application process, and incorporating UAVs into cultural heritage documentation courses.

  8. Artificial evolution of the morphology and kinematics in a flapping-wing mini-UAV.

    PubMed

    de Margerie, E; Mouret, J B; Doncieux, S; Meyer, J-A

    2007-12-01

    Birds demonstrate that flapping-wing flight (FWF) is a versatile flight mode, compatible with hovering, forward flight and gliding to save energy. This extended flight domain would be especially useful on mini-UAVs. However, design is challenging because aerodynamic efficiency is conditioned by complex movements of the wings, and because many interactions exist between morphological (wing area, aspect ratio) and kinematic parameters (flapping frequency, stroke amplitude, wing unfolding). Here we used artificial evolution to optimize these morpho-kinematic features on a simulated 1 kg UAV, equipped with wings articulated at the shoulder and wrist. Flight tests were conducted in a dedicated steady aerodynamics simulator. Parameters generating horizontal flight for minimal mechanical power were retained. Results showed that flight at medium speed (10-12 m s(-1)) can be obtained for reasonable mechanical power (20 W kg(-1)), while flight at higher speed (16-20 m s(-1)) implied increased power (30-50 W kg(-1)). Flight at low speed (6-8 m s(-1)) necessitated unrealistic power levels (70-500 W kg(-1)), probably because our simulator neglected unsteady aerodynamics. The underlying adaptation of morphology and kinematics to varying flight speed were compared to available biological data on the flight of birds.

  9. 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.

  10. Semiautonomous Avionics-and-Sensors System for a UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shams, Qamar

    2006-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) autonomous or remotely controlled pilotless aircraft have been recently thrust into the spotlight for military applications, for homeland security, and as test beds for research. In addition to these functions, there are many space applications in which lightweight, inexpensive, small UAVS can be used e.g., to determine the chemical composition and other qualities of the atmospheres of remote planets. Moreover, on Earth, such UAVs can be used to obtain information about weather in various regions; in particular, they can be used to analyze wide-band acoustic signals to aid in determining the complex dynamics of movement of hurricanes. The Advanced Sensors and Electronics group at Langley Research Center has developed an inexpensive, small, integrated avionics-and-sensors system to be installed in a UAV that serves two purposes. The first purpose is to provide flight data to an AI (Artificial Intelligence) controller as part of an autonomous flight-control system. The second purpose is to store data from a subsystem of distributed MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) sensors. Examples of these MEMS sensors include humidity, temperature, and acoustic sensors, plus chemical sensors for detecting various vapors and other gases in the environment. The critical sensors used for flight control are a differential- pressure sensor that is part of an apparatus for determining airspeed, an absolute-pressure sensor for determining altitude, three orthogonal accelerometers for determining tilt and acceleration, and three orthogonal angular-rate detectors (gyroscopes). By using these eight sensors, it is possible to determine the orientation, height, speed, and rates of roll, pitch, and yaw of the UAV. This avionics-and-sensors system is shown in the figure. During the last few years, there has been rapid growth and advancement in the technological disciplines of MEMS, of onboard artificial-intelligence systems, and of smaller, faster, and

  11. Optical and acoustical UAV detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christnacher, Frank; Hengy, Sébastien; Laurenzis, Martin; Matwyschuk, Alexis; Naz, Pierre; Schertzer, Stéphane; Schmitt, Gwenael

    2016-10-01

    Recent world events have highlighted that the proliferation of UAVs is bringing with it a new and rapidly increasing threat for national defense and security agencies. Whilst many of the reported UAV incidents seem to indicate that there was no terrorist intent behind them, it is not unreasonable to assume that it may not be long before UAV platforms are regularly employed by terrorists or other criminal organizations. The flight characteristics of many of these mini- and micro-platforms present challenges for current systems which have been optimized over time to defend against the traditional air-breathing airborne platforms. A lot of programs to identify cost-effective measures for the detection, classification, tracking and neutralization have begun in the recent past. In this paper, lSL shows how the performance of a UAV detection and tracking concept based on acousto-optical technology can be powerfully increased through active imaging.

  12. Flight Test Series 3: Flight Test Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marston, Mike; Sternberg, Daniel; Valkov, Steffi

    2015-01-01

    This document is a flight test report from the Operational perspective for Flight Test Series 3, a subpart of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration in the National Airspace System (NAS) project. Flight Test Series 3 testing began on June 15, 2015, and concluded on August 12, 2015. Participants included NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Langley Research center, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., and Honeywell. Key stakeholders analyzed their System Under Test (SUT) in two distinct configurations. Configuration 1, known as Pairwise Encounters, was subdivided into two parts: 1a, involving a low-speed UAS ownship and intruder(s), and 1b, involving a high-speed surrogate ownship and intruder. Configuration 2, known as Full Mission, involved a surrogate ownship, live intruder(s), and integrated virtual traffic. Table 1 is a summary of flights for each configuration, with data collection flights highlighted in green. Section 2 and 3 of this report give an in-depth description of the flight test period, aircraft involved, flight crew, and mission team. Overall, Flight Test 3 gathered excellent data for each SUT. We attribute this successful outcome in large part from the experience that was acquired from the ACAS Xu SS flight test flown in December 2014. Configuration 1 was a tremendous success, thanks to the training, member participation, integration/testing, and in-depth analysis of the flight points. Although Configuration 2 flights were cancelled after 3 data collection flights due to various problems, the lessons learned from this will help the UAS in the NAS project move forward successfully in future flight phases.

  13. Technologies Advance UAVs for Science, Military

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    A Space Act Agreement with Goddard Space Flight Center and West Virginia University enabled Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, of Manassas, Virginia, to develop cost-effective composite manufacturing capabilities and open a facility in West Virginia. The company now employs 160 workers at the plant, tasked with crafting airframe components for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program. While one third of the company's workforce focuses on Global Hawk production, the rest of the company develops advanced UAV technologies that are redefining traditional approaches to unmanned aviation. Since the company's founding, Aurora s cutting-edge work has been supported with funding from NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

  14. Demonstrations of bio-inspired perching landing gear for UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tieu, Mindy; Michael, Duncan M.; Pflueger, Jeffery B.; Sethi, Manik S.; Shimazu, Kelli N.; Anthony, Tatiana M.; Lee, Christopher L.

    2016-04-01

    Results are presented which demonstrate the feasibility and performance of two concepts of biologically-inspired landing-gear systems that enable bird-sized, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) to land, perch, and take-off from branchlike structures and/or ledges. The first concept follows the anatomy of birds that can grasp ahold of a branch and perch as tendons in their legs are tensioned. This design involves a gravity-activated, cable-driven, underactuated, graspingfoot mechanism. As the UAV lands, its weight collapses a four-bar linkage pulling a cable which curls two opposing, multi-segmented feet to grasp the landing target. Each foot is a single, compliant mechanism fabricated by simultaneouly 3D-printing a flexible thermo-plastic and a stiffer ABS plastic. The design is optimized to grasp structures over a range of shapes and sizes. Quasi-static and flight tests of this landing gear affixed to RC rotorcraft (24 cm to 550 cm in diameter) demonstrate that the aircraft can land, perch, and take-off from a tree branch, rectangular wood board, PVC pipe, metal hand rail, chair armrest, and in addition, a stone wall ledge. Stability tests show that perching is maintained under base and wind disturbances. The second design concept, inspired by roosting bats, is a two-material, 3D-printed hooking mechanism that enables the UAV to stably suspend itself from a wire or small-diameter branch. The design balances structural stiffness for support and flexibility for the perching process. A flight-test demonstrates the attaching and dis-engaging of a small, RC quadcopter from a suspended line.

  15. Towards a Biosynthetic UAV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Block, Eli; Byemerwa, Jovita; Dispenza, Ross; Doughty, Benjamin; Gillyard, KaNesha; Godbole, Poorwa; Gonzales-Wright, Jeanette; Hull, Ian; Kannappan, Jotthe; Levine, Alexander; hide

    2014-01-01

    We are currently working on a series of projects towards the construction of a fully biological unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for use in scientific and humanitarian missions. The prospect of a biologically-produced UAV presents numerous advantages over the current manufacturing paradigm. First, a foundational architecture built by cells allows for construction or repair in locations where it would be difficult to bring traditional tools of production. Second, a major limitation of current research with UAVs is the size and high power consumption of analytical instruments, which require bulky electrical components and large fuselages to support their weight. By moving these functions into cells with biosensing capabilities - for example, a series of cells engineered to report GFP, green fluorescent protein, when conditions exceed a certain threshold concentration of a compound of interest, enabling their detection post-flight - these problems of scale can be avoided. To this end, we are working to engineer cells to synthesize cellulose acetate as a novel bioplastic, characterize biological methods of waterproofing the material, and program this material's systemic biodegradation. In addition, we aim to use an "amberless" system to prevent horizontal gene transfer from live cells on the material to microorganisms in the flight environment.

  16. Photogrammetric Measurements in Fixed Wing Uav Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gülch, E.

    2012-07-01

    projects, independent on the application. The effort is estimated to be even higher as expected, as also self-calibration will be an issue to handle a possibly instable camera calibration. To overcome some of the encountered problems with the very specific features of UAV flights a software UAVision was developed based on Open Source libraries to produce input data for bundle adjustment of UAV images by PAMS. The empirical test results show a considerable improvement in the matching of tie points. The results do, however, show that the Open Source bundle adjustment was not applicable to this type of imagery. This still leaves the possibility to use the improved tie point correspondences in the commercial AT package.

  17. Research on detection method of UAV obstruction based on binocular vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xiongwei; Lei, Xusheng; Sui, Zhehao

    2018-04-01

    For the autonomous obstacle positioning and ranging in the process of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) flight, a system based on binocular vision is constructed. A three-stage image preprocessing method is proposed to solve the problem of the noise and brightness difference in the actual captured image. The distance of the nearest obstacle is calculated by using the disparity map that generated by binocular vision. Then the contour of the obstacle is extracted by post-processing of the disparity map, and a color-based adaptive parameter adjustment algorithm is designed to extract contours of obstacle automatically. Finally, the safety distance measurement and obstacle positioning during the UAV flight process are achieved. Based on a series of tests, the error of distance measurement can keep within 2.24% of the measuring range from 5 m to 20 m.

  18. a Light-Weight Laser Scanner for Uav Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tommaselli, A. M. G.; Torres, F. M.

    2016-06-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been recognized as a tool for geospatial data acquisition due to their flexibility and favourable cost benefit ratio. The practical use of laser scanning devices on-board UAVs is also developing with new experimental and commercial systems. This paper describes a light-weight laser scanning system composed of an IbeoLux scanner, an Inertial Navigation System Span-IGM-S1, from Novatel, a Raspberry PI portable computer, which records data from both systems and an octopter UAV. The performance of this light-weight system was assessed both for accuracy and with respect to point density, using Ground Control Points (GCP) as reference. Two flights were performed with the UAV octopter carrying the equipment. In the first trial, the flight height was 100 m with six strips over a parking area. The second trial was carried out over an urban park with some buildings and artificial targets serving as reference Ground Control Points. In this experiment a flight height of 70 m was chosen to improve target response. Accuracy was assessed based on control points the coordinates of which were measured in the field. Results showed that vertical accuracy with this prototype is around 30 cm, which is acceptable for forest applications but this accuracy can be improved using further refinements in direct georeferencing and in the system calibration.

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

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    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. Sincemore » 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.« less

  20. A UAV System for Observing Volcanoes and Natural Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saggiani, G.; Persiani, F.; Ceruti, A.; Tortora, P.; Troiani, E.; Giuletti, F.; Amici, S.; Buongiorno, M.; Distefano, G.; Bentini, G.; Bianconi, M.; Cerutti, A.; Nubile, A.; Sugliani, S.; Chiarini, M.; Pennestri, G.; Petrini, S.; Pieri, D.

    2007-12-01

    Fixed or rotary wing manned aircraft are currently the most commonly used platforms for airborne reconnaissance in response to natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, oil spills, wild fires, earthquakes. Such flights are very often undertaken in hazardous flying conditions (e.g., turbulence, downdrafts, reduced visibility, close proximity to dangerous terrain) and can be expensive. To mitigate these two fundamental issues-- safety and cost--we are exploring the use of small (less than 100kg), relatively inexpensive, but effective, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for this purpose. As an operational test, in 2004 we flew a small autonomous UAV in the airspace above and around Stromboli Volcano. Based in part on this experience, we are adapting the RAVEN UAV system for such natural hazard surveillance missions. RAVEN has a 50km range, with a 3.5m wingspan, main fuselage length of 4.60m, and maximum weight of 56kg. It has autonomous flight capability and a ground control Station for the mission planning and control. It will carry a variety of imaging devices, including a visible camera, and an IR camera. It will also carry an experimental Fourier micro-interferometer based on MOEMS technology, (developed by IMM Institute of CNR), to detect atmospheric trace gases. Such flexible, capable, and easy-to-deploy UAV systems may significantly shorten the time necessary to characterize the nature and scale of the natural hazard threats if used from the outset of, and systematically during, natural hazard events. When appropriately utilized, such UAVs can provide a powerful new hazard mitigation and documentation tool for civil protection hazard responders. This research was carried out under the auspices of the Italian government, and, in part, under contract to NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Developing stochastic model of thrust and flight dynamics for small UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tjhai, Chandra

    This thesis presents a stochastic thrust model and aerodynamic model for small propeller driven UAVs whose power plant is a small electric motor. First a model which relates thrust generated by a small propeller driven electric motor as a function of throttle setting and commanded engine RPM is developed. A perturbation of this model is then used to relate the uncertainty in throttle and engine RPM commanded to the error in the predicted thrust. Such a stochastic model is indispensable in the design of state estimation and control systems for UAVs where the performance requirements of the systems are specied in stochastic terms. It is shown that thrust prediction models for small UAVs are not a simple, explicit functions relating throttle input and RPM command to thrust generated. Rather they are non-linear, iterative procedures which depend on a geometric description of the propeller and mathematical model of the motor. A detailed derivation of the iterative procedure is presented and the impact of errors which arise from inaccurate propeller and motor descriptions are discussed. Validation results from a series of wind tunnel tests are presented. The results show a favorable statistical agreement between the thrust uncertainty predicted by the model and the errors measured in the wind tunnel. The uncertainty model of aircraft aerodynamic coefficients developed based on wind tunnel experiment will be discussed at the end of this thesis.

  4. Proteus front view in flight

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-03-27

    Scaled Composites' unique tandem-wing Proteus was the testbed for a series of UAV collision-avoidance flight demonstrations. An Amphitech 35GHz radar unit installed below Proteus' nose was the primary sensor for the Detect, See and Avoid tests.

  5. Landslide Mapping Using Imagery Acquired by a Fixed-Wing Uav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rau, J. Y.; Jhan, J. P.; Lo, C. F.; Lin, Y. S.

    2011-09-01

    In Taiwan, the average annual rainfall is about 2,500 mm, about three times the world average. Hill slopes where are mostly under meta-stable conditions due to fragmented surface materials can easily be disturbed by heavy typhoon rainfall and/or earthquakes, resulting in landslides and debris flows. Thus, an efficient data acquisition and disaster surveying method is critical for decision making. Comparing with satellite and airplane, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a portable and dynamic platform for data acquisition. In particularly when a small target area is required. In this study, a fixed-wing UAV that equipped with a consumer grade digital camera, i.e. Canon EOS 450D, a flight control computer, a Garmin GPS receiver and an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) are proposed. The adopted UAV has about two hours flight duration time with a flight control range of 20 km and has a payload of 3 kg, which is suitable for a medium scale mapping and surveying mission. In the paper, a test area with 21.3 km2 in size containing hundreds of landslides induced by Typhoon Morakot is used for landslides mapping. The flight height is around 1,400 meters and the ground sampling distance of the acquired imagery is about 17 cm. The aerial triangulation, ortho-image generation and mosaicking are applied to the acquired images in advance. An automatic landslides detection algorithm is proposed based on the object-based image analysis (OBIA) technique. The color ortho-image and a digital elevation model (DEM) are used. The ortho-images before and after typhoon are utilized to estimate new landslide regions. Experimental results show that the developed algorithm can achieve a producer's accuracy up to 91%, user's accuracy 84%, and a Kappa index of 0.87. It demonstrates the feasibility of the landslide detection algorithm and the applicability of a fixed-wing UAV for landslide mapping.

  6. Automatic detection of blurred images in UAV image sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sieberth, Till; Wackrow, Rene; Chandler, Jim H.

    2016-12-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have become an interesting and active research topic for photogrammetry. Current research is based on images acquired by an UAV, which have a high ground resolution and good spectral and radiometrical resolution, due to the low flight altitudes combined with a high resolution camera. UAV image flights are also cost effective and have become attractive for many applications including, change detection in small scale areas. One of the main problems preventing full automation of data processing of UAV imagery is the degradation effect of blur caused by camera movement during image acquisition. This can be caused by the normal flight movement of the UAV as well as strong winds, turbulence or sudden operator inputs. This blur disturbs the visual analysis and interpretation of the data, causes errors and can degrade the accuracy in automatic photogrammetric processing algorithms. The detection and removal of these images is currently achieved manually, which is both time consuming and prone to error, particularly for large image-sets. To increase the quality of data processing an automated process is necessary, which must be both reliable and quick. This paper describes the development of an automatic filtering process, which is based upon the quantification of blur in an image. Images with known blur are processed digitally to determine a quantifiable measure of image blur. The algorithm is required to process UAV images fast and reliably to relieve the operator from detecting blurred images manually. The newly developed method makes it possible to detect blur caused by linear camera displacement and is based on human detection of blur. Humans detect blurred images best by comparing it to other images in order to establish whether an image is blurred or not. The developed algorithm simulates this procedure by creating an image for comparison using image processing. Creating internally a comparable image makes the method independent of

  7. The NASA Dryden AAR Project: A Flight Test Approach to an Aerial Refueling System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Jennifer L.; Murray, James E.; Campos, Norma V.

    2004-01-01

    The integration of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) into controlled airspace has generated a new era of autonomous technologies and challenges. Autonomous aerial refueling would enable UAVs to travel further distances and loiter for extended periods over time-critical targets. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center recently has completed a flight research project directed at developing a dynamic hose and drogue system model to support the development of an automated aerial refueling system. A systematic dynamic model of the hose and drogue system would include the effects of various influences on the system, such as flight condition, hose and drogue type, tanker type and weight, receiver type, and tanker and receiver maneuvering. Using two NASA F/A-18 aircraft and a conventional hose and drogue aerial refueling store from the Navy, NASA has obtained flight research data that document the response of the hose and drogue system to these effects. Preliminary results, salient trends, and important lessons are presented.

  8. NASA Langley's AirSTAR Testbed: A Subscale Flight Test Capability for Flight Dynamics and Control System Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jordan, Thomas L.; Bailey, Roger M.

    2008-01-01

    As part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research (AirSTAR) project, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has developed a subscaled flying testbed in order to conduct research experiments in support of the goals of NASA s Aviation Safety Program. This research capability consists of three distinct components. The first of these is the research aircraft, of which there are several in the AirSTAR stable. These aircraft range from a dynamically-scaled, twin turbine vehicle to a propeller driven, off-the-shelf airframe. Each of these airframes carves out its own niche in the research test program. All of the airplanes have sophisticated on-board data acquisition and actuation systems, recording, telemetering, processing, and/or receiving data from research control systems. The second piece of the testbed is the ground facilities, which encompass the hardware and software infrastructure necessary to provide comprehensive support services for conducting flight research using the subscale aircraft, including: subsystem development, integrated testing, remote piloting of the subscale aircraft, telemetry processing, experimental flight control law implementation and evaluation, flight simulation, data recording/archiving, and communications. The ground facilities are comprised of two major components: (1) The Base Research Station (BRS), a LaRC laboratory facility for system development, testing and data analysis, and (2) The Mobile Operations Station (MOS), a self-contained, motorized vehicle serving as a mobile research command/operations center, functionally equivalent to the BRS, capable of deployment to remote sites for supporting flight tests. The third piece of the testbed is the test facility itself. Research flights carried out by the AirSTAR team are conducted at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The UAV Island runway is a 50 x 1500 paved runway that lies within restricted airspace at Wallops Flight Facility. The

  9. Enabling efficient vertical takeoff/landing and forward flight of unmanned aerial vehicles: Design and control of tandem wing-tip mounted rotor mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancuso, Peter Timothy

    Fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that offer vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and forward flight capability suffer from sub-par performance in both flight modes. Achieving the next generation of efficient hybrid aircraft requires innovations in: (i) power management, (ii) efficient structures, and (iii) control methodologies. Existing hybrid UAVs generally utilize one of three transitioning mechanisms: an external power mechanism to tilt the rotor-propulsion pod, separate propulsion units and rotors during hover and forward flight, or tilt body craft (smaller scale). Thus, hybrid concepts require more energy compared to dedicated fixed-wing or rotorcraft UAVs. Moreover, design trade-offs to reinforce the wing structure (typically to accommodate the propulsion systems and enable hover, i.e. tilt-rotor concepts) adversely impacts the aerodynamics, controllability and efficiency of the aircraft in both hover and forward flight modes. The goal of this research is to develop more efficient VTOL/ hover and forward flight UAVs. In doing so, the transition sequence, transition mechanism, and actuator performance are heavily considered. A design and control methodology was implemented to address these issues through a series of computer simulations and prototype benchtop tests to verify the proposed solution. Finally, preliminary field testing with a first-generation prototype was conducted. The methods used in this research offer guidelines and a new dual-arm rotor UAV concept to designing more efficient hybrid UAVs in both hover and forward flight.

  10. A proposed UAV for indoor patient care.

    PubMed

    Todd, Catherine; Watfa, Mohamed; El Mouden, Yassine; Sahir, Sana; Ali, Afrah; Niavarani, Ali; Lutfi, Aoun; Copiaco, Abigail; Agarwal, Vaibhavi; Afsari, Kiyan; Johnathon, Chris; Okafor, Onyeka; Ayad, Marina

    2015-09-10

    Indoor flight, obstacle avoidance and client-server communication of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) raises several unique research challenges. This paper examines current methods and associated technologies adapted within the literature toward autonomous UAV flight, for consideration in a proposed system for indoor healthcare administration with a quadcopter. We introduce Healthbuddy, a unique research initiative towards overcoming challenges associated with indoor navigation, collision detection and avoidance, stability, wireless drone-server communications and automated decision support for patient care in a GPS-denied environment. To address the identified research deficits, a drone-based solution is presented. The solution is preliminary as we develop and refine the suggested algorithms and hardware system to achieve the research objectives.

  11. A Novel Online Data-Driven Algorithm for Detecting UAV Navigation Sensor Faults.

    PubMed

    Sun, Rui; Cheng, Qi; Wang, Guanyu; Ochieng, Washington Yotto

    2017-09-29

    The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has increased significantly in recent years. On-board integrated navigation sensors are a key component of UAVs' flight control systems and are essential for flight safety. In order to ensure flight safety, timely and effective navigation sensor fault detection capability is required. In this paper, a novel data-driven Adaptive Neuron Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS)-based approach is presented for the detection of on-board navigation sensor faults in UAVs. Contrary to the classic UAV sensor fault detection algorithms, based on predefined or modelled faults, the proposed algorithm combines an online data training mechanism with the ANFIS-based decision system. The main advantages of this algorithm are that it allows real-time model-free residual analysis from Kalman Filter (KF) estimates and the ANFIS to build a reliable fault detection system. In addition, it allows fast and accurate detection of faults, which makes it suitable for real-time applications. Experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed fault detection method in terms of accuracy and misdetection rate.

  12. 'Fly Like This': Natural Language Interface for UAV Mission Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandarana, Meghan; Meszaros, Erica L.; Trujillo, Anna; Allen, B. Danette

    2017-01-01

    With the increasing presence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in everyday environments, the user base of these powerful and potentially intelligent machines is expanding beyond exclusively highly trained vehicle operators to include non-expert system users. Scientists seeking to augment costly and often inflexible methods of data collection historically used are turning towards lower cost and reconfigurable UAVs. These new users require more intuitive and natural methods for UAV mission planning. This paper explores two natural language interfaces - gesture and speech - for UAV flight path generation through individual user studies. Subjects who participated in the user studies also used a mouse-based interface for a baseline comparison. Each interface allowed the user to build flight paths from a library of twelve individual trajectory segments. Individual user studies evaluated performance, efficacy, and ease-of-use of each interface using background surveys, subjective questionnaires, and observations on time and correctness. Analysis indicates that natural language interfaces are promising alternatives to traditional interfaces. The user study data collected on the efficacy and potential of each interface will be used to inform future intuitive UAV interface design for non-expert users.

  13. Uav Cameras: Overview and Geometric Calibration Benchmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cramer, M.; Przybilla, H.-J.; Zurhorst, A.

    2017-08-01

    Different UAV platforms and sensors are used in mapping already, many of them equipped with (sometimes) modified cameras as known from the consumer market. Even though these systems normally fulfil their requested mapping accuracy, the question arises, which system performs best? This asks for a benchmark, to check selected UAV based camera systems in well-defined, reproducible environments. Such benchmark is tried within this work here. Nine different cameras used on UAV platforms, representing typical camera classes, are considered. The focus is laid on the geometry here, which is tightly linked to the process of geometrical calibration of the system. In most applications the calibration is performed in-situ, i.e. calibration parameters are obtained as part of the project data itself. This is often motivated because consumer cameras do not keep constant geometry, thus, cannot be seen as metric cameras. Still, some of the commercial systems are quite stable over time, as it was proven from repeated (terrestrial) calibrations runs. Already (pre-)calibrated systems may offer advantages, especially when the block geometry of the project does not allow for a stable and sufficient in-situ calibration. Especially for such scenario close to metric UAV cameras may have advantages. Empirical airborne test flights in a calibration field have shown how block geometry influences the estimated calibration parameters and how consistent the parameters from lab calibration can be reproduced.

  14. Proteus in flight over Southern California

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-03-27

    Scaled Composites' unique tandem-wing Proteus was the testbed for a series of UAV collision-avoidance flight demonstrations. An Amphitech 35GHz radar unit installed below Proteus' nose was the primary sensor for the Detect, See and Avoid tests.

  15. Hurricane Harvey Building Damage Assessment Using UAV Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeom, J.; Jung, J.; Chang, A.; Choi, I.

    2017-12-01

    Hurricane Harvey which was extremely destructive major hurricane struck southern Texas, U.S.A on August 25, causing catastrophic flooding and storm damages. We visited Rockport suffered severe building destruction and conducted UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) surveying for building damage assessment. UAV provides very high resolution images compared with traditional remote sensing data. In addition, prompt and cost-effective damage assessment can be performed regardless of several limitations in other remote sensing platforms such as revisit interval of satellite platforms, complicated flight plan in aerial surveying, and cloud amounts. In this study, UAV flight and GPS surveying were conducted two weeks after hurricane damage to generate an orthomosaic image and a DEM (Digital Elevation Model). 3D region growing scheme has been proposed to quantitatively estimate building damages considering building debris' elevation change and spectral difference. The result showed that the proposed method can be used for high definition building damage assessment in a time- and cost-effective way.

  16. Roadside IED detection using subsurface imaging radar and rotary UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Yexian; Twumasi, Jones O.; Le, Viet Q.; Ren, Yu-Jiun; Lai, C. P.; Yu, Tzuyang

    2016-05-01

    Modern improvised explosive device (IED) and mine detection sensors using microwave technology are based on ground penetrating radar operated by a ground vehicle. Vehicle size, road conditions, and obstacles along the troop marching direction limit operation of such sensors. This paper presents a new conceptual design using a rotary unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to carry subsurface imaging radar for roadside IED detection. We have built a UAV flight simulator with the subsurface imaging radar running in a laboratory environment and tested it with non-metallic and metallic IED-like targets. From the initial lab results, we can detect the IED-like target 10-cm below road surface while carried by a UAV platform. One of the challenges is to design the radar and antenna system for a very small payload (less than 3 lb). The motion compensation algorithm is also critical to the imaging quality. In this paper, we also demonstrated the algorithm simulation and experimental imaging results with different IED target materials, sizes, and clutters.

  17. Development of a Data Acquisition System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lear, Donald Joseph

    Aircraft system identification techniques are developed for fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The use of a designed flight experiment with measured system inputs/outputs can be used to derive aircraft stability derivatives. This project set out to develop a methodology to support an experiment to model pitch damping in the longitudinal short-period mode of a UAV. A Central Composite Response Surface Design was formed using angle of attack and power levels as factors to test for the pitching moment coefficient response induced by a multistep pitching maneuver. Selecting a high-quality data acquisition platform was critical to the success of the project. This system was designed to support fixed wing research through the addition of a custom air data vane capable of measuring angle of attack and sideslip, as well as an airspeed sensor. A Pixhawk autopilot system serves as the core and modification of the device firmware allowed for the integration of custom sensors and custom RC channels dedicated to performing system identification maneuvers. Tests were performed on all existing Pixhawk sensors to validate stated uncertainty values. The air data system was calibrated in a low speed wind tunnel and dynamic performance was verified. The assembled system was then installed in a commercially available UAV known as an Air Titan FPV in order to test the Pixhawk's automated flight maneuvers and determine the final performance of each sensor. Flight testing showed all the critical sensors produced acceptable data for further research. The Air Titan FPV airframe was found to be very flexible and did not lend itself well to accurate measurement of inertial properties. This realization prohibited the construction of the required math models for longitudinal dynamics. It is recommended that future projects using the developed methods choose an aircraft with a more rigid airframe.

  18. The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES): A UAV-based Investigation of Thunderstorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blakeslee, Richard; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) is a NASA-sponsored and -led science investigation that utilizes an uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) to investigate thunderstorms in the vicinity of the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. As part of NASA's UAV-based science demonstration program, ACES will provide a scientifically useful demonstration of the utility and promise of UAV platforms for Earth science and applications observations. ACES will employ the Altus 11 aircraft, built by General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. By taking advantage of its slow flight speed (70 to 100 knots), long endurance, and high-altitude flight (up to 55,000 feet), the Altus will be flown near, and when possible, above (but never into) thunderstorms for long periods of time, allowing investigations to be conducted over entire storm life cycles. Key science objectives simultaneously addressed by ACES are to: (1) investigate lightning-storm relationships, (2) study storm electrical budgets, and (3) provide Lightning Imaging Sensor validation. The ACES payload, already developed and flown on Altus, includes electrical, magnetic, and optical sensors to remotely characterize the lightning activity and the electrical environment within and around thunderstorms. The ACES field campaign will be conducted during July 2002 with a goal of performing 8 to 10 UAV flights. Each flight will require about 4 to 5 hours on station at altitudes from 40,000 ft to 55,000 ft. The ACES team is comprised of scientists from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centers partnered with General Atomics and IDEA, LLC.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. A Programmable SDN+NFV Architecture for UAV Telemetry Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Kyle J. S.; Pezaros, Dimitrios P.; Denney, Ewen; Knudson, Matt D.

    2017-01-01

    With the explosive growth in UAV numbers forecast worldwide, a core concern is how to manage the ad-hoc network configuration required for mobility management. As UAVs migrate among ground control stations, associated network services, routing and operational control must also rapidly migrate to ensure a seamless transition. In this paper, we present a novel, lightweight and modular architecture which supports high mobility, resilience and flexibility through the application of SDN and NFV principles on top of the UAV infrastructure. By combining SDN programmability and Network Function Virtualization we can achieve resilient infrastructure migration of network services, such as network monitoring and anomaly detection, coupled with migrating UAVs to enable high mobility management. Our container-based monitoring and anomaly detection Network Functions (NFs) can be tuned to specific UAV models providing operators better insight during live, high-mobility deployments. We evaluate our architecture against telemetry from over 80flights from a scientific research UAV infrastructure.

  1. Impact of Prior Flight Experience on Learning Predator UAV Operator Skills

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-02-01

    UAVs are becoming a mainstay of intelligence , surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) information gathering, with the capability of supplying, in...indicators of UAV pilot skill, namely frequency and type of videogame playing, and experience with remote-controlled hobby aircraft. Experience with...indicator, artificial horizon, heading rate indicator, and engine revolutions per minute. The right monitor displays other useful information, such as a

  2. Comparison of a UAV-derived point-cloud to Lidar data at Haig Glacier, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bash, E. A.; Moorman, B.; Montaghi, A.; Menounos, B.; Marshall, S. J.

    2016-12-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is expanding rapidly in glaciological research as a result of technological improvements that make UAVs a cost-effective solution for collecting high resolution datasets with relative ease. The cost and difficult access traditionally associated with performing fieldwork in glacial environments makes UAVs a particularly attractive tool. In the small, but growing, body of literature using UAVs in glaciology the accuracy of UAV data is tested through the comparison of a UAV-derived DEM to measured control points. A field campaign combining simultaneous lidar and UAV flights over Haig Glacier in April 2015, provided the unique opportunity to directly compare UAV data to lidar. The UAV was a six-propeller Mikrokopter carrying a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 camera with a 12 Megapixel Live MOS sensor and Lumix G 20 mm lens flown at a height of 90 m, resulting in sub-centimetre ground resolution per image pixel. Lidar data collection took place April 20, while UAV flights were conducted April 20-21. A set of 65 control points were laid out and surveyed on the glacier surface on April 19 and 21 using a RTK GPS with a vertical uncertainty of 5 cm. A direct comparison of lidar points to these control points revealed a 9 cm offset between the control points and the lidar points on average, but the difference changed distinctly from points collected on April 19 versus those collected April 21 (7 cm and 12 cm). Agisoft Photoscan was used to create a point-cloud from imagery collected with the UAV and CloudCompare was used to calculate the difference between this and the lidar point cloud, revealing an average difference of less than 17 cm. This field campaign also highlighted some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a rotary UAV for glaciological research. The vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, combined with quick responsiveness and higher carrying capacity, make the rotary vehicle favourable for high-resolution photos when

  3. Observing Crop-Height Dynamics Using a UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziliani, M. G.; Parkes, S. D.; McCabe, M.

    2017-12-01

    Retrieval of vegetation height during a growing season is a key indicator for monitoring crop status, offering insight to the forecast yield relative to previous planting cycles. Improvement in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies, supported by advances in computer vision and photogrammetry software, has enabled retrieval of crop heights with much higher spatial resolution and coverage. These methodologies retrieve a Digital Surface Map (DSM), which combine terrain and crop elements to obtain a Crop Surface Map (CSM). Here we describe an automated method for deriving high resolution CSMs from a DSM, using RGB imagery from a UAV platform. Importantly, the approach does not require the need for a digital terrain map (DTM). The method involves distinguishing between vegetation and bare-ground cover pixels, using vegetation index maps from the RGB orthomosaic derived from the same flight as the DSM. We show that the absolute crop height can be extracted to within several centimeters, exploiting the data captured from a single UAV flight. In addition, the method is applied across five surveys during a maize growing cycle and compared against a terrain map constructed from a baseline UAV survey undertaken prior to crop growth. Results show that the approach is able to reproduce the observed spatial variability of the crop height within the maize field throughout the duration of the growing season. This is particularly valuable since it may be employed to detect intra-field problems (i.e. fertilizer variability, inefficiency in the irrigation system, salinity etc.) at different stages of the season, from which remedial action can be initiated to mitigate against yield loss. The method also demonstrates that UAV imagery combined with commercial photogrammetry software can determine a CSM from a single flight without the requirement of a prior DTM. This, together with the dynamic crop height estimation, provide useful information with which to inform precision

  4. Mission-based guidance system design for autonomous UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Jongki

    The advantages of UAVs in the aviation arena have led to extensive research activities on autonomous technology of UAVs to achieve specific mission objectives. This thesis mainly focuses on the development of a mission-based guidance system. Among various missions expected for future needs, autonomous formation flight (AFF) and obstacle avoidance within safe operation limits are investigated. In the design of an adaptive guidance system for AFF, the leader information except position is assumed to be unknown to a follower. Thus, the only measured information related to the leader is the line-of-sight (LOS) range and angle. Adding an adaptive element with neural networks into the guidance system provides a capability to effectively handle leader's velocity changes. Therefore, this method can be applied to the AFF control systems that use a passive sensing method. In this thesis, an adaptive velocity command guidance system and an adaptive acceleration command guidance system are developed and presented. Since relative degrees of the LOS range and angle are different depending on the outputs from the guidance system, the architecture of the guidance system changes accordingly. Simulations and flight tests are performed using the Georgia Tech UAV helicopter, the GTMax, to evaluate the proposed guidance systems. The simulation results show that the neural network (NN) based adaptive element can improve the tracking performance by effectively compensating for the effect of unknown dynamics. It has also been shown that the combination of an adaptive velocity command guidance system and the existing GTMax autopilot controller performs better than the combination of an adaptive acceleration command guidance system and the GTMax autopilot controller. The successful flight evaluation using an adaptive velocity command guidance system clearly shows that the adaptive guidance control system is a promising solution for autonomous formation flight of UAVs. In addition, an

  5. A UAV-Based Fog Collector Design for Fine-Scale Aerobiological Sampling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gentry, Diana; Guarro, Marcello; Demachkie, Isabella Siham; Stumfall, Isabel; Dahlgren, Robert P.

    2017-01-01

    Airborne microbes are found throughout the troposphere and into the stratosphere. Knowing how the activity of airborne microorganisms can alter water, carbon, and other geochemical cycles is vital to a full understanding of local and global ecosystems. Just as on the land or in the ocean, atmospheric regions vary in habitability; the underlying geochemical, climatic, and ecological dynamics must be characterized at different scales to be effectively modeled. Most aerobiological studies have focused on a high level: 'How high are airborne microbes found?' and 'How far can they travel?' Most fog and cloud water studies collect from stationary ground stations (point) or along flight transects (1D). To complement and provide context for this data, we have designed a UAV-based modified fog and cloud water collector to retrieve 4D-resolved samples for biological and chemical analysis.Our design uses a passive impacting collector hanging from a rigid rod suspended between two multi-rotor UAVs. The suspension design reduces the effect of turbulence and potential for contamination from the UAV downwash. The UAVs are currently modeled in a leader-follower configuration, taking advantage of recent advances in modular UAVs, UAV swarming, and flight planning.The collector itself is a hydrophobic mesh. Materials including Tyvek, PTFE, nylon, and polypropylene monofilament fabricated via laser cutting, CNC knife, or 3D printing were characterized for droplet collection efficiency using a benchtop atomizer and particle counter. Because the meshes can be easily and inexpensively fabricated, a set can be pre-sterilized and brought to the field for 'hot swapping' to decrease cross-contamination between flight sessions or use as negative controls.An onboard sensor and logging system records the time and location of each sample; when combined with flight tracking data, the samples can be resolved into a 4D volumetric map of the fog bank. Collected samples can be returned to the lab for

  6. A UAV-Based Fog Collector Design for Fine-Scale Aerobiological Sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentry, D.; Guarro, M.; Demachkie, I. S.; Stumfall, I.; Dahlgren, R. P.

    2016-12-01

    Airborne microbes are found throughout the troposphere and into the stratosphere. Knowing how the activity of airborne microorganisms can alter water, carbon, and other geochemical cycles is vital to a full understanding of local and global ecosystems. Just as on the land or in the ocean, atmospheric regions vary in habitability; the underlying geochemical, climatic, and ecological dynamics must be characterized at different scales to be effectively modeled. Most aerobiological studies have focused on a high level: 'How high are airborne microbes found?' and 'How far can they travel?' Most fog and cloud water studies collect from stationary ground stations (point) or along flight transects (1D). To complement and provide context for this data, we have designed a UAV-based modified fog and cloud water collector to retrieve 4D-resolved samples for biological and chemical analysis. Our design uses a passive impacting collector hanging from a rigid rod suspended between two multi-rotor UAVs. The suspension design reduces the effect of turbulence and potential for contamination from the UAV downwash. The UAVs are currently modeled in a leader-follower configuration, taking advantage of recent advances in modular UAVs, UAV swarming, and flight planning. The collector itself is a hydrophobic mesh. Materials including Tyvek, PTFE, nylon, and polypropylene monofilament fabricated via laser cutting, CNC knife, or 3D printing were characterized for droplet collection efficiency using a benchtop atomizer and particle counter. Because the meshes can be easily and inexpensively fabricated, a set can be pre-sterilized and brought to the field for 'hot swapping' to decrease cross-contamination between flight sessions or use as negative controls. An onboard sensor and logging system records the time and location of each sample; when combined with flight tracking data, the samples can be resolved into a 4D volumetric map of the fog bank. Collected samples can be returned to the lab

  7. Autonomous Inspection of Electrical Transmission Structures with Airborne UV Sensors - NASA Report on Dominion Virginia Power Flights of November 2016

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Andrew J.; Schubert, Matthew; Nicholas Rymer

    2017-01-01

    The report details test and measurement flights to demonstrate autonomous UAV inspection of high voltage electrical transmission structures. A UAV built with commercial, off-the-shelf hardware and software, supplemented with custom sensor logging software, measured ultraviolet emissions from a test generator placed on a low-altitude substation and a medium-altitude switching tower. Since corona discharge precedes catastrophic electrical faults on high-voltage structures, detection and geolocation of ultraviolet emissions is needed to develop a UAV-based self-diagnosing power grid. Signal readings from an onboard ultraviolet sensor were validated during flight with a commercial corona camera. Geolocation was accomplished with onboard GPS; the UAV position was logged to a local ground station and transmitted in real time to a NASA server for tracking in the national airspace.

  8. Flight Testing of Novel Compliant Spines for Passive Wing Morphing on Ornithopters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wissa, Aimy; Guerreiro, Nelson; Grauer, Jared; Altenbuchner, Cornelia; Hubbard, James E., Jr.; Tummala, Yashwanth; Frecker, Mary; Roberts, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are proliferating in both the civil and military markets. Flapping wing UAVs, or ornithopters, have the potential to combine the agility and maneuverability of rotary wing aircraft with excellent performance in low Reynolds number flight regimes. The purpose of this paper is to present new free flight experimental results for an ornithopter equipped with one degree of freedom (1DOF) compliant spines that were designed and optimized in terms of mass, maximum von-Mises stress, and desired wing bending deflections. The spines were inserted in an experimental ornithopter wing spar in order to achieve a set of desired kinematics during the up and down strokes of a flapping cycle. The ornithopter was flown at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the Air Force Research Laboratory Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) indoor flight facility. Vicon motion tracking cameras were used to track the motion of the vehicle for five different wing configurations. The effect of the presence of the compliant spine on wing kinematics and leading edge spar deflection during flight is presented. Results show that the ornithopter with the compliant spine inserted in its wing reduced the body acceleration during the upstroke which translates into overall lift gains.

  9. Proteus in flight over Rosamond Dry lakebed

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-03-27

    Scaled Composites' unique tandem-wing Proteus was the testbed for a series of UAV collision-avoidance flight demonstrations. An Amphitech 35GHz radar unit installed below Proteus' nose was the primary sensor for the Detect, See and Avoid tests.

  10. Performance Evaluation of Cots Uav for Architectural Heritage Documentation. a Test on S.GIULIANO Chapel in Savigliano (cn) - Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiabrando, F.; Teppati Losè, L.

    2017-08-01

    Even more the use of UAV platforms is a standard for images or videos acquisitions from an aerial point of view. According to the enormous growth of requests, we are assisting to an increasing of the production of COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) platforms and systems to answer to the market requirements. In this last years, different platforms have been developed and sell at low-medium cost and nowadays the offer of interesting systems is very large. One of the most important company that produce UAV and other imaging systems is the DJI (Dà-Jiāng Innovations Science and Technology Co., Ltd) founded in 2006 headquartered in Shenzhen - China. The platforms realized by the company range from low cost systems up to professional equipment, tailored for high resolution acquisitions useful for film maker purposes. According to the characteristics of the last developed low cost DJI platforms, the onboard sensors and the performance of the modern photogrammetric software based on Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithms, those systems are nowadays employed for performing 3D surveys starting from the small up to the large scale. The present paper is aimed to test the characteristic in terms of image quality, flight operations, flight planning and accuracy evaluation of the final products of three COTS platforms realized by DJI: the Mavic Pro, the Phantom 4 and the Phantom 4 PRO. The test site chosen was the Chapel of San Giuliano in the municipality of Savigliano (Cuneo-Italy), a small church with two aisles dating back to the early eleventh century.

  11. Designing and Testing a UAV Mapping System for Agricultural Field Surveying

    PubMed Central

    Skovsen, Søren

    2017-01-01

    A Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can map the overflown environment in point clouds. Mapped canopy heights allow for the estimation of crop biomass in agriculture. The work presented in this paper contributes to sensory UAV setup design for mapping and textual analysis of agricultural fields. LiDAR data are combined with data from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensors to conduct environment mapping for point clouds. The proposed method facilitates LiDAR recordings in an experimental winter wheat field. Crop height estimates ranging from 0.35–0.58 m are correlated to the applied nitrogen treatments of 0–300 kgNha. The LiDAR point clouds are recorded, mapped, and analysed using the functionalities of the Robot Operating System (ROS) and the Point Cloud Library (PCL). Crop volume estimation is based on a voxel grid with a spatial resolution of 0.04 × 0.04 × 0.001 m. Two different flight patterns are evaluated at an altitude of 6 m to determine the impacts of the mapped LiDAR measurements on crop volume estimations. PMID:29168783

  12. Designing and Testing a UAV Mapping System for Agricultural Field Surveying.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Martin Peter; Laursen, Morten Stigaard; Jørgensen, Rasmus Nyholm; Skovsen, Søren; Gislum, René

    2017-11-23

    A Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensor mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can map the overflown environment in point clouds. Mapped canopy heights allow for the estimation of crop biomass in agriculture. The work presented in this paper contributes to sensory UAV setup design for mapping and textual analysis of agricultural fields. LiDAR data are combined with data from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensors to conduct environment mapping for point clouds. The proposed method facilitates LiDAR recordings in an experimental winter wheat field. Crop height estimates ranging from 0.35-0.58 m are correlated to the applied nitrogen treatments of 0-300 kg N ha . The LiDAR point clouds are recorded, mapped, and analysed using the functionalities of the Robot Operating System (ROS) and the Point Cloud Library (PCL). Crop volume estimation is based on a voxel grid with a spatial resolution of 0.04 × 0.04 × 0.001 m. Two different flight patterns are evaluated at an altitude of 6 m to determine the impacts of the mapped LiDAR measurements on crop volume estimations.

  13. Adaptive pattern for autonomous UAV guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sung, Chen-Ko; Segor, Florian

    2013-09-01

    The research done at the Fraunhofer IOSB in Karlsruhe within the AMFIS project is focusing on a mobile system to support rescue forces in accidents or disasters. The system consists of a ground control station which has the capability to communicate with a large number of heterogeneous sensors and sensor carriers and provides several open interfaces to allow easy integration of additional sensors into the system. Within this research we focus mainly on UAV such as VTOL (Vertical takeoff and Landing) systems because of their ease of use and their high maneuverability. To increase the positioning capability of the UAV, different onboard processing chains of image exploitation for real time detection of patterns on the ground and the interfacing technology for controlling the UAV from the payload during flight were examined. The earlier proposed static ground pattern was extended by an adaptive component which admits an additional visual communication channel to the aircraft. For this purpose different components were conceived to transfer additive information using changeable patterns on the ground. The adaptive ground pattern and their application suitability had to be tested under external influence. Beside the adaptive ground pattern, the onboard process chains and the adaptations to the demands of changing patterns are introduced in this paper. The tracking of the guiding points, the UAV navigation and the conversion of the guiding point positions from the images to real world co-ordinates in video sequences, as well as use limits and the possibilities of an adaptable pattern are examined.

  14. The Use of Drones in Spain: Towards a Platform for Controlling UAVs in Urban Environments.

    PubMed

    Chamoso, Pablo; González-Briones, Alfonso; Rivas, Alberto; Bueno De Mata, Federico; Corchado, Juan Manuel

    2018-05-03

    Rapid advances in technology make it necessary to prepare our society in every aspect. Some of the most significant technological developments of the last decade are the UAVs (Unnamed Aerial Vehicles) or drones. UAVs provide a wide range of new possibilities and have become a tool that we now use on a daily basis. However, if their use is not controlled, it could entail several risks, which make it necessary to legislate and monitor UAV flights to ensure, inter alia, the security and privacy of all citizens. As a result of this problem, several laws have been passed which seek to regulate their use; however, no proposals have been made with regards to the control of airspace from a technological point of view. This is exactly what we propose in this article: a platform with different modes designed to control UAVs and monitor their status. The features of the proposed platform provide multiple advantages that make the use of UAVs more secure, such as prohibiting UAVs’ access to restricted areas or avoiding collisions between vehicles. The platform has been successfully tested in Salamanca, Spain.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Development of a GPS/INS/MAG navigation system and waypoint navigator for a VTOL UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meister, Oliver; Mönikes, Ralf; Wendel, Jan; Frietsch, Natalie; Schlaile, Christian; Trommer, Gert F.

    2007-04-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can be used for versatile surveillance and reconnaissance missions. If a UAV is capable of flying automatically on a predefined path the range of possible applications is widened significantly. This paper addresses the development of the integrated GPS/INS/MAG navigation system and a waypoint navigator for a small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned four-rotor helicopter with a take-off weight below 1 kg. The core of the navigation system consists of low cost inertial sensors which are continuously aided with GPS, magnetometer compass, and a barometric height information. Due to the fact, that the yaw angle becomes unobservable during hovering flight, the integration with a magnetic compass is mandatory. This integration must be robust with respect to errors caused by the terrestrial magnetic field deviation and interferences from surrounding electronic devices as well as ferrite metals. The described integration concept with a Kalman filter overcomes the problem that erroneous magnetic measurements yield to an attitude error in the roll and pitch axis. The algorithm provides long-term stable navigation information even during GPS outages which is mandatory for the flight control of the UAV. In the second part of the paper the guidance algorithms are discussed in detail. These algorithms allow the UAV to operate in a semi-autonomous mode position hold as well an complete autonomous waypoint mode. In the position hold mode the helicopter maintains its position regardless of wind disturbances which ease the pilot job during hold-and-stare missions. The autonomous waypoint navigator enable the flight outside the range of vision and beyond the range of the radio link. Flight test results of the implemented modes of operation are shown.

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

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Dron, S. B.

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Real-time target tracking and locating system for UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chao; Tang, Linbo; Fu, Huiquan; Li, Maowen

    2017-07-01

    In order to achieve real-time target tracking and locating for UAV, a reliable processing system is built on the embedded platform. Firstly, the video image is acquired in real time by the photovoltaic system on the UAV. When the target information is known, KCF tracking algorithm is adopted to track the target. Then, the servo is controlled to rotate with the target, when the target is in the center of the image, the laser ranging module is opened to obtain the distance between the UAV and the target. Finally, to combine with UAV flight parameters obtained by BeiDou navigation system, through the target location algorithm to calculate the geodetic coordinates of the target. The results show that the system is stable for real-time tracking of targets and positioning.

  20. In-Flight Technique for Acquiring Mid- And Far-Field Sonic Boom Signatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stansbery, Eugene G.; Baize, Daniel G.; Maglieri, Domenic, J.

    1999-01-01

    Flight test experiments have been conducted to establish the feasibility of obtaining sonic boom signature measurements below a supersonic aircraft using the NASA Portable Automatic Triggering System (PATS) mounted in the USMC Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This study forms a part of the NASA sonic boom minimization activities, specifically the demonstration of persistence of modified boom signatures to very large distances in a real atmosphere. The basic objective of the measurement effort was to obtain a qualitative view of the sonic boom signature in terms of its shape, number of shocks, their locations, and their relative strength. Results suggest that the technique may very well provide quantitative information relative to mid-field and far-field boom signatures. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the arrangement and operation of this in-flight system and to present the resulting sonic boom measurements. Adaption and modification of two PATS to the UAV payload section are described and include transducer location, mounting arrangement and recording system isolation. Ground static runup, takeoff and landing, and cruise flight checkouts regarding UAV propeller and flow noise on the PATS automated triggering system and recording mode are discussed. For the proof-of-concept tests, the PATS instrumented UAV was flown under radar control in steady-level flight at the altitude of 8700 feet MSL and at a cruise speed of about 60 knots. The USN F-4N sonic boom generating aircraft was vectored over the UAV on reciprocal headings at altitudes of about 1 1,000 feet MSL and 13,000 feet MSL at about Mach 1. 15. Sonic boom signatures were acquired on both PATS for all six supersonic passes. Although the UAV propeller noise is clearly evident in all the measurements, the F-4 boom signature is clearly distinguishable and is typically N-wave in character with sharply rising shock fronts and with a mid-shock associated with the inlet-wing juncture

  1. Optimization of dynamic soaring maneuvers to enhance endurance of a versatile UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mir, Imran; Maqsood, Adnan; Akhtar, Suhail

    2017-06-01

    Dynamic soaring is a process of acquiring energy available in atmospheric wind shears and is commonly exhibited by soaring birds to perform long distance flights. This paper aims to demonstrate a viable algorithm which can be implemented in near real time environment to formulate optimal trajectories for dynamic soaring maneuvers for a small scale Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The objective is to harness maximum energy from atmosphere wind shear to improve loiter time for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Three-dimensional point-mass UAV equations of motion and linear wind gradient profile are used to model flight dynamics. Utilizing UAV states, controls, operational constraints, initial and terminal conditions that enforce a periodic flight, dynamic soaring problem is formulated as an optimal control problem. Optimized trajectories of the maneuver are subsequently generated employing pseudo spectral techniques against distant UAV performance parameters. The discussion also encompasses the requirement for generation of optimal trajectories for dynamic soaring in real time environment and the ability of the proposed algorithm for speedy solution generation. Coupled with the fact that dynamic soaring is all about immediately utilizing the available energy from the wind shear encountered, the proposed algorithm promises its viability for practical on board implementations requiring computation of trajectories in near real time.

  2. Flight Test Engineering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pavlock, Kate Maureen

    2013-01-01

    Although the scope of flight test engineering efforts may vary among organizations, all point to a common theme: flight test engineering is an interdisciplinary effort to test an asset in its operational flight environment. Upfront planning where design, implementation, and test efforts are clearly aligned with the flight test objective are keys to success. This chapter provides a top level perspective of flight test engineering for the non-expert. Additional research and reading on the topic is encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of specific considerations involved in each phase of flight test engineering.

  3. Assessing UAS Flight Testing and It's Importance for Beyond-Line-of-Sight UAS Control in Cooperation with Partnering Organizations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    de Jong, Daphne

    2015-01-01

    From the 1st of June until the 21st of August, the internship has been conducted at NASA Ames Research Center as part of the Master of Space Studies at the International Space University. The main activities consisted of doing research on UAV flight-­-testing and the assessing of safety with respect to Beyond-­-Line-­-Of-­-Sight operations. Further activities consisted of accommodating international partners and potential partners at the NASA Ames site, in order to identify mutual interest and future collaboration. Besides those activities, the report describes the planning process of the ISU Space Coast Trip to 10 different space related companies on the west-­-coast of California. Key words: UAS, UAV, BLOS, Ames, ISU Trip

  4. Establishing a Disruptive New Capability for NASA to Fly UAV's into Hazardous Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ely, Jay; Nguyen, Truong; Wilson, Jennifer; Brown, Robert; Laughter, Sean; Teets, Ed; Parker, Allen; Chan, Patrick Hon Man; Richards, Lance

    2015-01-01

    A 2015 NASA Aeronautics Mission "Seedling" Proposal is described for a Severe-Environment UAV (SE-UAV) that can perform in-situ measurements in hazardous atmospheric conditions like lightning, volcanic ash and radiation. Specifically, this paper describes the design of a proof-of-concept vehicle and measurement system that can survive lightning attachment during flight operations into thunderstorms. Elements from three NASA centers draw together for the SE-UAV concept. 1) The NASA KSC Genesis UAV was developed in collaboration with the DARPA Nimbus program to measure electric field and X-rays present within thunderstorms. 2) A novel NASA LaRC fiber-optic sensor uses Faraday-effect polarization rotation to measure total lightning electric current on an air vehicle fuselage. 3) NASA AFRC's state-of-the-art Fiber Optics and Systems Integration Laboratory is envisioned to transition the Faraday system to a compact, light-weight, all-fiber design. The SE-UAV will provide in-flight lightning electric-current return stroke and recoil leader data, and serve as a platform for development of emerging sensors and new missions into hazardous environments. NASA's Aeronautics and Science Missions are interested in a capability to perform in-situ volcanic plume measurements and long-endurance UAV operations in various weather conditions. (Figure 1 shows an artist concept of a SE-UAV flying near a volcano.) This paper concludes with an overview of the NASA Aeronautics Strategic Vision, Programs, and how a SE-UAV is envisioned to impact them. The SE-UAV concept leverages high-value legacy research products into a new capability for NASA to fly a pathfinder UAV into hazardous conditions, and is presented in the SPIE DSS venue to explore teaming, collaboration and advocacy opportunities outside NASA.

  5. Establishing a disruptive new capability for NASA to fly UAV's into hazardous conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ely, Jay; Nguyen, Truong; Wilson, Jennifer; Brown, Robert; Laughter, Sean; Teets, Ed; Parker, Allen; Chan, Hon M.; Richards, Lance

    2015-05-01

    A 2015 NASA Aeronautics Mission "Seedling" Proposal is described for a Severe-Environment UAV (SE-UAV) that can perform in-situ measurements in hazardous atmospheric conditions like lightning, volcanic ash and radiation. Specifically, this paper describes the design of a proof-of-concept vehicle and measurement system that can survive lightning attachment during flight operations into thunderstorms. Elements from three NASA centers draw together for the SE-UAV concept. 1) The NASA KSC Genesis UAV was developed in collaboration with the DARPA Nimbus program to measure electric field and X-rays present within thunderstorms. 2) A novel NASA LaRC fiber-optic sensor uses Faraday-effect polarization rotation to measure total lightning electric current on an air vehicle fuselage. 3) NASA AFRC's state-of-the-art Fiber Optics and Systems Integration Laboratory is envisioned to transition the Faraday system to a compact, light-weight, all-fiber design. The SE-UAV will provide in-flight lightning electric-current return stroke and recoil leader data, and serve as a platform for development of emerging sensors and new missions into hazardous environments. NASA's Aeronautics and Science Missions are interested in a capability to perform in-situ volcanic plume measurements and long-endurance UAV operations in various weather conditions. (Figure 1 shows an artist concept of a SE-UAV flying near a volcano.) This paper concludes with an overview of the NASA Aeronautics Strategic Vision, Programs, and how a SE-UAV is envisioned to impact them. The SE-UAV concept leverages high-value legacy research products into a new capability for NASA to fly a pathfinder UAV into hazardous conditions, and is presented in the SPIE DSS venue to explore teaming, collaboration and advocacy opportunities outside NASA.

  6. An Application of UAV Attitude Estimation Using a Low-Cost Inertial Navigation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eure, Kenneth W.; Quach, Cuong Chi; Vazquez, Sixto L.; Hogge, Edward F.; Hill, Boyd L.

    2013-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are playing an increasing role in aviation. Various methods exist for the computation of UAV attitude based on low cost microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. There has been a recent increase in UAV autonomy as sensors are becoming more compact and onboard processing power has increased significantly. Correct UAV attitude estimation will play a critical role in navigation and separation assurance as UAVs share airspace with civil air traffic. This paper describes attitude estimation derived by post-processing data from a small low cost Inertial Navigation System (INS) recorded during the flight of a subscale commercial off the shelf (COTS) UAV. Two discrete time attitude estimation schemes are presented here in detail. The first is an adaptation of the Kalman Filter to accommodate nonlinear systems, the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). The EKF returns quaternion estimates of the UAV attitude based on MEMS gyro, magnetometer, accelerometer, and pitot tube inputs. The second scheme is the complementary filter which is a simpler algorithm that splits the sensor frequency spectrum based on noise characteristics. The necessity to correct both filters for gravity measurement errors during turning maneuvers is demonstrated. It is shown that the proposed algorithms may be used to estimate UAV attitude. The effects of vibration on sensor measurements are discussed. Heuristic tuning comments pertaining to sensor filtering and gain selection to achieve acceptable performance during flight are given. Comparisons of attitude estimation performance are made between the EKF and the complementary filter.

  7. A UAV-based gas sensing system for detecting fugitive methane emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, C.; Barchyn, T.; Myshak, S.; Bauer, J.

    2016-12-01

    Methane is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases emitted by human activities and is a major component of government-led initiatives to reduce GHG emissions in Canada, the USA, and elsewhere. In light of growing demand for measurements and verification of atmospheric methane concentration across the oil and gas supply chain, an autonomous airborne gas sensing system was developed that combines a small UAV and a lightweight gas monitor. This paper outlines the technology, analytics, and presents data from a case study to demonstrate the proof of concept. The UAV is a fixed-wing (2.2 m wingspan), battery-operated platform, with a flight endurance of 80-120 minutes. The gas sensor onboard the UAV is a tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer that uses an integrated transmitter/receiver unit and a remote, passive retro-reflector. The transmitter is attached to one of the winglets, while the other is coated with reflective material. The total weight of the UAV and gas sensor is 4.3 kg. During flight, the system operates autonomously, acquiring averages of raw measurements at 1 Hz, with a recorded resolution of 0.0455 ppm. The onboard measurement and control unit (MCU) for the gas sensor is integrated with the UAV autopilot in order to provide time-stamped and geotagged concentration measurements, and to provide real-time flight adjustments when concentration exceeds a pre-determined threshold. The data are retrieved from the MCU when the mission is complete. In order to demonstrate the proof of concept, we present results from a case study and outline opportunities for translating the measurements into decision making.

  8. The Use of Drones in Spain: Towards a Platform for Controlling UAVs in Urban Environments

    PubMed Central

    Bueno De Mata, Federico

    2018-01-01

    Rapid advances in technology make it necessary to prepare our society in every aspect. Some of the most significant technological developments of the last decade are the UAVs (Unnamed Aerial Vehicles) or drones. UAVs provide a wide range of new possibilities and have become a tool that we now use on a daily basis. However, if their use is not controlled, it could entail several risks, which make it necessary to legislate and monitor UAV flights to ensure, inter alia, the security and privacy of all citizens. As a result of this problem, several laws have been passed which seek to regulate their use; however, no proposals have been made with regards to the control of airspace from a technological point of view. This is exactly what we propose in this article: a platform with different modes designed to control UAVs and monitor their status. The features of the proposed platform provide multiple advantages that make the use of UAVs more secure, such as prohibiting UAVs’ access to restricted areas or avoiding collisions between vehicles. The platform has been successfully tested in Salamanca, Spain. PMID:29751554

  9. Research on fast algorithm of small UAV navigation in non-linear matrix reductionism method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiao; Fang, Jiancheng; Sheng, Wei; Cao, Juanjuan

    2008-10-01

    The low Reynolds numbers of small UAV will result in unfavorable aerodynamic conditions to support controlled flight. And as operated near ground, the small UAV will be affected seriously by low-frequency interference caused by atmospheric disturbance. Therefore, the GNC system needs high frequency of attitude estimation and control to realize the steady of the UAV. In company with the dimensional of small UAV dwindling away, its GNC system is more and more taken embedded designing technology to reach the purpose of compactness, light weight and low power consumption. At the same time, the operational capability of GNC system also gets limit in a certain extent. Therefore, a kind of high speed navigation algorithm design becomes the imminence demand of GNC system. Aiming at such requirement, a kind of non-linearity matrix reduction approach is adopted in this paper to create a new high speed navigation algorithm which holds the radius of meridian circle and prime vertical circle as constant and linearizes the position matrix calculation formulae of navigation equation. Compared with normal navigation algorithm, this high speed navigation algorithm decreases 17.3% operand. Within small UAV"s mission radius (20km), the accuracy of position error is less than 0.13m. The results of semi-physical experiments and small UAV's auto pilot testing proved that this algorithm can realize high frequency attitude estimation and control. It will avoid low-frequency interference caused by atmospheric disturbance properly.

  10. a Metadata Based Approach for Analyzing Uav Datasets for Photogrammetric Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhanda, A.; Remondino, F.; Santana Quintero, M.

    2018-05-01

    This paper proposes a methodology for pre-processing and analysing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) datasets before photogrammetric processing. In cases where images are gathered without a detailed flight plan and at regular acquisition intervals the datasets can be quite large and be time consuming to process. This paper proposes a method to calculate the image overlap and filter out images to reduce large block sizes and speed up photogrammetric processing. The python-based algorithm that implements this methodology leverages the metadata in each image to determine the end and side overlap of grid-based UAV flights. Utilizing user input, the algorithm filters out images that are unneeded for photogrammetric processing. The result is an algorithm that can speed up photogrammetric processing and provide valuable information to the user about the flight path.

  11. Thrust Control Loop Design for Electric-Powered UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byun, Heejae; Park, Sanghyuk

    2018-04-01

    This paper describes a process of designing a thrust control loop for an electric-powered fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a propeller and a motor. In particular, the modeling method of the thrust system for thrust control is described in detail and the propeller thrust and torque force are modeled using blade element theory. A relation between current and torque of the motor is obtained using an experimental setup. Another relation between current, voltage and angular velocity is also obtained. The electric motor and the propeller dynamics are combined to model the thrust dynamics. The associated trim and linearization equations are derived. Then, the thrust dynamics are coupled with the flight dynamics to allow a proper design for the thrust loop in the flight control. The proposed method is validated by an application to a testbed UAV through simulations and flight test.

  12. Embedded, real-time UAV control for improved, image-based 3D scene reconstruction

    Treesearch

    Jean Liénard; Andre Vogs; Demetrios Gatziolis; Nikolay Strigul

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are already broadly employed for 3D modeling of large objects such as trees and monuments via photogrammetry. The usual workflow includes two distinct steps: image acquisition with UAV and computationally demanding postflight image processing. Insufficient feature overlaps across images is a common shortcoming in post-flight image...

  13. Video change detection for fixed wing UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartelsen, Jan; Müller, Thomas; Ring, Jochen; Mück, Klaus; Brüstle, Stefan; Erdnüß, Bastian; Lutz, Bastian; Herbst, Theresa

    2017-10-01

    In this paper we proceed the work of Bartelsen et al.1 We present the draft of a process chain for an image based change detection which is designed for videos acquired by fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). From our point of view, automatic video change detection for aerial images can be useful to recognize functional activities which are typically caused by the deployment of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), e.g. excavations, skid marks, footprints, left-behind tooling equipment, and marker stones. Furthermore, in case of natural disasters, like flooding, imminent danger can be recognized quickly. Due to the necessary flight range, we concentrate on fixed wing UAVs. Automatic change detection can be reduced to a comparatively simple photogrammetric problem when the perspective change between the "before" and "after" image sets is kept as small as possible. Therefore, the aerial image acquisition demands a mission planning with a clear purpose including flight path and sensor configuration. While the latter can be enabled simply by a fixed and meaningful adjustment of the camera, ensuring a small perspective change for "before" and "after" videos acquired by fixed wing UAVs is a challenging problem. Concerning this matter, we have performed tests with an advanced commercial off the shelf (COTS) system which comprises a differential GPS and autopilot system estimating the repetition accuracy of its trajectory. Although several similar approaches have been presented,23 as far as we are able to judge, the limits for this important issue are not estimated so far. Furthermore, we design a process chain to enable the practical utilization of video change detection. It consists of a front-end of a database to handle large amounts of video data, an image processing and change detection implementation, and the visualization of the results. We apply our process chain on the real video data acquired by the advanced COTS fixed wing UAV and synthetic data. For the

  14. UAV Control on the Basis of 3D Landmark Bearing-Only Observations.

    PubMed

    Karpenko, Simon; Konovalenko, Ivan; Miller, Alexander; Miller, Boris; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-11-27

    The article presents an approach to the control of a UAV on the basis of 3D landmark observations. The novelty of the work is the usage of the 3D RANSAC algorithm developed on the basis of the landmarks' position prediction with the aid of a modified Kalman-type filter. Modification of the filter based on the pseudo-measurements approach permits obtaining unbiased UAV position estimation with quadratic error characteristics. Modeling of UAV flight on the basis of the suggested algorithm shows good performance, even under significant external perturbations.

  15. UAV Control on the Basis of 3D Landmark Bearing-Only Observations

    PubMed Central

    Karpenko, Simon; Konovalenko, Ivan; Miller, Alexander; Miller, Boris; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-01-01

    The article presents an approach to the control of a UAV on the basis of 3D landmark observations. The novelty of the work is the usage of the 3D RANSAC algorithm developed on the basis of the landmarks’ position prediction with the aid of a modified Kalman-type filter. Modification of the filter based on the pseudo-measurements approach permits obtaining unbiased UAV position estimation with quadratic error characteristics. Modeling of UAV flight on the basis of the suggested algorithm shows good performance, even under significant external perturbations. PMID:26633394

  16. Bio-inspired UAV routing, source localization, and acoustic signature classification for persistent surveillance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burman, Jerry; Hespanha, Joao; Madhow, Upamanyu; Pham, Tien

    2011-06-01

    A team consisting of Teledyne Scientific Company, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Army Research Laboratory* is developing technologies in support of automated data exfiltration from heterogeneous battlefield sensor networks to enhance situational awareness for dismounts and command echelons. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) provide an effective means to autonomously collect data from a sparse network of unattended ground sensors (UGSs) that cannot communicate with each other. UAVs are used to reduce the system reaction time by generating autonomous collection routes that are data-driven. Bio-inspired techniques for search provide a novel strategy to detect, capture and fuse data. A fast and accurate method has been developed to localize an event by fusing data from a sparse number of UGSs. This technique uses a bio-inspired algorithm based on chemotaxis or the motion of bacteria seeking nutrients in their environment. A unique acoustic event classification algorithm was also developed based on using swarm optimization. Additional studies addressed the problem of routing multiple UAVs, optimally placing sensors in the field and locating the source of gunfire at helicopters. A field test was conducted in November of 2009 at Camp Roberts, CA. The field test results showed that a system controlled by bio-inspired software algorithms can autonomously detect and locate the source of an acoustic event with very high accuracy and visually verify the event. In nine independent test runs of a UAV, the system autonomously located the position of an explosion nine times with an average accuracy of 3 meters. The time required to perform source localization using the UAV was on the order of a few minutes based on UAV flight times. In June 2011, additional field tests of the system will be performed and will include multiple acoustic events, optimal sensor placement based on acoustic phenomenology and the use of the International Technology Alliance (ITA

  17. Dual-Stack Single-Radio Communication Architecture for UAV Acting As a Mobile Node to Collect Data in WSNs.

    PubMed

    Sayyed, Ali; de Araújo, Gustavo Medeiros; Bodanese, João Paulo; Becker, Leandro Buss

    2015-09-16

    The use of mobile nodes to collect data in a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) has gained special attention over the last years. Some researchers explore the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as mobile node for such data-collection purposes. Analyzing these works, it is apparent that mobile nodes used in such scenarios are typically equipped with at least two different radio interfaces. The present work presents a Dual-Stack Single-Radio Communication Architecture (DSSRCA), which allows a UAV to communicate in a bidirectional manner with a WSN and a Sink node. The proposed architecture was specifically designed to support different network QoS requirements, such as best-effort and more reliable communications, attending both UAV-to-WSN and UAV-to-Sink communications needs. DSSRCA was implemented and tested on a real UAV, as detailed in this paper. This paper also includes a simulation analysis that addresses bandwidth consumption in an environmental monitoring application scenario. It includes an analysis of the data gathering rate that can be achieved considering different UAV flight speeds. Obtained results show the viability of using a single radio transmitter for collecting data from the WSN and forwarding such data to the Sink node.

  18. 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

  19. NASA Examines Technology To Fold Aircraft Wings In Flight

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-01-17

    NASA conducts a flight test series to investigate the ability of an innovative technology to fold the outer portions of wings in flight as part of the Spanwise Adaptive Wing project, or SAW. Flight tests took place at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, using a subscale UAV called Prototype Technology-Evaluation Research Aircraft, or PTERA, provided by Area-I. NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland developed the alloy material, and worked with Boeing Research & Technology to integrate the material into an actuator. The alloy is triggered by temperature to move the outer portions of wings up or down in flight. The ability to fold wings to the ideal position of various flight conditions may produce several aerodynamic benefits for both subsonic and supersonic aircraft.

  20. Hierarchical heuristic search using a Gaussian mixture model for UAV coverage planning.

    PubMed

    Lin, Lanny; Goodrich, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    During unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) search missions, efficient use of UAV flight time requires flight paths that maximize the probability of finding the desired subject. The probability of detecting the desired subject based on UAV sensor information can vary in different search areas due to environment elements like varying vegetation density or lighting conditions, making it likely that the UAV can only partially detect the subject. This adds another dimension of complexity to the already difficult (NP-Hard) problem of finding an optimal search path. We present a new class of algorithms that account for partial detection in the form of a task difficulty map and produce paths that approximate the payoff of optimal solutions. The algorithms use the mode goodness ratio heuristic that uses a Gaussian mixture model to prioritize search subregions. The algorithms search for effective paths through the parameter space at different levels of resolution. We compare the performance of the new algorithms against two published algorithms (Bourgault's algorithm and LHC-GW-CONV algorithm) in simulated searches with three real search and rescue scenarios, and show that the new algorithms outperform existing algorithms significantly and can yield efficient paths that yield payoffs near the optimal.

  1. 3D Indoor Positioning of UAVs with Spread Spectrum Ultrasound and Time-of-Flight Cameras

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, Teodoro

    2017-01-01

    This work proposes the use of a hybrid acoustic and optical indoor positioning system for the accurate 3D positioning of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The acoustic module of this system is based on a Time-Code Division Multiple Access (T-CDMA) scheme, where the sequential emission of five spread spectrum ultrasonic codes is performed to compute the horizontal vehicle position following a 2D multilateration procedure. The optical module is based on a Time-Of-Flight (TOF) camera that provides an initial estimation for the vehicle height. A recursive algorithm programmed on an external computer is then proposed to refine the estimated position. Experimental results show that the proposed system can increase the accuracy of a solely acoustic system by 70–80% in terms of positioning mean square error. PMID:29301211

  2. Uav Borne Low Altitude Photogrammetry System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Z.; Su, G.; Xie, F.

    2012-07-01

    In this paper,the aforementioned three major aspects related to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) system for low altitude aerial photogrammetry, i.e., flying platform, imaging sensor system and data processing software, are discussed. First of all, according to the technical requirements about the least cruising speed, the shortest taxiing distance, the level of the flight control and the performance of turbulence flying, the performance and suitability of the available UAV platforms (e.g., fixed wing UAVs, the unmanned helicopters and the unmanned airships) are compared and analyzed. Secondly, considering the restrictions on the load weight of a platform and the resolution pertaining to a sensor, together with the exposure equation and the theory of optical information, the principles of designing self-calibration and self-stabilizing combined wide-angle digital cameras (e.g., double-combined camera and four-combined camera) are placed more emphasis on. Finally, a software named MAP-AT, considering the specialty of UAV platforms and sensors, is developed and introduced. Apart from the common functions of aerial image processing, MAP-AT puts more effort on automatic extraction, automatic checking and artificial aided adding of the tie points for images with big tilt angles. Based on the recommended process for low altitude photogrammetry with UAVs in this paper, more than ten aerial photogrammetry missions have been accomplished, the accuracies of Aerial Triangulation, Digital orthophotos(DOM)and Digital Line Graphs(DLG) of which meet the standard requirement of 1:2000, 1:1000 and 1:500 mapping.

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

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Nancy F. Glenn; Jessica J. Mitchell; Matthew O. Anderson

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Energy extraction from atmospheric turbulence to improve flight vehicle performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Chinmay Karsandas

    Small 'bird-sized' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have now become practical due to technological advances in embedded electronics, miniature sensors and actuators, and propulsion systems. Birds are known to take advantage of wind currents to conserve energy and fly long distances without flapping their wings. This dissertation explores the possibility of improving the performance of small UAVs by extracting the energy available in atmospheric turbulence. An aircraft can gain energy from vertical gusts by increasing its lift in regions of updraft and reducing its lift in downdrafts - a concept that has been known for decades. Starting with a simple model of a glider flying through a sinusoidal gust, a parametric optimization approach is used to compute the minimum gust amplitude and optimal control input required for the glider to sustain flight without losing energy. For small UAVs using optimal control inputs, sinusoidal gusts with amplitude of 10--15% of the cruise speed are sufficient to keep the aircraft aloft. The method is then modified and extended to include random gusts that are representative of natural turbulence. A procedure to design optimal control laws for energy extraction from realistic gust profiles is developed using a Genetic Algorithm (GA). A feedback control law is designed to perform well over a variety of random gusts, and not be tailored for one particular gust. A small UAV flying in vertical turbulence is shown to obtain average energy savings of 35--40% with the use of a simple control law. The design procedure is also extended to determine optimal control laws for sinusoidal as well as turbulent lateral gusts. The theoretical work is complemented by experimental validation using a small autonomous UAV. The development of a lightweight autopilot and UAV platform is presented. Flight test results show that active control of the lift of an autonomous glider resulted in approximately 46% average energy savings compared to glides with fixed

  5. Evaluation of the Quality of Action Cameras with Wide-Angle Lenses in Uav Photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastedt, H.; Ekkel, T.; Luhmann, T.

    2016-06-01

    The application of light-weight cameras in UAV photogrammetry is required due to restrictions in payload. In general, consumer cameras with normal lens type are applied to a UAV system. The availability of action cameras, like the GoPro Hero4 Black, including a wide-angle lens (fish-eye lens) offers new perspectives in UAV projects. With these investigations, different calibration procedures for fish-eye lenses are evaluated in order to quantify their accuracy potential in UAV photogrammetry. Herewith the GoPro Hero4 is evaluated using different acquisition modes. It is investigated to which extent the standard calibration approaches in OpenCV or Agisoft PhotoScan/Lens can be applied to the evaluation processes in UAV photogrammetry. Therefore different calibration setups and processing procedures are assessed and discussed. Additionally a pre-correction of the initial distortion by GoPro Studio and its application to the photogrammetric purposes will be evaluated. An experimental setup with a set of control points and a prospective flight scenario is chosen to evaluate the processing results using Agisoft PhotoScan. Herewith it is analysed to which extent a pre-calibration and pre-correction of a GoPro Hero4 will reinforce the reliability and accuracy of a flight scenario.

  6. Abort Flight Test Project Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sitz, Joel

    2007-01-01

    A general overview of the Orion abort flight test is presented. The contents include: 1) Abort Flight Test Project Overview; 2) DFRC Exploration Mission Directorate; 3) Abort Flight Test; 4) Flight Test Configurations; 5) Flight Test Vehicle Engineering Office; 6) DFRC FTA Scope; 7) Flight Test Operations; 8) DFRC Ops Support; 9) Launch Facilities; and 10) Scope of Launch Abort Flight Test

  7. 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.

  8. Multi-UAV Routing for Area Coverage and Remote Sensing with Minimum Time

    PubMed Central

    Avellar, Gustavo S. C.; Pereira, Guilherme A. S.; Pimenta, Luciano C. A.; Iscold, Paulo

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a solution for the problem of minimum time coverage of ground areas using a group of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) equipped with image sensors. The solution is divided into two parts: (i) the task modeling as a graph whose vertices are geographic coordinates determined in such a way that a single UAV would cover the area in minimum time; and (ii) the solution of a mixed integer linear programming problem, formulated according to the graph variables defined in the first part, to route the team of UAVs over the area. The main contribution of the proposed methodology, when compared with the traditional vehicle routing problem’s (VRP) solutions, is the fact that our method solves some practical problems only encountered during the execution of the task with actual UAVs. In this line, one of the main contributions of the paper is that the number of UAVs used to cover the area is automatically selected by solving the optimization problem. The number of UAVs is influenced by the vehicles’ maximum flight time and by the setup time, which is the time needed to prepare and launch a UAV. To illustrate the methodology, the paper presents experimental results obtained with two hand-launched, fixed-wing UAVs. PMID:26540055

  9. Multi-UAV Routing for Area Coverage and Remote Sensing with Minimum Time.

    PubMed

    Avellar, Gustavo S C; Pereira, Guilherme A S; Pimenta, Luciano C A; Iscold, Paulo

    2015-11-02

    This paper presents a solution for the problem of minimum time coverage of ground areas using a group of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) equipped with image sensors. The solution is divided into two parts: (i) the task modeling as a graph whose vertices are geographic coordinates determined in such a way that a single UAV would cover the area in minimum time; and (ii) the solution of a mixed integer linear programming problem, formulated according to the graph variables defined in the first part, to route the team of UAVs over the area. The main contribution of the proposed methodology, when compared with the traditional vehicle routing problem's (VRP) solutions, is the fact that our method solves some practical problems only encountered during the execution of the task with actual UAVs. In this line, one of the main contributions of the paper is that the number of UAVs used to cover the area is automatically selected by solving the optimization problem. The number of UAVs is influenced by the vehicles' maximum flight time and by the setup time, which is the time needed to prepare and launch a UAV. To illustrate the methodology, the paper presents experimental results obtained with two hand-launched, fixed-wing UAVs.

  10. Dual-Stack Single-Radio Communication Architecture for UAV Acting As a Mobile Node to Collect Data in WSNs

    PubMed Central

    Sayyed, Ali; Medeiros de Araújo, Gustavo; Bodanese, João Paulo; Buss Becker, Leandro

    2015-01-01

    The use of mobile nodes to collect data in a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) has gained special attention over the last years. Some researchers explore the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as mobile node for such data-collection purposes. Analyzing these works, it is apparent that mobile nodes used in such scenarios are typically equipped with at least two different radio interfaces. The present work presents a Dual-Stack Single-Radio Communication Architecture (DSSRCA), which allows a UAV to communicate in a bidirectional manner with a WSN and a Sink node. The proposed architecture was specifically designed to support different network QoS requirements, such as best-effort and more reliable communications, attending both UAV-to-WSN and UAV-to-Sink communications needs. DSSRCA was implemented and tested on a real UAV, as detailed in this paper. This paper also includes a simulation analysis that addresses bandwidth consumption in an environmental monitoring application scenario. It includes an analysis of the data gathering rate that can be achieved considering different UAV flight speeds. Obtained results show the viability of using a single radio transmitter for collecting data from the WSN and forwarding such data to the Sink node. PMID:26389911

  11. Budget Uav Systems for the Prospection of - and Medium-Scale Archaeological Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ostrowski, W.; Hanus, K.

    2016-06-01

    One of the popular uses of UAVs in photogrammetry is providing an archaeological documentation. A wide offer of low-cost (consumer) grade UAVs, as well as the popularity of user-friendly photogrammetric software allowing obtaining satisfying results, contribute to facilitating the process of preparing documentation for small archaeological sites. However, using solutions of this kind is much more problematic for larger areas. The limited possibilities of autonomous flight makes it significantly harder to obtain data for areas too large to be covered during a single mission. Moreover, sometimes the platforms used are not equipped with telemetry systems, which makes navigating and guaranteeing a similar quality of data during separate flights difficult. The simplest solution is using a better UAV, however the cost of devices of such type often exceeds the financial capabilities of archaeological expeditions. The aim of this article is to present methodology allowing obtaining data for medium scale areas using only a basic UAV. The proposed methodology assumes using a simple multirotor, not equipped with any flight planning system or telemetry. Navigating of the platform is based solely on live-view images sent from the camera attached to the UAV. The presented survey was carried out using a simple GoPro camera which, from the perspective of photogrammetric use, was not the optimal configuration due to the fish eye geometry of the camera. Another limitation is the actual operational range of UAVs which in the case of cheaper systems, rarely exceeds 1 kilometre and is in fact often much smaller. Therefore the surveyed area must be divided into sub-blocks which correspond to the range of the drone. It is inconvenient since the blocks must overlap, so that they will later be merged during their processing. This increases the length of required flights as well as the computing power necessary to process a greater number of images. These issues make prospection highly

  12. A method of intentional movement estimation of oblique small-UAV videos stabilized based on homography model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Shiyi; Mai, Ying; Zhao, Hongying; Gao, Pengqi

    2013-05-01

    The airborne video streams of small-UAVs are commonly plagued with distractive jittery and shaking motions, disorienting rotations, noisy and distorted images and other unwanted movements. These problems collectively make it very difficult for observers to obtain useful information from the video. Due to the small payload of small-UAVs, it is a priority to improve the image quality by means of electronic image stabilization. But when small-UAV makes a turn, affected by the flight characteristics of it, the video is easy to become oblique. This brings a lot of difficulties to electronic image stabilization technology. Homography model performed well in the oblique image motion estimation, while bringing great challenges to intentional motion estimation. Therefore, in this paper, we focus on solve the problem of the video stabilized when small-UAVs banking and turning. We attend to the small-UAVs fly along with an arc of a fixed turning radius. For this reason, after a series of experimental analysis on the flight characteristics and the path how small-UAVs turned, we presented a new method to estimate the intentional motion in which the path of the frame center was used to fit the video moving track. Meanwhile, the image sequences dynamic mosaic was done to make up for the limited field of view. At last, the proposed algorithm was carried out and validated by actual airborne videos. The results show that the proposed method is effective to stabilize the oblique video of small-UAVs.

  13. Employing UAVs to Acquire Detailed Vegetation and Bare Ground Data for Assessing Rangeland Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rango, A.; Laliberte, A.; Herrick, J. E.; Winters, C.

    2007-12-01

    Because of its value as a historical record (extending back to the mid 1930s), aerial photography is an important tool used in many rangeland studies. However, these historical photos are not very useful for detailed analysis of rangeland health because of inadequate spatial resolution and scheduling limitations. These issues are now being resolved by using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over rangeland study areas. Spatial resolution improvements have been rapid in the last 10 years from the QuickBird satellite through improved aerial photography to the new UAV coverage and have utilized improved sensors and the more simplistic approach of low altitude flights. Our rangeland health experiments have shown that the low altitude UAV digital photography is preferred by rangeland scientists because it allows, for the first time, their identification of vegetation and land surface patterns and patches, gap sizes, bare soil percentages, and vegetation type. This hyperspatial imagery (imagery with a resolution finer than the object of interest) is obtained at about 5cm resolution by flying at an altitude of 150m above the surface of the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. Additionally, the UAV provides improved temporal flexibility, such as flights immediately following fires, floods, and other catastrophic disturbances, because the flight capability is located near the study area and the vehicles are under the direct control of the users, eliminating the additional steps associated with budgets and contracts. There are significant challenges to improve the data to make them useful for operational agencies, namely, image distortion with inexpensive, consumer grade digital cameras, difficulty in detecting sufficient ground control points in small scenes (152m by 114m), accuracy of exterior UAV information on X,Y, Z, roll, pitch, and heading, the sheer number of images collected, and developing reliable relationships with ground-based data across a broad

  14. Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center d

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center during a low-level flyby at Las Cruces Airport in New Mexico. The unique Proteus aircraft served as a test bed for NASA-sponsored flight tests designed to validate collision-avoidance technologies proposed for uninhabited aircraft. The tests, flown over southern New Mexico in March, 2002, used the Proteus as a surrogate uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) while three other aircraft flew toward the Proteus from various angles on simulated collision courses. Radio-based 'detect, see and avoid' equipment on the Proteus successfully detected the other aircraft and relayed that information to a remote pilot on the ground at Las Cruces Airport. The pilot then transmitted commands to the Proteus to maneuver it away from the potential collisions. The flight demonstration, sponsored by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, New Mexico State University, Scaled Composites, the U.S. Navy and Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., were intended to demonstrate that UAVs can be flown safely and compatibly in the same skies as piloted aircraft.

  15. Uav Photogrammetry: a Practical Solution for Challenging Mapping Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saadatseresht, M.; Hashempour, A. H.; Hasanlou, M.

    2015-12-01

    We have observed huge attentions to application of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in aerial mapping since a decade ago. Though, it has several advantages for handling time/cost/quality issues, there are a dozen of challenges in working with UAVs. In this paper, we; as the Robotic Photogrammetry Research Group (RPRG), will firstly review these challenges then show its advantages in three special practical projects. For each project, we will share our experiences through description of the UAV specifications, flight settings and processing steps. At the end, we will illustrate final result of each project and show how this technology could make unbelievable benefits to clients including 3D city realistic model in decimetre level, ultra high quality map production in several centimetre level, and accessing to a high risk and rough relief area for mapping aims.

  16. Development of a Novel, Two-Processor Architecture for a Small UAV Autopilot System,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-26

    is, and the control laws the user implements to control it. The flight control system board will contain the processor selected for this system...Unit (IMU). The IMU contains solid-state gyros and accelerometers and uses these to determine the attitude of the UAV within the three dimensions of...multiple-UAV swarming for combat support operations. The mission processor board will contain the processor selected to execute the mission

  17. AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF TWO ROTARY WING UAV DESIGNS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Henry E.; Wong, Oliver D.; Noonan, Kevin W.; Reis, Deane G.; Malovrh, Brendon D.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of two rotary-wing UAV designs. The primary goal of the investigation was to provide a set of interactional aerodynamic data for an emerging class of rotorcraft. The present paper provides an overview of the test and an introduction to the test articles, and instrumentation. Sample data in the form of a parametric study of fixed system lift and drag coefficient response to changes in configuration and flight condition for both rotor off and on conditions are presented. The presence of the rotor is seen to greatly affect both the character and magnitude of the response. The affect of scaled stores on body drag is observed to be dependent on body shape.

  18. Aerodynamic Characteristics of Two Rotary Wing UAV Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Henry E.; Wong, Oliver D.; Noonan, Kevin W.; Reis, Deane G.; Malovrh, Brendon D.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of two rotary-wing UAV designs. The primary goal of the investigation was to provide a set of interactional aerodynamic data for an emerging class of rotorcraft. The present paper provides an overview of the test and an introduction to the test articles, and instrumentation. Sample data in the form of a parametric study of fixed system lift and drag coefficient response to changes in configuration and flight condition for both rotor off and on conditions are presented. The presence of the rotor is seen to greatly affect both the character and magnitude of the response. The affect of scaled stores on body drag is observed to be dependent on body shape.

  19. Uav-Based Automatic Tree Growth Measurement for Biomass Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpina, M.; Jarząbek-Rychard, M.; Tymków, P.; Borkowski, A.

    2016-06-01

    Manual in-situ measurements of geometric tree parameters for the biomass volume estimation are time-consuming and economically non-effective. Photogrammetric techniques can be deployed in order to automate the measurement procedure. The purpose of the presented work is an automatic tree growth estimation based on Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) imagery. The experiment was conducted in an agriculture test field with scots pine canopies. The data was collected using a Leica Aibotix X6V2 platform equipped with a Nikon D800 camera. Reference geometric parameters of selected sample plants were measured manually each week. In situ measurements were correlated with the UAV data acquisition. The correlation aimed at the investigation of optimal conditions for a flight and parameter settings for image acquisition. The collected images are processed in a state of the art tool resulting in a generation of dense 3D point clouds. The algorithm is developed in order to estimate geometric tree parameters from 3D points. Stem positions and tree tops are identified automatically in a cross section, followed by the calculation of tree heights. The automatically derived height values are compared to the reference measurements performed manually. The comparison allows for the evaluation of automatic growth estimation process. The accuracy achieved using UAV photogrammetry for tree heights estimation is about 5cm.

  20. Design of High Altitude Long Endurance UAV: Structural Analysis of Composite Wing using Finite Element Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kholish Rumayshah, Khodijah; Prayoga, Aditya; Mochammad Agoes Moelyadi, Ing., Dr.

    2018-04-01

    Research on a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is currently being conducted at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). Previously, the 1st generation of HALE UAV ITB used balsa wood for most of its structure. Flight test gave the result of broken wings due to extreme side-wind that causes large bending to its high aspect ratio wing. This paper conducted a study on designing the 2nd generation of HALE UAV ITB which used composite materials in order to substitute balsa wood at some critical parts of the wing’s structure. Finite element software ABAQUS/CAE is used to predict the stress and deformation that occurred. Tsai-Wu and Von-Mises failure criteria were applied to check whether the structure failed or not. The initial configuration gave the results that the structure experienced material failure. A second iteration was done by proposing a new configuration and it was proven safe against the load given.

  1. Aeromagnetic Compensation for UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naprstek, T.; Lee, M. D.

    2017-12-01

    Aeromagnetic data is one of the most widely collected types of data in exploration geophysics. With the continuing prevalence of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in everyday life there is a strong push for aeromagnetic data collection using UAVs. However, apart from the many political and legal barriers to overcome in the development of UAVs as aeromagnetic data collection platforms, there are also significant scientific hurdles, primary of which is magnetic compensation. This is a well-established process in manned aircraft achieved through a combination of platform magnetic de-noising and compensation routines. However, not all of this protocol can be directly applied to UAVs due to fundamental differences in the platforms, most notably the decrease in scale causing magnetometers to be significantly closer to the avionics. As such, the methodology must be suitably adjusted. The National Research Council of Canada has collaborated with Aeromagnetic Solutions Incorporated to develop a standardized approach to de-noising and compensating UAVs, which is accomplished through a series of static and dynamic experiments. On the ground, small static tests are conducted on individual components to determine their magnetization. If they are highly magnetic, they are removed, demagnetized, or characterized such that they can be accounted for in the compensation. Dynamic tests can include measuring specific components as they are powered on and off to assess their potential effect on airborne data. The UAV is then flown, and a modified compensation routine is applied. These modifications include utilizing onboard autopilot current sensors as additional terms in the compensation algorithm. This process has been applied with success to fixed-wing and rotary-wing platforms, with both a standard manned-aircraft magnetometer, as well as a new atomic magnetometer, much smaller in scale.

  2. Development of a UAV-based Global Ozone Lidar Demonstrator (GOLD)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browell, E. V.; Deyoung, R. J.; Hair, J. W.; Ismail, S.; McGee, T.; Hardesty, R. M.; Brewer, W. A.; McDermid, I. S.

    2006-12-01

    Global ozone measurements are needed across the troposphere with high vertical resolution to enable comprehensive studies of continental and intercontinental atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, which are affected by diverse natural and human-induced processes. The development of a unattended aerial vehicle (UAV) based Global Ozone Lidar Demonstrator (GOLD) is an important step in enabling a space-based ozone and aerosol lidar and for conducting unique UAV-based large-scale atmospheric investigations. The GOLD system will incorporate the most advanced technology developed under the NASA Laser Risk Reduction Program (LRRP) and the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to produce a compact, autonomously operating ozone and aerosol Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) system for a UAV platform. This system will leverage advanced Nd:YAG and optical parametric oscillator (OPO) laser technologies being developed by ITT Industries under the LRRP and the autonomously operating ozone DIAL system being developed by Science and Engineering Services Inc. (SESI) under an SBIR Phase-3 contract. Laser components from ITT will be integrated into the SESI DIAL system, and the resulting GOLD system will be flight tested on a NASA UAV. The development of the GOLD system was initiated as part of the NASA Instrument Incubator Program in December 2005, and great progress has been made towards completing major GOLD subsystems. ITT has begun construction of the high-power Nd:YAG pump laser and the ultraviolet OPO for generating the ozone DIAL wavelengths of 290 and 300 nm and the aerosol visible wavelength at 532 nm. SESI is completing the Phase-3 SBIR contract for the delivery and demonstration of the ozone DIAL receiver and data system, and NOAA is completing detector evaluations for use in the GOLD system. Welch Mechanical is examining system designs for integrating GOLD into the external pod that will be hung under the new IKANA (Predator-B) UAV that NASA Dryden is

  3. Integrating UAV Flight outputs in Esri's CityEngine for semi-urban areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anca, Paula; Vasile, Alexandru; Sandric, Ionut

    2016-04-01

    One of the most pervasive technologies of recent years, which has crossed over into consumer products due to its lowering prince, is the UAV, commonly known as drones. Besides its ever-more accessible prices and growing functionality, what is truly impressive is the drastic reduction in processing time, from days to ours: from the initial flight preparation to the final output. This paper presents such a workflow and goes further by integrating the outputs into another growing technology: 3D. The software used for this purpose is Esri's CityEngine, which was developed for modeling 3D urban environments using existing 2D GIS data and computer generated architecture (CGA) rules, instead of modeling each feature individually. A semi-urban areas was selected for this study and captured using the E-Bee from Parrot. The output point cloud elevation from the E-Bee flight was transformed into a raster in order to be used as an elevation surface in CityEngine, and the mosaic raster dataset was draped over this surface. In order to model the buildings in this area CGA rules were written using the building footprints, as inputs, in the form of Feature Classes. The extrusion heights for the buildings were also extracted from the point cloud, and realistic textures were draped over the 3D building models. Finally the scene was shared as a 3D web-scene which can be accessed by anyone through a link, without any software besides an internet browser. This can serve as input for Smart City development through further analysis for urban ecology Keywords: 3D, drone, CityEngine, E-Bee, Esri, scene, web-scene

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Point Cloud Analysis for Uav-Borne Laser Scanning with Horizontally and Vertically Oriented Line Scanners - Concept and First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinmann, M.; Müller, M. S.; Hillemann, M.; Reydel, N.; Hinz, S.; Jutzi, B.

    2017-08-01

    In this paper, we focus on UAV-borne laser scanning with the objective of densely sampling object surfaces in the local surrounding of the UAV. In this regard, using a line scanner which scans along the vertical direction and perpendicular to the flight direction results in a point cloud with low point density if the UAV moves fast. Using a line scanner which scans along the horizontal direction only delivers data corresponding to the altitude of the UAV and thus a low scene coverage. For these reasons, we present a concept and a system for UAV-borne laser scanning using multiple line scanners. Our system consists of a quadcopter equipped with horizontally and vertically oriented line scanners. We demonstrate the capabilities of our system by presenting first results obtained for a flight within an outdoor scene. Thereby, we use a downsampling of the original point cloud and different neighborhood types to extract fundamental geometric features which in turn can be used for scene interpretation with respect to linear, planar or volumetric structures.

  7. Cloud-Assisted UAV Data Collection for Multiple Emerging Events in Distributed WSNs.

    PubMed

    Cao, Huiru; Liu, Yongxin; Yue, Xuejun; Zhu, Wenjian

    2017-08-07

    In recent years, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been widely applied for data collection and image capture. Specifically, UAVs have been integrated with wireless sensor networks (WSNs) to create data collection platforms with high flexibility. However, most studies in this domain focus on system architecture and UAVs' flight trajectory planning while event-related factors and other important issues are neglected. To address these challenges, we propose a cloud-assisted data gathering strategy for UAV-based WSN in the light of emerging events. We also provide a cloud-assisted approach for deriving UAV's optimal flying and data acquisition sequence of a WSN cluster. We validate our approach through simulations and experiments. It has been proved that our methodology outperforms conventional approaches in terms of flying time, energy consumption, and integrity of data acquisition. We also conducted a real-world experiment using a UAV to collect data wirelessly from multiple clusters of sensor nodes for monitoring an emerging event, which are deployed in a farm. Compared against the traditional method, this proposed approach requires less than half the flying time and achieves almost perfect data integrity.

  8. Commercial vs professional UAVs for mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolakopoulos, Konstantinos G.; Koukouvelas, Ioannis

    2017-09-01

    The continuous advancements in the technology behind Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in accordance with the consecutive decrease to their cost and the availability of photogrammetric software, make the use of UAVs an excellent tool for large scale mapping. In addition with the use of UAVs, the problems of increased costs, time consumption and the possible terrain accessibility problems, are significantly reduced. However, despite the growing number of UAV applications there has been a little quantitative assessment of UAV performance and of the quality of the derived products (orthophotos and Digital Surface Models). Here, we present results from field experiments designed to evaluate the accuracy of photogrammetrically-derived digital surface models (DSM) developed from imagery acquired with onboard digital cameras. We also show the comparison of the high resolution vs moderate resolution imagery for largescale geomorphic mapping. The acquired data analyzed in this study comes from a small commercial and a professional UAV. The test area was mapped using the same photogrammetric grid by the two UAVs. 3D models, DSMs and orthophotos were created using special software. Those products were compared to in situ survey measurements and the results are presented in this paper.

  9. UAV-based landslide deformation monitoring - first results from Corvara landslide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiebes, Benni; Tomelleri, Enrico; Mejia-Aguilar, Abraham; Schlögel, Romy; Darvishi, Mehdi; Remondino, Fabio; Toschi, Isabella; Rutzinger, Martin; Zieher, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been more frequently utilised to study geomorphological and natural hazard processes, including gravitational mass movements such as landslides. UAVs can be equipped with different sensors, e.g. photo cameras and laser scanners, and the data that can be achieved can substantially improve the monitoring and understanding of the involved natural processes. One of the main advantages of UAVs is their flexibility that allows for carrying out assessments of large areas in short periods of time and at much lower costs than other platforms, e.g. airplanes or helicopters. Thereby, UAVs represent an interesting technique to complement more traditional monitoring methods. Here we present some first results of the EUREGIO-funded LEMONADE project that is concerned with the combination and integration of novel and traditional landslide monitoring techniques. We carried out a series of UAV flights over a particularly active part of the Corvara landslide and acquired aerial imagery for quantitative assessments of the retrogressive enlargement of the landslide over recent years. Additional field surveys including terrestrial laser scanning, and UAV-based photogrammetry and laser scanning are scheduled for summer 2016. The Corvara landslide is a large complex earthflow in the Italian Dolomites that has been investigated by a wide range of methodologies over the past years. The landslide is characterised by movement patterns of greatly varying magnitude, ranging from annual rates of a few cm to more than 20 m. The current and past monitoring activities concentrated on GPS measurements as well as multi-temporal differential radar interferometry utilising artificial corner reflectors. Thereby, primarily punctual displacement data were achieved and spatial information on topographic and geomorphic changes were consequently sparse. For our photogrammetry study, we utilised a SoLeon octocopter equipped with a Ricoh GR 16.2 Megapixels

  10. Control Design and Performance Analysis for Autonomous Formation Flight Experimentss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Caleb Michael

    Autonomous Formation Flight is a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing traffic in future high density airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) have made it possible for the physical demonstration and validation of autonomous formation flight concepts inexpensively and eliminates the flight risk to human pilots. This thesis discusses the design, implementation, and flight testing of three different formation flight control methods, Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID); Fuzzy Logic (FL); and NonLinear Dynamic Inversion (NLDI), and their respective performance behavior. Experimental results show achievable autonomous formation flight and performance quality with a pair of low-cost unmanned research fixed wing aircraft and also with a solo vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) quadrotor.

  11. From an automated flight-test management system to a flight-test engineer's workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duke, E. L.; Brumbaugh, R. W.; Hewett, M. D.; Tartt, D. M.

    1992-01-01

    Described here are the capabilities and evolution of a flight-test engineer's workstation (called TEST PLAN) from an automated flight-test management system. The concept and capabilities of the automated flight-test management system are explored and discussed to illustrate the value of advanced system prototyping and evolutionary software development.

  12. Acquisition and Processing Protocols for Uav Images: 3d Modeling of Historical Buildings Using Photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murtiyoso, A.; Koehl, M.; Grussenmeyer, P.; Freville, T.

    2017-08-01

    Photogrammetry has seen an increase in the use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for both large and smaller scale cartography. The use of UAVs is also advantageous because it may be used for tasks requiring quick response, including in the case of the inspection and monitoring of buildings. The objective of the project is to study the acquisition and processing protocols which exist in the literature and to adapt them for UAV projects. This implies a study on the calibration of the sensors, flight planning, comparison of software solutions, data management, and analysis on the different products of a UAV project. Two historical buildings of the city of Strasbourg were used as case studies: a part of the Rohan Palace façade and the St-Pierre-le-Jeune Catholic church. In addition, a preliminary test was performed on the Josephine Pavilion. Two UAVs were used in this research; namely the Sensefly Albris and the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. The experiments have shown that the calibration parameters tend to be unstable for small sensors. Furthermore, the dense matching of images remains a particular problem to address in a close range photogrammetry project, more so in the presence of noise on the images. Data management in cases where the number of images is high is also very important. The UAV is nevertheless a suitable solution for the surveying and recording of historical buildings because it is able to take images from points of view which are normally inaccessible to classical terrestrial techniques.

  13. Comparison of Computational Approaches for Rapid Aerodynamic Assessment of Small UAVs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shafer, Theresa C.; Lynch, C. Eric; Viken, Sally A.; Favaregh, Noah; Zeune, Cale; Williams, Nathan; Dansie, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) methods were used to determine the basic aerodynamic, performance, and stability and control characteristics of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV), Kahu. Accurate and timely prediction of the aerodynamic characteristics of small UAVs is an essential part of military system acquisition and air-worthiness evaluations. The forces and moments of the UAV were predicted using a variety of analytical methods for a range of configurations and conditions. The methods included Navier Stokes (N-S) flow solvers (USM3D, Kestrel and Cobalt) that take days to set up and hours to converge on a single solution; potential flow methods (PMARC, LSAERO, and XFLR5) that take hours to set up and minutes to compute; empirical methods (Datcom) that involve table lookups and produce a solution quickly; and handbook calculations. A preliminary aerodynamic database can be developed very efficiently by using a combination of computational tools. The database can be generated with low-order and empirical methods in linear regions, then replacing or adjusting the data as predictions from higher order methods are obtained. A comparison of results from all the data sources as well as experimental data obtained from a wind-tunnel test will be shown and the methods will be evaluated on their utility during each portion of the flight envelope.

  14. Ariel: a UAV designed to fly at 100,000 ft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadales, Basil S.; Schoenung, Susan M.

    1996-11-01

    The Ariel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was designed for NASA Ames Research Center to satisfy emerging civil science needs for subsonic flight at altitudes on the order of 100,000 ft. These include atmospheric monitoring of chemical species and environmental conditions related to global climate change. Ariel may be useful for a variety of civil and military remote sensing applications since, at an altitude of 100,000 ft, the UAV wold fly above all manned aircraft. The Ariel has a gross weight of 6400 lb with a wing span of 105 ft, a little shorter than that of the manned ER-2. Ariel is powered by a new propulsion system called the Bipropellant Expansion Turbine (BET). With a 300 hp BET, Ariel can climb to an altitude of 100,000 ft and loiter at Mach 0.63 for two hours while carrying a 600 lb payload. During this loiter, the UAV travels about 750 nm at 100,000 ft. It is possible to trade payload weight for range or endurance. Further design optimization or use of more advanced technology can result in substantially improved performance. With adequate funding, a proof of concept version of Ariel could be developed for initial flights by the year 2000.

  15. Use of a Light Uav and Photogrammetric Techniques to Study the Evolution of a Landslide in JAÉN (southern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, T.; Pérez, J. L.; Cardenal, F. J.; López, A.; Gómez, J. M.; Colomo, C.; Delgado, J.; Sánchez, M.

    2015-08-01

    This paper presents a methodology for slope instability monitoring using photogrammetric techniques with very high resolution images from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). An unstable area located in La Guardia (Jaen, Southern Spain), where an active mud flow has been identified, was surveyed between 2012 and 2014 by means of four UAV flights. These surveys were also compared with those data from a previous conventional aerial photogrammetric and LiDAR survey. The UAV was an octocopter equipped with GPS, inertial units and a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. The flight height was 90 m, which allowed covering an area of about 250 x 100 m with a ground pixel size of 2.5 cm. The orientation of the UAV flights were carried out by means of ground control points measured with GPS, but the previous aerial photogrammetric/LiDAR flight was oriented by means of direct georeferencing with in flight positioning and inertial data, although some common ground control points were used to adjust all flights in the same reference system. The DSMs of all surveys were obtained by automatic image correlation and then the differential models were calculated, allowing estimate changes in the surface. At the same time, orthophotos were obtained so horizontal and vertical displacements between relevant points were registered. Significant displacements were observed between some campaigns (some centimeters on the vertical and meters on the horizontal). Finally, we have analyzed the relation of displacements to rainfalls in recent years in the area, finding a significant temporal correlation between the two variables.

  16. Comprehensive UAV agricultural remote-sensing research at Texas A M University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomasson, J. Alex; Shi, Yeyin; Olsenholler, Jeffrey; Valasek, John; Murray, Seth C.; Bishop, Michael P.

    2016-05-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have advantages over manned vehicles for agricultural remote sensing. Flying UAVs is less expensive, is more flexible in scheduling, enables lower altitudes, uses lower speeds, and provides better spatial resolution for imaging. The main disadvantage is that, at lower altitudes and speeds, only small areas can be imaged. However, on large farms with contiguous fields, high-quality images can be collected regularly by using UAVs with appropriate sensing technologies that enable high-quality image mosaics to be created with sufficient metadata and ground-control points. In the United States, rules governing the use of aircraft are promulgated and enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and rules governing UAVs are currently in flux. Operators must apply for appropriate permissions to fly UAVs. In the summer of 2015 Texas A&M University's agricultural research agency, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, embarked on a comprehensive program of remote sensing with UAVs at its 568-ha Brazos Bottom Research Farm. This farm is made up of numerous fields where various crops are grown in plots or complete fields. The crops include cotton, corn, sorghum, and wheat. After gaining FAA permission to fly at the farm, the research team used multiple fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAVs along with various sensors to collect images over all parts of the farm at least once per week. This article reports on details of flight operations and sensing and analysis protocols, and it includes some lessons learned in the process of developing a UAV remote-sensing effort of this sort.

  17. Evaluating the effectiveness of low cost UAV generated topography for geomorphic change detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, K. L.

    2014-12-01

    With the recent explosion in the use and availability of unmanned aerial vehicle platforms and development of easy to use structure from motion software, UAV based photogrammetry is increasingly being adopted to produce high resolution topography for the study of surface processes. UAV systems can vary substantially in price and complexity, but the tradeoffs between these and the quality of the resulting data are not well constrained. We look at one end of this spectrum and evaluate the effectiveness of a simple low cost UAV setup for obtaining high resolution topography in a challenging field setting. Our study site is the Daan River gorge in western Taiwan, a rapidly eroding bedrock gorge that we have monitored with terrestrial Lidar since 2009. The site presents challenges for the generation and analysis of high resolution topography, including vertical gorge walls, vegetation, wide variation in surface roughness, and a complicated 3D morphology. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the UAV-derived topography, we compare it with terrestrial Lidar data collected during the same survey period. Our UAV setup combines a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter with a 16 megapixel Canon Powershot camera for a total platform cost of less than $850. The quadcopter is flown manually, and the camera is programmed to take a photograph every 5 seconds, yielding 200-250 pictures per flight. We measured ground control points and targets for both the Lidar scans and the aerial surveys using a Leica RTK GPS with 1-2 cm accuracy. UAV derived point clouds were obtained using Agisoft Photoscan software. We conducted both Lidar and UAV surveys before and after a summer typhoon season, allowing us to evaluate the reliability of the UAV survey to detect geomorphic changes in the range of one to several meters. We find that this simple UAV setup can yield point clouds with an average accuracy on the order of 10 cm compared to the Lidar point clouds. Well-distributed and accurately located ground

  18. An automated 3D reconstruction method of UAV images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jun; Wang, He; Liu, Xiaoyang; Li, Feng; Sun, Guangtong; Song, Ping

    2015-10-01

    In this paper a novel fully automated 3D reconstruction approach based on low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle system (UAVs) images will be presented, which does not require previous camera calibration or any other external prior knowledge. Dense 3D point clouds are generated by integrating orderly feature extraction, image matching, structure from motion (SfM) and multi-view stereo (MVS) algorithms, overcoming many of the cost, time limitations of rigorous photogrammetry techniques. An image topology analysis strategy is introduced to speed up large scene reconstruction by taking advantage of the flight-control data acquired by UAV. Image topology map can significantly reduce the running time of feature matching by limiting the combination of images. A high-resolution digital surface model of the study area is produced base on UAV point clouds by constructing the triangular irregular network. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is robust and feasible for automatic 3D reconstruction of low-altitude UAV images, and has great potential for the acquisition of spatial information at large scales mapping, especially suitable for rapid response and precise modelling in disaster emergency.

  19. Flight Test of an Intelligent Flight-Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Ron; Bosworth, John T.; Jacobson, Steven R.; Thomson, Michael Pl; Jorgensen, Charles C.

    2003-01-01

    The F-15 Advanced Controls Technology for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) airplane (see figure) was the test bed for a flight test of an intelligent flight control system (IFCS). This IFCS utilizes a neural network to determine critical stability and control derivatives for a control law, the real-time gains of which are computed by an algorithm that solves the Riccati equation. These derivatives are also used to identify the parameters of a dynamic model of the airplane. The model is used in a model-following portion of the control law, in order to provide specific vehicle handling characteristics. The flight test of the IFCS marks the initiation of the Intelligent Flight Control System Advanced Concept Program (IFCS ACP), which is a collaboration between NASA and Boeing Phantom Works. The goals of the IFCS ACP are to (1) develop the concept of a flight-control system that uses neural-network technology to identify aircraft characteristics to provide optimal aircraft performance, (2) develop a self-training neural network to update estimates of aircraft properties in flight, and (3) demonstrate the aforementioned concepts on the F-15 ACTIVE airplane in flight. The activities of the initial IFCS ACP were divided into three Phases, each devoted to the attainment of a different objective. The objective of Phase I was to develop a pre-trained neural network to store and recall the wind-tunnel-based stability and control derivatives of the vehicle. The objective of Phase II was to develop a neural network that can learn how to adjust the stability and control derivatives to account for failures or modeling deficiencies. The objective of Phase III was to develop a flight control system that uses the neural network outputs as a basis for controlling the aircraft. The flight test of the IFCS was performed in stages. In the first stage, the Phase I version of the pre-trained neural network was flown in a passive mode. The neural network software was running using flight data

  20. Development of an Autonomous Lidar Instrument for Use on a UAV Platform in Support of Homeland Security

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGill, Matthew; Famiglietti, Joe

    2005-01-01

    Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have developed an autonomous aerosol backscatter lidar instrument for use on the high-altitude ER-2 aircraft (for more information please visit http://cpl.gsfc.nasa.gov). Work is currently underway to transfer this instrument to a UAV platform such as Global Hawk. While the NASA applications are Earth science and satellite validation, there is clearly a Homeland Security application for such an instrument. One novel concept is to have a fleet of UAVs stationed around the country, each UAV having a payload including a lidar instrument. In the event of attack, the appropriate UAV(s) could be launched for purposes of, e.g., plume detection and tracking that are critical for decision support. While the existing lidar instrument is not directly capable of biological species discrimination, it is capable of plume tracking and thus can demonstrate to DHS the capabilities and utility of such instruments. Using NASA funding we will have an instrument ready to fly on Global Hawk by end of 2005. We would like to find partners, either within private industry or within DHS who would be willing to contribute aircraft access and flight hours for a demonstration flight. Longer-term partnerships to develop more advanced and more capable types of lidar instruments are also desirable. In this presentation we will detail the existing ER-2 lidar instrument and show measurement results, show the progress made on adapting to the Global Hawk platform, present concepts for DHS uses of such instruments, and openly pursue partnership opportunities.

  1. From an automated flight-test management system to a flight-test engineer's workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duke, E. L.; Brumbaugh, Randal W.; Hewett, M. D.; Tartt, D. M.

    1991-01-01

    The capabilities and evolution is described of a flight engineer's workstation (called TEST-PLAN) from an automated flight test management system. The concept and capabilities of the automated flight test management systems are explored and discussed to illustrate the value of advanced system prototyping and evolutionary software development.

  2. 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.

  3. AVALON: definition and modeling of a vertical takeoff and landing UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, N. B. F.; Marconato, E. A.; Branco, K. R. L. J. C.

    2015-09-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been used in numerous applications, like remote sensing, precision agriculture and atmospheric data monitoring. Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) is a modality of these aircrafts, which are capable of taking off and landing vertically, like a helicopter. This paper presents the definition and modeling of a fixed- wing VTOL, named AVALON (Autonomous VerticAL takeOff and laNding), which has the advantages of traditional aircrafts with improved performance and can take off and land in small areas. The principles of small UAVs development were followed to achieve a better design and to increase the range of applications for this VTOL. Therefore, we present the design model of AVALON validated in a flight simulator and the results show its validity as a physical option for an UAV platform.

  4. Flight research and testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Putnam, Terrill W.; Ayers, Theodore G.

    1989-01-01

    Flight research and testing form a critical link in the aeronautic research and development chain. Brilliant concepts, elegant theories, and even sophisticated ground tests of flight vehicles are not sufficient to prove beyond a doubt that an unproven aeronautical concept will actually perform as predicted. Flight research and testing provide the ultimate proof that an idea or concept performs as expected. Ever since the Wright brothers, flight research and testing were the crucible in which aeronautical concepts were advanced and proven to the point that engineers and companies are willing to stake their future to produce and design aircraft. This is still true today, as shown by the development of the experimental X-30 aerospace plane. The Dryden Flight Research Center (Ames-Dryden) continues to be involved in a number of flight research programs that require understanding and characterization of the total airplane in all the aeronautical disciplines, for example the X-29. Other programs such as the F-14 variable-sweep transition flight experiment have focused on a single concept or discipline. Ames-Dryden also continues to conduct flight and ground based experiments to improve and expand the ability to test and evaluate advanced aeronautical concepts. A review of significant aeronautical flight research programs and experiments is presented to illustrate both the progress being made and the challenges to come.

  5. Flight research and testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Putnam, Terrill W.; Ayers, Theodore G.

    1988-01-01

    Flight research and testing form a critical link in the aeronautic R and D chain. Brilliant concepts, elegant theories, and even sophisticated ground tests of flight vehicles are not sufficient to prove beyond doubt that an unproven aeronautical concept will actually perform as predicted. Flight research and testing provide the ultimate proof that an idea or concept performs as expected. Ever since the Wright brothers, flight research and testing have been the crucible in which aeronautical concepts have advanced and been proven to the point that engineers and companies have been willing to stake their future to produce and design new aircraft. This is still true today, as shown by the development of the experimental X-30 aerospace plane. The Dryden Flight Research Center (Ames-Dryden) continues to be involved in a number of flight research programs that require understanding and characterization of the total airplane in all the aeronautical disciplines, for example the X-29. Other programs such as the F-14 variable-sweep transition flight experiment have focused on a single concept or discipline. Ames-Dryden also continues to conduct flight and ground based experiments to improve and expand the ability to test and evaluate advanced aeronautical concepts. A review of significant aeronautical flight research programs and experiments is presented to illustrate both the progress made and the challenges to come.

  6. The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES): A UAV-Based Science Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blakeslee, R. J.; Croskey, C. L.; Desch, M. D.; Farrell, W. M.; Goldberg, R. A.; Houser, J. G.; Kim, H. S.; Mach, D. M.; Mitchell, J. D.; Stoneburner, J. C.

    2003-01-01

    The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)- based project that investigated thunderstorms in the vicinity of the Florida Everglades in August 2002. ACES was conducted to investigate storm electrical activity and its relationship to storm morphology, and to validate satellite-based lightning measurements. In addition, as part of the NASA sponsored UAV-based science demonstration program, this project provided a scientifically useful demonstration of the utility and promise of UAV platforms for Earth science and applications observations. ACES employed the Altus II aircraft, built by General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Key science objectives simultaneously addressed by ACES are to: (1) investigate lightning-storm relationships, (2) study storm electrical budgets, and provide Lightning Imaging Sensor validation. The ACES payload included electrical, magnetic, and optical sensors to remotely characterize the lightning activity and the electrical environment within and around thunderstorms. ACES contributed important electrical and optical measurements not available from other sources. Also, the high altitude vantage point of the UAV observing platform (up to 55,000 feet) provided cloud-top perspective. By taking advantage of its slow flight speed (70 to 100 knots), long endurance, and high altitude flight, the Altus was flown near, and when possible, over (but never into) thunderstorms for long periods of time that allowed investigations to be conducted over entire storm life cycles. An innovative real time weather system was used to identify and vector the aircraft to selected thunderstorms and safely fly around these storms, while, at the same time monitor the weather near our base of operations. In addition, concurrent ground-based observations that included radar (Miami and Key West WSRBD, NASA NPOL), satellite imagery, and lightning (NALDN and Los Alamos EDOT) enable the UAV measurements to be more completely

  7. On-board computational efficiency in real time UAV embedded terrain reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partsinevelos, Panagiotis; Agadakos, Ioannis; Athanasiou, Vasilis; Papaefstathiou, Ioannis; Mertikas, Stylianos; Kyritsis, Sarantis; Tripolitsiotis, Achilles; Zervos, Panagiotis

    2014-05-01

    In the last few years, there is a surge of applications for object recognition, interpretation and mapping using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Specifications in constructing those UAVs are highly diverse with contradictory characteristics including cost-efficiency, carrying weight, flight time, mapping precision, real time processing capabilities, etc. In this work, a hexacopter UAV is employed for near real time terrain mapping. The main challenge addressed is to retain a low cost flying platform with real time processing capabilities. The UAV weight limitation affecting the overall flight time, makes the selection of the on-board processing components particularly critical. On the other hand, surface reconstruction, as a computational demanding task, calls for a highly demanding processing unit on board. To merge these two contradicting aspects along with customized development, a System on a Chip (SoC) integrated circuit is proposed as a low-power, low-cost processor, which natively supports camera sensors and positioning and navigation systems. Modern SoCs, such as Omap3530 or Zynq, are classified as heterogeneous devices and provide a versatile platform, allowing access to both general purpose processors, such as the ARM11, as well as specialized processors, such as a digital signal processor and floating field-programmable gate array. A UAV equipped with the proposed embedded processors, allows on-board terrain reconstruction using stereo vision in near real time. Furthermore, according to the frame rate required, additional image processing may concurrently take place, such as image rectification andobject detection. Lastly, the onboard positioning and navigation (e.g., GNSS) chip may further improve the quality of the generated map. The resulting terrain maps are compared to ground truth geodetic measurements in order to access the accuracy limitations of the overall process. It is shown that with our proposed novel system,there is much potential in

  8. Uav Application in Coastal Environment, Example of the Oleron Island for Dunes and Dikes Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillot, B.; Pouget, F.

    2015-08-01

    The recent evolutions in civil UAV ease of use led the University of La Rochelle to conduct an UAV program around its own potential costal application. An application program involving La Rochelle University and the District of Oleron Island began in January 2015 and lasted through July of 2015. The aims were to choose 9 study areas and survey them during the winter season. The studies concerned surveying the dikes and coastal sand dunes of Oleron Island. During each flight, an action sport camera fixed on the UAV's brushless gimbal took a series of 150 pictures. After processing the photographs and using a 3D reconstruction plugin via Photoscan, we were able to export high-resolution ortho-imagery, DSM and 3D models. After applying GIS treatment to these images, volumetric evolutions between flights were revealed through a DDVM (Difference of Digital volumetric Model), in order to study sand movements on coastal sand dunes.

  9. Design, Development, and Testing of a UAV Hardware-in-the-Loop Testbed for Aviation and Airspace Prognostics Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kulkarni, Chetan; Teubert, Chris; Gorospe, George; Burgett, Drew; Quach, Cuong C.; Hogge, Edward

    2016-01-01

    The airspace is becoming more and more complicated, and will continue to do so in the future with the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), autonomy, spacecraft, other forms of aviation technology into the airspace. The new technology and complexity increases the importance and difficulty of safety assurance. Additionally, testing new technologies on complex aviation systems & systems of systems can be very difficult, expensive, and sometimes unsafe in real life scenarios. Prognostic methodology provides an estimate of the health and risks of a component, vehicle, or airspace and knowledge of how that will change over time. That measure is especially useful in safety determination, mission planning, and maintenance scheduling. The developed testbed will be used to validate prediction algorithms for the real-time safety monitoring of the National Airspace System (NAS) and the prediction of unsafe events. The framework injects flight related anomalies related to ground systems, routing, airport congestion, etc. to test and verify algorithms for NAS safety. In our research work, we develop a live, distributed, hardware-in-the-loop testbed for aviation and airspace prognostics along with exploring further research possibilities to verify and validate future algorithms for NAS safety. The testbed integrates virtual aircraft using the X-Plane simulator and X-PlaneConnect toolbox, UAVs using onboard sensors and cellular communications, and hardware in the loop components. In addition, the testbed includes an additional research framework to support and simplify future research activities. It enables safe, accurate, and inexpensive experimentation and research into airspace and vehicle prognosis that would not have been possible otherwise. This paper describes the design, development, and testing of this system. Software reliability, safety and latency are some of the critical design considerations in development of the testbed. Integration of HITL elements in

  10. Pigeon interaction mode switch-based UAV distributed flocking control under obstacle environments.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Huaxin; Duan, Haibin

    2017-11-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flocking control is a serious and challenging problem due to local interactions and changing environments. In this paper, a pigeon flocking model and a pigeon coordinated obstacle-avoiding model are proposed based on a behavior that pigeon flocks will switch between hierarchical and egalitarian interaction mode at different flight phases. Owning to the similarity between bird flocks and UAV swarms in essence, a distributed flocking control algorithm based on the proposed pigeon flocking and coordinated obstacle-avoiding models is designed to coordinate a heterogeneous UAV swarm to fly though obstacle environments with few informed individuals. The comparative simulation results are elaborated to show the feasibility, validity and superiority of our proposed algorithm. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Design and evaluation of an autonomous, obstacle avoiding, flight control system using visual sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, Bobby Grant

    In an effort to field smaller and cheaper Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the Army has expressed an interest in an ability of the vehicle to autonomously detect and avoid obstacles. Current systems are not suitable for small aircraft. NASA Langley Research Center has developed a vision sensing system that uses small semiconductor cameras. The feasibility of using this sensor for the purpose of autonomous obstacle avoidance by a UAV is the focus of the research presented in this document. The vision sensor characteristics are modeled and incorporated into guidance and control algorithms designed to generate flight commands based on obstacle information received from the sensor. The system is evaluated by simulating the response to these flight commands using a six degree-of-freedom, non-linear simulation of a small, fixed wing UAV. The simulation is written using the MATLAB application and runs on a PC. Simulations were conducted to test the longitudinal and lateral capabilities of the flight control for a range of airspeeds, camera characteristics, and wind speeds. Results indicate that the control system is suitable for obstacle avoiding flight control using the simulated vision system. In addition, a method for designing and evaluating the performance of such a system has been developed that allows the user to easily change component characteristics and evaluate new systems through simulation.

  12. UAV-based remote sensing of the Heumoes landslide, Austria Vorarlberg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niethammer, U.; Joswig, M.

    2009-04-01

    The Heumoes landslide, is located in the eastern Vorarlberg Alps, Austria, 10 km southeast of Dornbirn. The extension of the landslide is about 2000 m in west to east direction and about 500 m at its widest extent in north to south direction. It occurs between an elevation of 940 m in the east and 1360 m in the west, slope angles of more than 60 % can be observed as well as almost flat areas. Its total volume is estimated to be 9.400.000 cubic meters and its average velocities amount to some centimeter per year. Surface signatures or 'photolineations' of creeping landslides, e.g. fractures and rupture lines in sediments and street pavings, and vegetation contrasts by changes of water table in shallow vegetation in principle can be resolved by remote sensing. The necessary ground cell resolution of few centimeters, however, generally can't be achieved by routine areal or satellite imagery. The fast technological progress of unmanned areal vehicles (UAV) and the reduced payload by miniaturized optical cameras now allow for UAV remote sensing applications that are below the high financial limits of military intelligence. Even with 'low-cost' equipment, the necessary centimeter-scale ground cell resolution can be achieved by adapting the flight altitude to some ten to one hundred meters. Operated by scientists experienced in remote-control flight models, UAV remote sensing can now be performed routinely, and campaign-wise after any significant event of, e.g., heavy rainfall, or partial mudflow. We have investigated a concept of UAV-borne remote sensing based on motorized gliders, and four-propeller helicopters or 'quad-rotors'. Several missions were flown over the Heumoes landslide. Between 2006 and 2008 three series UAV-borne photographs of the Heumoes landslide were taken and could be combined to orto-mosaics of the slope area within few centimeters ground cell resolution. We will present the concept of our low cost quad-rotor UAV system and first results of the

  13. Cross Validation on the Equality of Uav-Based and Contour-Based Dems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, R.; Xu, Z.; Wu, L.; Liu, S.

    2018-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been widely used for Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generation in geographic applications. This paper proposes a novel framework of generating DEM from UAV images. It starts with the generation of the point clouds by image matching, where the flight control data are used as reference for searching for the corresponding images, leading to a significant time saving. Besides, a set of ground control points (GCP) obtained from field surveying are used to transform the point clouds to the user's coordinate system. Following that, we use a multi-feature based supervised classification method for discriminating non-ground points from ground ones. In the end, we generate DEM by constructing triangular irregular networks and rasterization. The experiments are conducted in the east of Jilin province in China, which has been suffered from soil erosion for several years. The quality of UAV based DEM (UAV-DEM) is compared with that generated from contour interpolation (Contour-DEM). The comparison shows a higher resolution, as well as higher accuracy of UAV-DEMs, which contains more geographic information. In addition, the RMSE errors of the UAV-DEMs generated from point clouds with and without GCPs are ±0.5 m and ±20 m, respectively.

  14. Orion Abort Flight Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, Peggy Sue

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of NASA's Constellation project is to create the new generation of spacecraft for human flight to the International Space Station in low-earth orbit, the lunar surface, as well as for use in future deep-space exploration. One portion of the Constellation program was the development of the Orion crew exploration vehicle (CEV) to be used in spaceflight. The Orion spacecraft consists of a crew module, service module, space adapter and launch abort system. The crew module was designed to hold as many as six crew members. The Orion crew exploration vehicle is similar in design to the Apollo space capsules, although larger and more massive. The Flight Test Office is the responsible flight test organization for the launch abort system on the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Flight Test Office originally proposed six tests that would demonstrate the use of the launch abort system. These flight tests were to be performed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and were similar in nature to the Apollo Little Joe II tests performed in the 1960s. The first flight test of the launch abort system was a pad abort (PA-1), that took place on 6 May 2010 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Primary flight test objectives were to demonstrate the capability of the launch abort system to propel the crew module a safe distance away from a launch vehicle during a pad abort, to demonstrate the stability and control characteristics of the vehicle, and to determine the performance of the motors contained within the launch abort system. The focus of the PA-1 flight test was engineering development and data acquisition, not certification. In this presentation, a high level overview of the PA-1 vehicle is given, along with an overview of the Mobile Operations Facility and information on the White Sands tracking sites for radar & optics. Several lessons learned are presented, including detailed information on the lessons learned in the development of wind

  15. Automated flight test management system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hewett, M. D.; Tartt, D. M.; Agarwal, A.

    1991-01-01

    The Phase 1 development of an automated flight test management system (ATMS) as a component of a rapid prototyping flight research facility for artificial intelligence (AI) based flight concepts is discussed. The ATMS provides a flight engineer with a set of tools that assist in flight test planning, monitoring, and simulation. The system is also capable of controlling an aircraft during flight test by performing closed loop guidance functions, range management, and maneuver-quality monitoring. The ATMS is being used as a prototypical system to develop a flight research facility for AI based flight systems concepts at NASA Ames Dryden.

  16. Using UAV's to Measure the Urban Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacob, R. L.; Sankaran, R.; Beckman, P. H.

    2015-12-01

    The urban boundary layer is one of the most poorly studied regions of the atmospheric boundary layer. Since a majority of the world's population now lives in urban areas, it is becoming a more important region to measure and model. The combination of relatively low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles and low-cost sensors can together provide a new instrument for measuring urban and other boundary layers. We have mounted a new sensor and compute platform called Waggle on an off-the-shelf XR8 octo-copter from 3DRobotics. Waggle consists of multiple sensors for measuring pressure, temperature and humidity as well as trace gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone. A single board computer running Linux included in Waggle on the UAV allows in-situ processing and data storage. Communication of the data is through WiFi or 3G and the Waggle software can save the data in case communication is lost during flight. The flight pattern is a deliberately simple vertical ascent and descent over a fixed location to provide vertical profiles and so flights can be confined to urban parks, industrial areas or the footprint of a single rooftop. We will present results from test flights in urban and rural areas in and around Chicago.

  17. Vertical and Horizontal Measurements of Ambient Ozone over a Gas and Oil Production Area using a UAV Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, A.; Gowing, I.; Martin, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    During the 2013 wintertime Uintah Basin Ozone Study (UBOS13), an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform, coupled with an on-board UV ozone monitor, flew several spatial profiles near the location (Horse Pool) of other concentrated measurements by other co-investigators. The airframe, part of the Utah Water Research Laboratory's (UWRL) AggieAir UAV program, consisted of a custom-built, battery-operated plane with and 2.4 m (8 ft) wing span and a 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 30.5 cm payload bay with a carrying capacity of approximately 2.0 kg. With the current power system, the fully-loaded AggieAir UAV can fly for approximately 45 minutes at a nominal airspeed of 13.4 m/s (30 mph). The system can be operated either in manual control or be flown autonomously following preprogrammed waypoints via a built in GPS system. The AggieAir UAV systems were primarily designed for photographic and telemetry tracking projects. For the UBOS13 flights, a 2B Technologies Model 205 Ozone (O3) monitor was modified for minimal weight optimization, wrapped with lightweight insulation and secured into the UAV payload bay. Additionally, HOBO Model H08-001-02 shielded temperature/datalogger was secured to the exterior of the UAV from parallel thermal profile determination. During the study period, three demonstration flight profiles were obtained on February 17 and 18, 2013: two vertical 'curtain' profiles and a pair of 'stacked' horizontal profiles. As recorded by numerous ground-based monitoring sites, the ozone during the UAV test periods was characterized by initial trends of daytime O3 maximums over 130 ppb, followed by a meteorological front partially ventilating the Basin on the evening of Feb. 17th leading to decreased O3 minimums around 40 ppb. However, the ground level O3 rebuilt quickly to ground level maximums approaching 100 ppb. The vertical 'curtain' flown on the evening of Feb. 17th only reached a maximum elevation of about 2160 m ASL (600 m AGL) due to encountering

  18. Natural Language Based Multimodal Interface for UAV Mission Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandarana, Meghan; Meszaros, Erica L.; Trujillo, Anna; Allen, B. Danette

    2017-01-01

    As the number of viable applications for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems increases at an exponential rate, interfaces that reduce the reliance on highly skilled engineers and pilots must be developed. Recent work aims to make use of common human communication modalities such as speech and gesture. This paper explores a multimodal natural language interface that uses a combination of speech and gesture input modalities to build complex UAV flight paths by defining trajectory segment primitives. Gesture inputs are used to define the general shape of a segment while speech inputs provide additional geometric information needed to fully characterize a trajectory segment. A user study is conducted in order to evaluate the efficacy of the multimodal interface.

  19. 3-D model-based tracking for UAV indoor localization.

    PubMed

    Teulière, Céline; Marchand, Eric; Eck, Laurent

    2015-05-01

    This paper proposes a novel model-based tracking approach for 3-D localization. One main difficulty of standard model-based approach lies in the presence of low-level ambiguities between different edges. In this paper, given a 3-D model of the edges of the environment, we derive a multiple hypotheses tracker which retrieves the potential poses of the camera from the observations in the image. We also show how these candidate poses can be integrated into a particle filtering framework to guide the particle set toward the peaks of the distribution. Motivated by the UAV indoor localization problem where GPS signal is not available, we validate the algorithm on real image sequences from UAV flights.

  20. Comparison of a Fixed-Wing and Multi-Rotor Uav for Environmental Mapping Applications: a Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boon, M. A.; Drijfhout, A. P.; Tesfamichael, S.

    2017-08-01

    The advent and evolution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and photogrammetric techniques has provided the possibility for on-demand high-resolution environmental mapping. Orthoimages and three dimensional products such as Digital Surface Models (DSMs) are derived from the UAV imagery which is amongst the most important spatial information tools for environmental planning. The two main types of UAVs in the commercial market are fixed-wing and multi-rotor. Both have their advantages and disadvantages including their suitability for certain applications. Fixed-wing UAVs normally have longer flight endurance capabilities while multi-rotors can provide for stable image capturing and easy vertical take-off and landing. Therefore, the objective of this study is to assess the performance of a fixed-wing versus a multi-rotor UAV for environmental mapping applications by conducting a specific case study. The aerial mapping of the Cors-Air model aircraft field which includes a wetland ecosystem was undertaken on the same day with a Skywalker fixed-wing UAV and a Raven X8 multi-rotor UAV equipped with similar sensor specifications (digital RGB camera) under the same weather conditions. We compared the derived datasets by applying the DTMs for basic environmental mapping purposes such as slope and contour mapping including utilising the orthoimages for identification of anthropogenic disturbances. The ground spatial resolution obtained was slightly higher for the multi-rotor probably due to a slower flight speed and more images. The results in terms of the overall precision of the data was noticeably less accurate for the fixed-wing. In contrast, orthoimages derived from the two systems showed small variations. The multi-rotor imagery provided better representation of vegetation although the fixed-wing data was sufficient for the identification of environmental factors such as anthropogenic disturbances. Differences were observed utilising the respective DTMs for the mapping

  1. 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.

  2. Corn and sorghum phenotyping using a fixed-wing UAV-based remote sensing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yeyin; Murray, Seth C.; Rooney, William L.; Valasek, John; Olsenholler, Jeff; Pugh, N. Ace; Henrickson, James; Bowden, Ezekiel; Zhang, Dongyan; Thomasson, J. Alex

    2016-05-01

    Recent development of unmanned aerial systems has created opportunities in automation of field-based high-throughput phenotyping by lowering flight operational cost and complexity and allowing flexible re-visit time and higher image resolution than satellite or manned airborne remote sensing. In this study, flights were conducted over corn and sorghum breeding trials in College Station, Texas, with a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carrying two multispectral cameras and a high-resolution digital camera. The objectives were to establish the workflow and investigate the ability of UAV-based remote sensing for automating data collection of plant traits to develop genetic and physiological models. Most important among these traits were plant height and number of plants which are currently manually collected with high labor costs. Vegetation indices were calculated for each breeding cultivar from mosaicked and radiometrically calibrated multi-band imagery in order to be correlated with ground-measured plant heights, populations and yield across high genetic-diversity breeding cultivars. Growth curves were profiled with the aerial measured time-series height and vegetation index data. The next step of this study will be to investigate the correlations between aerial measurements and ground truth measured manually in field and from lab tests.

  3. Morpheus Vertical Test Bed Flight Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, Jeremy; Devolites, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Morpheus Project has developed and tested a prototype planetary lander capable of vertical takeoff and landing, that is designed to serve as a testbed for advanced spacecraft technologies. The lander vehicle, propelled by a LOX/Methane engine and sized to carry a 500kg payload to the lunar surface, provides a platform for bringing technologies from the laboratory into an integrated flight system at relatively low cost. Morpheus onboard software is autonomous from ignition all the way through landing, and is designed to be capable of executing a variety of flight trajectories, with onboard fault checks and automatic contingency responses. The Morpheus 1.5A vehicle performed 26 integrated vehicle test flights including hot-fire tests, tethered tests, and two attempted freeflights between April 2011 and August 2012. The final flight of Morpheus 1.5A resulted in a loss of the vehicle. In September 2012, development began on the Morpheus 1.5B vehicle, which subsequently followed a similar test campaign culminating in free-flights at a simulated planetary landscape built at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. This paper describes the integrated test campaign, including successes and setbacks, and how the system design for handling faults and failures evolved over the course of the project.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Uav-Mapping - a User Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, W.

    2011-09-01

    This paper reports on first hand experiences in operating an unmanned airborne system (UAS) for mapping purposes in the environment of a mapping company. Recently, a multitude of activities in UAVs is visible, and there is growing interest in the commercial, industrial, and academic mapping user communities and not only in those. As an introduction, the major components of an UAS are identified. The paper focuses on a 1.1kg UAV which is integrated and gets applied on a day-to-day basis as part of an UAS in standard aerial imaging tasks for more than two years already. We present the unmanned airborne vehicle in some detail as well as the overall system components such as autopilot, ground station, flight mission planning and control, and first level image processing. The paper continues with reporting on experiences gained in setting up constraints such a system needs to fulfill. Further on, operational aspects with emphasis on unattended flight mission mode are presented. Various examples show the applicability of UAS in geospatial tasks, proofing that UAS are capable delivering reliably e.g. orthomosaics, digital surface models and more. Some remarks on achieved accuracies give an idea on obtainable qualities. A discussion about safety features puts some light on important matters when entering unmanned flying activities and rounds up this paper. Conclusions summarize the state of the art of an operational UAS from the point of the view of the author.

  6. Full Flight Envelope Inner Loop Control Law Development for the Unmanned K-MAX

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-03

    LaMontagne , T., "System Identification and Control System Design for the BURRO Autonomous UAV," Proceedings of the American Helicopter Society 56th...Annual Forum, Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 2000. 2. Frost, C., Tischler, M., Bielefield, M., & LaMontagne , T., "Design and Test of Flight Control

  7. F-15B/Flight Test Fixture 2: A Test Bed for Flight Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richwine, David M.

    1996-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has developed a second-generation flight test fixture for use as a generic test bed for aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research. The Flight Test Fixture 2 (FTF-2) is a low-aspect-ratio vertical fin-like shape that is mounted on the centerline of the F-I5B lower fuselage. The fixture is designed for flight research at Mach numbers to a maximum of 2.0. The FTF-2 is a composite structure with a modular configuration and removable components for functional flexibility. This report documents the flow environment of the fixture, such as surface pressure distributions and boundary-layer profiles, throughout a matrix of conditions within the F-15B/FTF-2 flight envelope. Environmental conditions within the fixture are presented to assist in the design and testing of future avionics and instrumentation. The intent of this document is to serve as a user's guide and assist in the development of future flight experiments that use the FTF-2 as a test bed. Additional information enclosed in the appendices has been included to assist with more detailed analyses, if required.

  8. Uav for Geodata Acquisition in Agricultureal and Forestal Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reidelstürz, P.; Schrenk, L.; Littmann, W.

    2011-09-01

    In the field of precision-farming research, solutions are worked out to combine ecological and economical requirements in a harmonic way. Integrating hightech in agricultural machinery, natural differences in the fields (biodiversity) can be detected and considered to economize agricultural resources and to give respect to natural ecological variability at the same time. Using precision farming resources, machining - and labour time can be economized, productivness can be improved, environmental burden can be discharged and documentation of production processes can be improved. To realize precision farming it is essential to make contemporary large scale data of the biodiversity in the field available. In the last years effectual traktor based equipment for real time precision farming applications was developed. Using remote sensing, biomass diversity of the field can be considered while applicating operating ressources economicly. Because these large scale data aquisition depends on expensive tractor based inspections, capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) could complement or in special situations even replace such tractor based data aquisition needed for the realization of precision farming strategies. The specific advantages and application slots of UAVs seems to be ideal for the usage in the field of precision farming. For example the size of even large agricultural fields in germany can be managed even by smaller UAVs. Data can be captured spontaneously, promptly, in large scale, with less respect of weather conditions. In agricultural regions UAV flights can be arranged in visual range as actually the legislator requires in germany, especially because the use of autopilotsystems in fact is nessecary to assure regular area-wide data without gaps but not to fly in non-visible regions. Also a minimized risk of hazard is given, flying UAVs over deserted agricultural areas. In a first stage CIS GmbH cooperated with "Institute For Flightsystems" of the University

  9. Cooperative Search by UAV Teams: A Model Predictive Approach Using Dynamic Graphs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-01

    decentralized processing and control architecture. SLAMEM asset models accurately represent the Unicorn UAV platforms and other standard military platforms in...IMPLEMENTATION The CGBMPS algorithm has been successfully field-tested using both Unicorn [27] and Raven [20] UAV platforms. This section describes...the hardware-software system setup and implementation used for testing with Unicorns , Toyon’s UAV test platform. We also present some results from the

  10. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based monitoring of a landslide: Gallenzerkogel landslide (Ybbs-Lower Austria) case study.

    PubMed

    Eker, Remzi; Aydın, Abdurrahim; Hübl, Johannes

    2017-12-19

    In the present study, UAV-based monitoring of the Gallenzerkogel landslide (Ybbs, Lower Austria) was carried out by three flight missions. High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs), orthophotos, and density point clouds were generated from UAV-based aerial photos via structure-from-motion (SfM). According to ground control points (GCPs), an average of 4 cm root mean square error (RMSE) was found for all models. In addition, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data from 2009, representing the prefailure topography, was utilized as a digital terrain model (DTM) and digital surface model (DSM). First, the DEM of difference (DoD) between the first UAV flight data and the LIDAR-DTM was determined and according to the generated DoD deformation map, an elevation difference of between - 6.6 and 2 m was found. Over the landslide area, a total of 4380.1 m 3 of slope material had been eroded, while 297.4 m 3 of the material had accumulated within the most active part of the slope. In addition, 688.3 m 3 of the total eroded material had belonged to the road destroyed by the landslide. Because of the vegetation surrounding the landslide area, the Multiscale Model-to-Model Cloud Comparison (M3C2) algorithm was then applied to compare the first and second UAV flight data. After eliminating both the distance uncertainty values of higher than 15 cm and the nonsignificant changes, the M3C2 distance obtained was between - 2.5 and 2.5 m. Moreover, the high-resolution orthophoto generated by the third flight allowed visual monitoring of the ongoing control/stabilization work in the area.

  11. Ares I-X Flight Test Vehicle Modal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehrle, Ralph D.; Templeton, Justin D.; Reaves, Mercedes C.; Horta, Lucas G.; Gaspar, James L.; Bartolotta, Paul A.; Parks, Russel A.; Lazor, Daniel R.

    2010-01-01

    The first test flight of NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle, called Ares I-X, was launched on October 28, 2009. Ares I-X used a 4-segment reusable solid rocket booster from the Space Shuttle heritage with mass simulators for the 5th segment, upper stage, crew module and launch abort system. Flight test data will provide important information on ascent loads, vehicle control, separation, and first stage reentry dynamics. As part of hardware verification, a series of modal tests were designed to verify the dynamic finite element model (FEM) used in loads assessments and flight control evaluations. Based on flight control system studies, the critical modes were the first three free-free bending mode pairs. Since a test of the free-free vehicle was not practical within project constraints, modal tests for several configurations during vehicle stacking were defined to calibrate the FEM. Test configurations included two partial stacks and the full Ares I-X flight test vehicle on the Mobile Launcher Platform. This report describes the test requirements, constraints, pre-test analysis, test execution and results for the Ares I-X flight test vehicle modal test on the Mobile Launcher Platform. Initial comparisons between pre-test predictions and test data are also presented.

  12. Initial Flight Tests of the NASA F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palumbo, Nathan; Moes, Timothy R.; Vachon, M. Jake

    2002-01-01

    Flights of the F-15B/Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF) with a Cone Drag Experiment (CDE) attached have been accomplished at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. Mounted underneath the fuselage of an F-15B airplane, the PFTF provides volume for experiment systems and attachment points for propulsion experiments. A unique feature of the PFTF is the incorporation of a six-degree-of-freedom force balance. The force balance mounts between the PFTF and experiment and measures three forces and moments. The CDE has been attached to the force balance for envelope expansion flights. This experiment spatially and inertially simulates a large propulsion test article. This report briefly describes the F-15B airplane, the PFTF, and the force balance. A detailed description of the CDE is provided. Force-balance ground testing and stiffness modifications are described. Flight profiles and selected flight data from the envelope expansion flights are provided and discussed, including force-balance data, the internal PFTF thermal and vibration environment, a handling qualities assessment, and performance capabilities of the F-15B airplane with the PFTF installed.

  13. Flight Tests of a Remaining Flying Time Prediction System for Small Electric Aircraft in the Presence of Faults

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hogge, Edward F.; Kulkarni, Chetan S.; Vazquez, Sixto L.; Smalling, Kyle M.; Strom, Thomas H.; Hill, Boyd L.; Quach, Cuong C.

    2017-01-01

    This paper addresses the problem of building trust in the online prediction of a battery powered aircraft's remaining flying time. A series of flight tests is described that make use of a small electric powered unmanned aerial vehicle (eUAV) to verify the performance of the remaining flying time prediction algorithm. The estimate of remaining flying time is used to activate an alarm when the predicted remaining time is two minutes. This notifies the pilot to transition to the landing phase of the flight. A second alarm is activated when the battery charge falls below a specified limit threshold. This threshold is the point at which the battery energy reserve would no longer safely support two repeated aborted landing attempts. During the test series, the motor system is operated with the same predefined timed airspeed profile for each test. To test the robustness of the prediction, half of the tests were performed with, and half were performed without, a simulated powertrain fault. The pilot remotely engages a resistor bank at a specified time during the test flight to simulate a partial powertrain fault. The flying time prediction system is agnostic of the pilot's activation of the fault and must adapt to the vehicle's state. The time at which the limit threshold on battery charge is reached is then used to measure the accuracy of the remaining flying time predictions. Accuracy requirements for the alarms are considered and the results discussed.

  14. Propulsion Flight-Test Fixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palumbo, Nate; Vachon, M. Jake; Richwine, Dave; Moes, Tim; Creech, Gray

    2003-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center s new Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF), designed in house, is an airborne engine-testing facility that enables engineers to gather flight data on small experimental engines. Without the PFTF, it would be necessary to obtain such data from traditional wind tunnels, ground test stands, or laboratory test rigs. Traditionally, flight testing is reserved for the last phase of engine development. Generally, engines that embody new propulsion concepts are not put into flight environments until their designs are mature: in such cases, either vehicles are designed around the engines or else the engines are mounted in or on missiles. However, a captive carry capability of the PFTF makes it possible to test engines that feature air-breathing designs (for example, designs based on the rocket-based combined cycle) economically in subscale experiments. The discovery of unknowns made evident through flight tests provides valuable information to engine designers early in development, before key design decisions are made, thereby potentially affording large benefits in the long term. This is especially true in the transonic region of flight (from mach 0.9 to around 1.2), where it can be difficult to obtain data from wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics. In January 2002, flight-envelope expansion to verify the design and capabilities of the PFTF was completed. The PFTF was flown on a specially equipped supersonic F-15B research testbed airplane, mounted on the airplane at a center-line attachment fixture, as shown in Figure 1. NASA s F-15B testbed has been used for several years as a flight-research platform. Equipped with extensive research air-data, video, and other instrumentation systems, the airplane carries externally mounted test articles. Traditionally, the majority of test articles flown have been mounted at the centerline tank-attachment fixture, which is a hard-point (essentially, a standardized weapon-mounting fixture

  15. The development of a UGV-mounted automated refueling system for VTOL UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wills, Mike; Burmeister, Aaron; Nelson, Travis; Denewiler, Thomas; Mullens, Kathy

    2006-05-01

    This paper describes the latest efforts to develop an Automated UAV Mission System (AUMS) for small vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). In certain applications such as force protection, perimeter security, and urban surveillance a VTOL UAV can provide far greater utility than fixed-wing UAVs or ground-based sensors. The VTOL UAV can operate much closer to an object of interest and can provide a hover-and-stare capability to keep its sensors trained on an object, while the fixed wing UAV would be forced into a higher altitude loitering pattern where its sensors would be subject to intermittent blockage by obstacles and terrain. The most significant disadvantage of a VTOL UAV when compared to a fixed-wing UAV is its reduced flight endurance. AUMS addresses this disadvantage by providing forward staging, refueling, and recovery capabilities for the VTOL UAV through a host unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which serves as a launch/recovery platform and service station. The UGV has sufficient payload capacity to carry UAV fuel for multiple launch, recovery, and refuel iterations. The UGV also provides a highly mobile means of forward deploying a small UAV into hazardous areas unsafe for personnel, such as chemically or biologically contaminated areas. Teaming small UAVs with large UGVs can decrease risk to personnel and expand mission capabilities and effectiveness. There are numerous technical challenges being addressed by these development efforts. Among the challenges is the development and integration of a precision landing system compact and light enough to allow it to be mounted on a small VTOL UAV while providing repeatable landing accuracy to safely land on the AUMS. Another challenge is the design of a UGV-transportable, expandable, self-centering landing pad that contains hardware and safety devices for automatically refueling the UAV. A third challenge is making the design flexible enough to accommodate different types of VTOL UAVs

  16. 14 CFR 91.109 - Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. 91.109 Section 91.109 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION... OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.109 Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and...

  17. 14 CFR 91.109 - Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. 91.109 Section 91.109 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION... OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.109 Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and...

  18. 14 CFR 91.109 - Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. 91.109 Section 91.109 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION... OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.109 Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and...

  19. 14 CFR 91.109 - Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. 91.109 Section 91.109 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION... OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.109 Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and...

  20. 14 CFR 91.109 - Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and certain flight tests. 91.109 Section 91.109 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION... OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Flight Rules General § 91.109 Flight instruction; Simulated instrument flight and...

  1. Experiences of using UAVs for monitoring levee breaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauneck, J.; Pohl, R.; Juepner, R.

    2016-11-01

    During floods technical protection facilities are subjected to high loads and might fail as several examples have shown in the past. During the major 2002 and 2013 floods in the catchment area of the Elbe River (Germany), some breaching levees caused large inundations in the hinterland. In such situations the emergency forces need comprehensive and reliable realtime information about the situation, especially the breach enlargement and discharge, the spatial and temporal development of the inundation and the damages. After an impressive progress meanwhile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) also called remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are highly capable to collect and transmit precise information from not accessible areas to the task force very quickly. Using the example of the Breitenhagen levee failure near the Saale-Elbe junction in Germany in June 2013 the processing steps will be explained that are needed to come from the visual UAV-flight information to a hydronumeric model. Modelling of the breach was implemented using photogrammetric ranging methods, such as structure from motion and dense image matching. These methods utilize conventional digital multiple view images or videos recorded by either a moving aerial platform or terrestrial photography and allow the construction of 3D point clouds, digital surface models and orthophotos. At Breitenhagen, a UAV recorded the beginning of the levee failure. Due to the dynamic character of the breach and the moving areal platform, 4 different surface models show valid data with extrapolated breach widths of 9 to 40 meters. By means of these calculations the flow rate through the breach has been determined. In addition the procedure has been tested in a physical model, whose results will be presented too.

  2. The development of a Flight Test Engineer's Workstation for the Automated Flight Test Management System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tartt, David M.; Hewett, Marle D.; Duke, Eugene L.; Cooper, James A.; Brumbaugh, Randal W.

    1989-01-01

    The Automated Flight Test Management System (ATMS) is being developed as part of the NASA Aircraft Automation Program. This program focuses on the application of interdisciplinary state-of-the-art technology in artificial intelligence, control theory, and systems methodology to problems of operating and flight testing high-performance aircraft. The development of a Flight Test Engineer's Workstation (FTEWS) is presented, with a detailed description of the system, technical details, and future planned developments. The goal of the FTEWS is to provide flight test engineers and project officers with an automated computer environment for planning, scheduling, and performing flight test programs. The FTEWS system is an outgrowth of the development of ATMS and is an implementation of a component of ATMS on SUN workstations.

  3. Ariane flight testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vedrenne, M.

    1983-11-01

    The object of this paper is to present the way in which the flight development tests of the Ariane launch vehicle have enabled the definition to be frozen and its qualification to be demonstrated before the beginning of the operational phase. A first part is devoted to the in-flight measurement facilities, the acquisition and evaluation systems, and to the organization of the in-flight results evaluation. The following part consists of the comparison between ground predictions and flight results for the main parameters as classified by system (stages, trajectory, propulsion, flight mechanics, auto pilot and guidance). The corrective actions required are then identified and the corresponding results shown.

  4. On decentralized adaptive full-order sliding mode control of multiple UAVs.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Xianbo; Liu, Chao; Su, Housheng; Zhang, Qin

    2017-11-01

    In this study, a novel decentralized adaptive full-order sliding mode control framework is proposed for the robust synchronized formation motion of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) subject to system uncertainty. First, a full-order sliding mode surface in a decentralized manner is designed to incorporate both the individual position tracking error and the synchronized formation error while the UAV group is engaged in building a certain desired geometric pattern in three dimensional space. Second, a decentralized virtual plant controller is constructed which allows the embedded low-pass filter to attain the chattering free property of the sliding mode controller. In addition, robust adaptive technique is integrated in the decentralized chattering free sliding control design in order to handle unknown bounded uncertainties, without requirements for assuming a priori knowledge of bounds on the system uncertainties as stated in conventional chattering free control methods. Subsequently, system robustness as well as stability of the decentralized full-order sliding mode control of multiple UAVs is synthesized. Numerical simulation results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed control framework to achieve robust 3D formation flight of the multi-UAV system. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Air-to-air radar flight testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Randall E.

    1988-06-01

    This volume in the AGARD Flight Test Techniques Series describes flight test techniques, flight test instrumentation, ground simulation, data reduction and analysis methods used to determine the performance characteristics of a modern air-to-air (a/a) radar system. Following a general coverage of specification requirements, test plans, support requirements, development and operational testing, and management information systems, the report goes into more detailed flight test techniques covering a/a radar capabilities of: detection, manual acquisition, automatic acquisition, tracking a single target, and detection and tracking of multiple targets. There follows a section on additional flight test considerations such as electromagnetic compatibility, electronic countermeasures, displays and controls, degraded and backup modes, radome effects, environmental considerations, and use of testbeds. Other sections cover ground simulation, flight test instrumentation, and data reduction and analysis. The final sections deal with reporting and a discussion of considerations for the future and how they may affect radar flight testing.

  6. Performance analysis of mini-propellers based on FlightGear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogeltanz, Tomáš

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents a performance analysis of three mini-propellers based on the FlightGear flight simulator. Although a basic propeller analysis has to be performed before the use of FlightGear, for a complex and more practical performance analysis, it is advantageous to use a propeller model in cooperation with a particular aircraft model. This approach may determine whether the propeller has sufficient quality in respect of aircraft requirements. In the first section, the software used for the analysis is illustrated. Then, the parameters of the analyzed mini-propellers and the tested UAV are described. Finally, the main section shows and discusses the results of the performance analysis of the mini-propellers.

  7. Feasibility of Using Synthetic Aperture Radar to Aid UAV Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Nitti, Davide O.; Bovenga, Fabio; Chiaradia, Maria T.; Greco, Mario; Pinelli, Gianpaolo

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to aid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) navigation when Inertial Navigation System (INS) measurements are not accurate enough to eliminate drifts from a planned trajectory. This problem can affect medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV class, which permits heavy and wide payloads (as required by SAR) and flights for thousands of kilometres accumulating large drifts. The basic idea is to infer position and attitude of an aerial platform by inspecting both amplitude and phase of SAR images acquired onboard. For the amplitude-based approach, the system navigation corrections are obtained by matching the actual coordinates of ground landmarks with those automatically extracted from the SAR image. When the use of SAR amplitude is unfeasible, the phase content can be exploited through SAR interferometry by using a reference Digital Terrain Model (DTM). A feasibility analysis was carried out to derive system requirements by exploring both radiometric and geometric parameters of the acquisition setting. We showed that MALE UAV, specific commercial navigation sensors and SAR systems, typical landmark position accuracy and classes, and available DTMs lead to estimate UAV coordinates with errors bounded within ±12 m, thus making feasible the proposed SAR-based backup system. PMID:26225977

  8. Feasibility of Using Synthetic Aperture Radar to Aid UAV Navigation.

    PubMed

    Nitti, Davide O; Bovenga, Fabio; Chiaradia, Maria T; Greco, Mario; Pinelli, Gianpaolo

    2015-07-28

    This study explores the potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to aid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) navigation when Inertial Navigation System (INS) measurements are not accurate enough to eliminate drifts from a planned trajectory. This problem can affect medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV class, which permits heavy and wide payloads (as required by SAR) and flights for thousands of kilometres accumulating large drifts. The basic idea is to infer position and attitude of an aerial platform by inspecting both amplitude and phase of SAR images acquired onboard. For the amplitude-based approach, the system navigation corrections are obtained by matching the actual coordinates of ground landmarks with those automatically extracted from the SAR image. When the use of SAR amplitude is unfeasible, the phase content can be exploited through SAR interferometry by using a reference Digital Terrain Model (DTM). A feasibility analysis was carried out to derive system requirements by exploring both radiometric and geometric parameters of the acquisition setting. We showed that MALE UAV, specific commercial navigation sensors and SAR systems, typical landmark position accuracy and classes, and available DTMs lead to estimated UAV coordinates with errors bounded within ±12 m, thus making feasible the proposed SAR-based backup system.

  9. Integrating critical interface elements for intuitive single-display aviation control of UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, Joseph L.; Goodrich, Michael A.

    2006-05-01

    Although advancing levels of technology allow UAV operators to give increasingly complex commands with expanding temporal scope, it is unlikely that the need for immediate situation awareness and local, short-term flight adjustment will ever be completely superseded. Local awareness and control are particularly important when the operator uses the UAV to perform a search or inspection task. There are many different tasks which would be facilitated by search and inspection capabilities of a camera-equipped UAV. These tasks range from bridge inspection and news reporting to wilderness search and rescue. The system should be simple, inexpensive, and intuitive for non-pilots. An appropriately designed interface should (a) provide a context for interpreting video and (b) support UAV tasking and control, all within a single display screen. In this paper, we present and analyze an interface that attempts to accomplish this goal. The interface utilizes a georeferenced terrain map rendered from publicly available altitude data and terrain imagery to create a context in which the location of the UAV and the source of the video are communicated to the operator. Rotated and transformed imagery from the UAV provides a stable frame of reference for the operator and integrates cleanly into the terrain model. Simple icons overlaid onto the main display provide intuitive control and feedback when necessary but fade to a semi-transparent state when not in use to avoid distracting the operator's attention from the video signal. With various interface elements integrated into a single display, the interface runs nicely on a small, portable, inexpensive system with a single display screen and simple input device, but is powerful enough to allow a single operator to deploy, control, and recover a small UAV when coupled with appropriate autonomy. As we present elements of the interface design, we will identify concepts that can be leveraged into a large class of UAV applications.

  10. The Combination of Spherical Photogrammetry and UAV for 3D Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ihsanudin, T.; Affriani, A. R.

    2017-12-01

    The complete of 3D models required the object that was recorded from both side and top. If the object recorded from above, then the object from the side can not be covered, and if the objects recorded from the side, it can not be covered from the top. Recording of objects from the side using spherical photogrammetry method and from the top using UAV method. The merge of both models using a conform transformation, by bringing the spherical photogrammetry coordinates system to the UAV model. The object of this research is Ratu Boko temple, Sleman, Yogyakarta. The spherical photogrammetry recording was performed by rotating the camera in 360° angle on the entire area of the temple. The area consists of 12 stations. The UAV method uses a drone with flight attitude of 20 meters. The merge of the both models produced the completeness of the temple model from the top and side.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Supersonic Retropropulsion Flight Test Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Post, Ethan A.; Dupzyk, Ian C.; Korzun, Ashley M.; Dyakonov, Artem A.; Tanimoto, Rebekah L.; Edquist, Karl T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Exploration Technology Development and Demonstration Program has proposed plans for a series of three sub-scale flight tests at Earth for supersonic retropropulsion, a candidate decelerator technology for future, high-mass Mars missions. The first flight test in this series is intended to be a proof-of-concept test, demonstrating successful initiation and operation of supersonic retropropulsion at conditions that replicate the relevant physics of the aerodynamic-propulsive interactions expected in flight. Five sub-scale flight test article concepts, each designed for launch on sounding rockets, have been developed in consideration of this proof-of-concept flight test. Commercial, off-the-shelf components are utilized as much as possible in each concept. The design merits of the concepts are compared along with their predicted performance for a baseline trajectory. The results of a packaging study and performance-based trade studies indicate that a sounding rocket is a viable launch platform for this proof-of-concept test of supersonic retropropulsion.

  13. Optical Air Flow Measurements for Flight Tests and Flight Testing Optical Air Flow Meters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jentink, Henk W.; Bogue, Rodney K.

    2005-01-01

    Optical air flow measurements can support the testing of aircraft and can be instrumental to in-flight investigations of the atmosphere or atmospheric phenomena. Furthermore, optical air flow meters potentially contribute as avionics systems to flight safety and as air data systems. The qualification of these instruments for the flight environment is where we encounter the systems in flight testing. An overview is presented of different optical air flow measurement techniques applied in flight and what can be achieved with the techniques for flight test purposes is reviewed. All in-flight optical airflow velocity measurements use light scattering. Light is scattered on both air molecules and aerosols entrained in the air. Basic principles of making optical measurements in flight, some basic optical concepts, electronic concepts, optoelectronic interfaces, and some atmospheric processes associated with natural aerosols are reviewed. Safety aspects in applying the technique are shortly addressed. The different applications of the technique are listed and some typical examples are presented. Recently NASA acquired new data on mountain rotors, mountain induced turbulence, with the ACLAIM system. Rotor position was identified using the lidar system and the potentially hazardous air flow profile was monitored by the ACLAIM system.

  14. Validating a UAV artificial intelligence control system using an autonomous test case generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, Jeremy; Huber, Justin

    2013-05-01

    The validation of safety-critical applications, such as autonomous UAV operations in an environment which may include human actors, is an ill posed problem. To confidence in the autonomous control technology, numerous scenarios must be considered. This paper expands upon previous work, related to autonomous testing of robotic control algorithms in a two dimensional plane, to evaluate the suitability of similar techniques for validating artificial intelligence control in three dimensions, where a minimum level of airspeed must be maintained. The results of human-conducted testing are compared to this automated testing, in terms of error detection, speed and testing cost.

  15. Study on the aerodynamic behavior of a UAV with an applied seeder for agricultural practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felismina, Raimundo; Silva, Miguel; Mateus, Artur; Malça, Cândida

    2017-06-01

    It is irrefutable that the use of Unmanned Airborne Vehicle Systems (UAVs) in agricultural tasks and on the analysis of health and vegetative conditions represents a powerful tool in modern agriculture. To contribute to the growth of the agriculture economic sector a seeder to be coupled to any type of UAV was previously developed and designed by the authors. This seeder allows for the deposition of seeds with positional accuracy, i.e., seeds are accurately deposited at pre-established distances between plants [1]. This work aims at analyzing the aerodynamic behavior of UAV/Seeder assembly to determine the suitable inclination - among 0°, 15° and 30° - for its takeoff and for its motion during the seeding operation and, in turn, to define the suitable flight plan that increases the batteries autonomy. For this the ANSYS® FLUENT computational tool was used to simulate a wind tunnel which has as principle the Navier-Stokes differential equations, that designates the fluid flow around the UAV/Seeder assembly. The aerodynamic results demonstrated that for take-off the UAV inclination of 30° is the aerodynamically most favorable position due to the lower aerodynamic drag during the climb. Concerning flying motion during the seeding procedure the UAV inclination of 0° is that which leads to lower UAV/Seeder frontal area and drag coefficient.

  16. Development and evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) magnetometry systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parvar, Kiyavash

    In this thesis, the procedure of conducting magnetic surveys from a UAV platform is investigated. In the process of evaluating UAVs for such surveys, magnetic sensors capable of operating on a UAV platform were tested using a terrestrial survey, as well as on a UAV-platform. Results were then compared to a model of the area generated using a proton precession magnetometer. Magnetic signature of the UAVs are discussed and impact values are calculated. For a better understanding of the magnetic fields around UAVs some micro-surveys were conducted with the help of a fluxgate magnetometer around two UAVs. Results of such surveys were used to determine a location to mount the magnetometer during the survey. A test survey over a known anomaly (a visible chromite outcrop in Oman) is conducted in order to determine the feasibility of using UAV-based magnetometry for chromite exploration. Observations were taken at two different elevations in order to generate a 3-D model of the magnetic field. Later, after applying upward continuation filters and comparing the calculated results to the real values, the reliability and uncertainty levels of such filters were investigated. Results show that magnetometery on UAV platforms is feasible. Unwanted signals can be noticeable and produce fake anomalies by the end of each line because of the swinging effect of the suspended magnetometer below the UAV. This should be reduced by hardware and software modifications i.e. applying non-linear filters and mounting the sensor on a rigid rod. Also, it was derived that the error level associated with upward continuation filters exceeds 45% and thus, using such filters instead of actual observations is not suggested in gradiometry. Moreover, 3-D magnetic gradient surveys can be beneficial for future inversion problems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  18. Space shuttle orbiter test flight series

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrett, D.; Gordon, R.; Jackson, R. B.

    1977-01-01

    The proposed studies on the space shuttle orbiter test taxi runs and captive flight tests were set forth. The orbiter test flights, the approach and landing tests (ALT), and the ground vibration tests were cited. Free flight plans, the space shuttle ALT crews, and 747 carrier aircraft crew were considered.

  19. Adaptive sliding mode control for finite-time stability of quad-rotor UAVs with parametric uncertainties.

    PubMed

    Mofid, Omid; Mobayen, Saleh

    2018-01-01

    Adaptive control methods are developed for stability and tracking control of flight systems in the presence of parametric uncertainties. This paper offers a design technique of adaptive sliding mode control (ASMC) for finite-time stabilization of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems with parametric uncertainties. Applying the Lyapunov stability concept and finite-time convergence idea, the recommended control method guarantees that the states of the quad-rotor UAV are converged to the origin with a finite-time convergence rate. Furthermore, an adaptive-tuning scheme is advised to guesstimate the unknown parameters of the quad-rotor UAV at any moment. Finally, simulation results are presented to exhibit the helpfulness of the offered technique compared to the previous methods. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Novel UAV Electric Propulsion Testbed for Diagnostics and Prognostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorospe, George E., Jr.; Kulkarni, Chetan S.

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a novel hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbed for systems level diagnostics and prognostics of an electric propulsion system used in UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle). Referencing the all electric, Edge 540T aircraft used in science and research by NASA Langley Flight Research Center, the HIL testbed includes an identical propulsion system, consisting of motors, speed controllers and batteries. Isolated under a controlled laboratory environment, the propulsion system has been instrumented for advanced diagnostics and prognostics. To produce flight like loading on the system a slave motor is coupled to the motor under test (MUT) and provides variable mechanical resistance, and the capability of introducing nondestructive mechanical wear-like frictional loads on the system. This testbed enables the verification of mathematical models of each component of the propulsion system, the repeatable generation of flight-like loads on the system for fault analysis, test-to-failure scenarios, and the development of advanced system level diagnostics and prognostics methods. The capabilities of the testbed are extended through the integration of a LabVIEW-based client for the Live Virtual Constructive Distributed Environment (LVCDC) Gateway which enables both the publishing of generated data for remotely located observers and prognosers and the synchronization the testbed propulsion system with vehicles in the air. The developed HIL testbed gives researchers easy access to a scientifically relevant portion of the aircraft without the overhead and dangers encountered during actual flight.

  1. Manned/Unmanned Common Architecture Program (MCAP) net centric flight tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Dale

    2009-04-01

    Properly architected avionics systems can reduce the costs of periodic functional improvements, maintenance, and obsolescence. With this in mind, the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) initiated the Manned/Unmanned Common Architecture Program (MCAP) in 2003 to develop an affordable, high-performance embedded mission processing architecture for potential application to multiple aviation platforms. MCAP analyzed Army helicopter and unmanned air vehicle (UAV) missions, identified supporting subsystems, surveyed advanced hardware and software technologies, and defined computational infrastructure technical requirements. The project selected a set of modular open systems standards and market-driven commercial-off-theshelf (COTS) electronics and software, and, developed experimental mission processors, network architectures, and software infrastructures supporting the integration of new capabilities, interoperability, and life cycle cost reductions. MCAP integrated the new mission processing architecture into an AH-64D Apache Longbow and participated in Future Combat Systems (FCS) network-centric operations field experiments in 2006 and 2007 at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico and at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) in 2008. The MCAP Apache also participated in PM C4ISR On-the-Move (OTM) Capstone Experiments 2007 (E07) and 2008 (E08) at Ft. Dix, NJ and conducted Mesa, Arizona local area flight tests in December 2005, February 2006, and June 2008.

  2. Millimeter-wave micro-Doppler measurements of small UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Samiur; Robertson, Duncan A.

    2017-05-01

    This paper discusses the micro-Doppler signatures of small UAVs obtained from a millimeter-wave radar system. At first, simulation results are shown to demonstrate the theoretical concept. It is illustrated that whilst the propeller rotation rate of the small UAVs is quite high, millimeter-wave radar systems are capable of capturing the full micro-Doppler spread. Measurements of small UAVs have been performed with both CW and FMCW radars operating at 94 GHz. The CW radar was used for obtaining micro-Doppler signatures of individual propellers. The field test data of a flying small UAV was collected with the FMCW radar and was processed to extract micro-Doppler signatures. The high fidelity results clearly reveal features such as blade flashes and propeller rotation modulation lines which can be used to classify targets. This work confirms that millimeter-wave radar is suitable for the detection and classification of small UAVs at usefully long ranges.

  3. Initial Flight Test of the Production Support Flight Control Computers at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, John; Stephenson, Mark

    1999-01-01

    The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has completed the initial flight test of a modified set of F/A-18 flight control computers that gives the aircraft a research control law capability. The production support flight control computers (PSFCC) provide an increased capability for flight research in the control law, handling qualities, and flight systems areas. The PSFCC feature a research flight control processor that is "piggybacked" onto the baseline F/A-18 flight control system. This research processor allows for pilot selection of research control law operation in flight. To validate flight operation, a replication of a standard F/A-18 control law was programmed into the research processor and flight-tested over a limited envelope. This paper provides a brief description of the system, summarizes the initial flight test of the PSFCC, and describes future experiments for the PSFCC.

  4. Cloud-Assisted UAV Data Collection for Multiple Emerging Events in Distributed WSNs

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Huiru; Liu, Yongxin; Yue, Xuejun; Zhu, Wenjian

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been widely applied for data collection and image capture. Specifically, UAVs have been integrated with wireless sensor networks (WSNs) to create data collection platforms with high flexibility. However, most studies in this domain focus on system architecture and UAVs’ flight trajectory planning while event-related factors and other important issues are neglected. To address these challenges, we propose a cloud-assisted data gathering strategy for UAV-based WSN in the light of emerging events. We also provide a cloud-assisted approach for deriving UAV’s optimal flying and data acquisition sequence of a WSN cluster. We validate our approach through simulations and experiments. It has been proved that our methodology outperforms conventional approaches in terms of flying time, energy consumption, and integrity of data acquisition. We also conducted a real-world experiment using a UAV to collect data wirelessly from multiple clusters of sensor nodes for monitoring an emerging event, which are deployed in a farm. Compared against the traditional method, this proposed approach requires less than half the flying time and achieves almost perfect data integrity. PMID:28783100

  5. A Q-Learning Approach to Flocking With UAVs in a Stochastic Environment.

    PubMed

    Hung, Shao-Ming; Givigi, Sidney N

    2017-01-01

    In the past two decades, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have demonstrated their efficacy in supporting both military and civilian applications, where tasks can be dull, dirty, dangerous, or simply too costly with conventional methods. Many of the applications contain tasks that can be executed in parallel, hence the natural progression is to deploy multiple UAVs working together as a force multiplier. However, to do so requires autonomous coordination among the UAVs, similar to swarming behaviors seen in animals and insects. This paper looks at flocking with small fixed-wing UAVs in the context of a model-free reinforcement learning problem. In particular, Peng's Q(λ) with a variable learning rate is employed by the followers to learn a control policy that facilitates flocking in a leader-follower topology. The problem is structured as a Markov decision process, where the agents are modeled as small fixed-wing UAVs that experience stochasticity due to disturbances such as winds and control noises, as well as weight and balance issues. Learned policies are compared to ones solved using stochastic optimal control (i.e., dynamic programming) by evaluating the average cost incurred during flight according to a cost function. Simulation results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed learning approach at enabling agents to learn how to flock in a leader-follower topology, while operating in a nonstationary stochastic environment.

  6. Multi-UAV Collaborative Sensor Management for UAV Team Survivability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    Multi-UAV Collaborative Sensor Management for UAV Team Survivability Craig Stoneking, Phil DiBona , and Adria Hughes Lockheed Martin Advanced...Command, Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. REFERENCES [1] DiBona , P., Belov, N., Pawlowski, A. (2006). “Plan-Driven Fusion: Shaping the

  7. Automated UAV-based video exploitation using service oriented architecture framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Se, Stephen; Nadeau, Christian; Wood, Scott

    2011-05-01

    Airborne surveillance and reconnaissance are essential for successful military missions. Such capabilities are critical for troop protection, situational awareness, mission planning, damage assessment, and others. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) gather huge amounts of video data but it is extremely labour-intensive for operators to analyze hours and hours of received data. At MDA, we have developed a suite of tools that can process the UAV video data automatically, including mosaicking, change detection and 3D reconstruction, which have been integrated within a standard GIS framework. In addition, the mosaicking and 3D reconstruction tools have also been integrated in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework. The Visualization and Exploitation Workstation (VIEW) integrates 2D and 3D visualization, processing, and analysis capabilities developed for UAV video exploitation. Visualization capabilities are supported through a thick-client Graphical User Interface (GUI), which allows visualization of 2D imagery, video, and 3D models. The GUI interacts with the VIEW server, which provides video mosaicking and 3D reconstruction exploitation services through the SOA framework. The SOA framework allows multiple users to perform video exploitation by running a GUI client on the operator's computer and invoking the video exploitation functionalities residing on the server. This allows the exploitation services to be upgraded easily and allows the intensive video processing to run on powerful workstations. MDA provides UAV services to the Canadian and Australian forces in Afghanistan with the Heron, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV system. On-going flight operations service provides important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information to commanders and front-line soldiers.

  8. Chosen Aspects of the Production of the Basic Map Using Uav Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedzierski, M.; Fryskowska, A.; Wierzbicki, D.; Nerc, P.

    2016-06-01

    For several years there has been an increasing interest in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in acquiring image data from a low altitude. Considering the cost-effectiveness of the flight time of UAVs vs. conventional airplanes, the use of the former is advantageous when generating large scale accurate ortophotos. Through the development of UAV imagery, we can update large-scale basic maps. These maps are cartographic products which are used for registration, economic, and strategic planning. On the basis of these maps other cartographic maps are produced, for example maps used building planning. The article presents an assessesment of the usefulness of orthophotos based on UAV imagery to upgrade the basic map. In the research a compact, non-metric camera, mounted on a fixed wing powered by an electric motor was used. The tested area covered flat, agricultural and woodland terrains. The processing and analysis of orthorectification were carried out with the INPHO UASMaster programme. Due to the effect of UAV instability on low-altitude imagery, the use of non-metric digital cameras and the low-accuracy GPS-INS sensors, the geometry of images is visibly lower were compared to conventional digital aerial photos (large values of phi and kappa angles). Therefore, typically, low-altitude images require large along- and across-track direction overlap - usually above 70 %. As a result of the research orthoimages were obtained with a resolution of 0.06 meters and a horizontal accuracy of 0.10m. Digitized basic maps were used as the reference data. The accuracy of orthoimages vs. basic maps was estimated based on the study and on the available reference sources. As a result, it was found that the geometric accuracy and interpretative advantages of the final orthoimages allow the updating of basic maps. It is estimated that such an update of basic maps based on UAV imagery reduces processing time by approx. 40%.

  9. An evaluation of a UAV guidance system with consumer grade GPS receivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, Abigail Stella

    Remote sensing has been demonstrated an important tool in agricultural and natural resource management and research applications, however there are limitations that exist with traditional platforms (i.e., hand held sensors, linear moves, vehicle mounted, airplanes, remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellites). Rapid technological advances in electronics, computers, software applications, and the aerospace industry have dramatically reduced the cost and increased the availability of remote sensing technologies. Remote sensing imagery vary in spectral, spatial, and temporal resolutions and are available from numerous providers. Appendix A presented results of a test project that acquired high-resolution aerial photography with a RPV to map the boundary of a 0.42 km2 fire area. The project mapped the boundaries of the fire area from a mosaic of the aerial images collected and compared this with ground-based measurements. The project achieved a 92.4% correlation between the aerial assessment and the ground truth data. Appendix B used multi-objective analysis to quantitatively assess the tradeoffs between different sensor platform attributes to identify the best overall technology. Experts were surveyed to identify the best overall technology at three different pixel sizes. Appendix C evaluated the positional accuracy of a relatively low cost UAV designed for high resolution remote sensing of small areas in order to determine the positional accuracy of sensor readings. The study evaluated the accuracy and uncertainty of a UAV flight route with respect to the programmed waypoints and of the UAV's GPS position, respectively. In addition, the potential displacement of sensor data was evaluated based on (1) GPS measurements on board the aircraft and (2) the autopilot's circuit board with 3-axis gyros and accelerometers (i.e., roll, pitch, and yaw). The accuracies were estimated based on a 95% confidence interval or similar methods. The

  10. Applications of UAVs for Remote Sensing of Critical Infrastructure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegener, Steve; Brass, James; Schoenung, Susan

    2003-01-01

    The surveillance of critical facilities and national infrastructure such as waterways, roadways, pipelines and utilities requires advanced technological tools to provide timely, up to date information on structure status and integrity. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are uniquely suited for these tasks, having large payload and long duration capabilities. UAVs also have the capability to fly dangerous and dull missions, orbiting for 24 hours over a particular area or facility providing around the clock surveillance with no personnel onboard. New UAV platforms and systems are becoming available for commercial use. High altitude platforms are being tested for use in communications, remote sensing, agriculture, forestry and disaster management. New payloads are being built and demonstrated onboard the UAVs in support of these applications. Smaller, lighter, lower power consumption imaging systems are currently being tested over coffee fields to determine yield and over fires to detect fire fronts and hotspots. Communication systems that relay video, meteorological and chemical data via satellite to users on the ground in real-time have also been demonstrated. Interest in this technology for infrastructure characterization and mapping has increased dramatically in the past year. Many of the UAV technological developments required for resource and disaster monitoring are being used for the infrastructure and facility mapping activity. This paper documents the unique contributions from NASA;s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program to these applications. ERAST is a UAV technology development effort by a consortium of private aeronautical companies and NASA. Details of demonstrations of UAV capabilities currently underway are also presented.

  11. B-52B-008/DTV (Drop Test Vehicle) configuration 1 (with and without fins) flight test results - captive flight and drop test missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quade, D. A.

    1978-01-01

    The B-52B-008 drop test consisted of one takeoff roll to 60 KCAS, two captive flights to accomplish limited safety of flight flutter and structural demonstration testing, and seven drop test flights. Of the seven drop test missions, one flight was aborted due to the failure of the hook mechanism to release the drop test vehicle (DTV); but the other six flights successfully dropped the DTV.

  12. Orion Pad Abort 1 Flight Test: Simulation Predictions Versus Flight Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stillwater, Ryan Allanque; Merritt, Deborah S.

    2011-01-01

    The presentation covers the pre-flight simulation predictions of the Orion Pad Abort 1. The pre-flight simulation predictions are compared to the Orion Pad Abort 1 flight test data. Finally the flight test data is compared to the updated simulation predictions, which show a ove rall improvement in the accuracy of the simulation predictions.

  13. Observations of the Summertime Boundary Layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica Using SUMO UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, M. A.; Cassano, J. J.; Jolly, B.; McDonald, A.

    2014-12-01

    During January 2014 Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were used to observe the boundary layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. A total of 41 SUMO flights were completed during a 9-day period with a maximum of 11 flights during a single day. Flights occurred as frequently as every 1.5 hours so that the time evolution of the boundary layer could be documented. On almost all of the flights the boundary layer was well mixed from the surface to a depth of less than 50 m to over 350 m. The depth of the well-mixed layer was observed to both increase and decrease over the course of an individual day suggesting that processes other than entrainment were altering the boundary layer depth. The well-mixed layer was observed to both warm and cool during the field campaign indicating that advective processes as well as surface fluxes were acting to control the temporal evolution of the boundary layer temperature. Only a small number of weakly stably stratified boundary layers were observed. Strong, shallow inversions, of up to 6 K, were observed above the top of the boundary layer. Observations from a 30 m automatic weather station and two temporary automatic weather stations 10 km south and west of the main field campaign location provide additional data for understanding the boundary layer evolution observed by the SUMO UAVs during this 9-day period. This presentation will discuss the observed evolution of the summertime boundary layer as well as comment on lessons learned operating the SUMO UAVs at a remote Antarctic field camp.

  14. An Overview of Flight Test Results for a Formation Flight Autopilot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Curtis E.; Ryan, Jack; Allen, Michael J.; Jacobson, Steven R.

    2002-01-01

    The first flight test phase of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Autonomous Formation Flight project has successfully demonstrated precision autonomous station-keeping of an F/A-18 research airplane with a second F/A-18 airplane. Blended inertial navigation system (INS) and global positioning system (GPS) measurements have been communicated across an air-to-air telemetry link and used to compute relative-position estimates. A precision research formation autopilot onboard the trailing airplane controls lateral and vertical spacing while the leading airplane operates under production autopilot control. Four research autopilot gain sets have been designed and flight-tested, and each exceeds the project design requirement of steady-state tracking accuracy within 1 standard deviation of 10 ft. Performance also has been demonstrated using single- and multiple-axis inputs such as step commands and frequency sweeps. This report briefly describes the experimental formation flight systems employed and discusses the navigation, guidance, and control algorithms that have been flight-tested. An overview of the flight test results of the formation autopilot during steady-state tracking and maneuvering flight is presented.

  15. State estimation for autonomous flight in cluttered environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langelaan, Jacob Willem

    uncertainty in state estimates while remaining tractable for real-time operation. In addition, the issues of data association and landmark initialization are addressed. Estimator performance is examined through Monte Carlo simulations in both two and three dimensions for scenarios involving UAV flight in cluttered environments. Hardware tests and simulations demonstrate navigation through an obstacle-strewn environment by a small Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

  16. Development of flight testing techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandlin, D. R.

    1984-01-01

    A list of students involved in research on flight analysis and development is given along with abstracts of their work. The following is a listing of the titles of each work: Longitudinal stability and control derivatives obtained from flight data of a PA-30 aircraft; Aerodynamic drag reduction tests on a box shaped vehicle; A microprocessor based anti-aliasing filter for a PCM system; Flutter prediction of a wing with active aileron control; Comparison of theoretical and flight measured local flow aerodynamics for a low aspect ratio fin; In flight thrust determination on a real time basis; A comparison of computer generated lift and drag polars for a Wortmann airfoil to flight and wind tunnel results; and Deep stall flight testing of the NASA SGS 1-36.

  17. Flight Validation of a Metrics Driven L(sub 1) Adaptive Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrokhodov, Vladimir; Kitsios, Ioannis; Kaminer, Isaac; Jones, Kevin D.; Xargay, Enric; Hovakimyan, Naira; Cao, Chengyu; Lizarraga, Mariano I.; Gregory, Irene M.

    2008-01-01

    The paper addresses initial steps involved in the development and flight implementation of new metrics driven L1 adaptive flight control system. The work concentrates on (i) definition of appropriate control driven metrics that account for the control surface failures; (ii) tailoring recently developed L1 adaptive controller to the design of adaptive flight control systems that explicitly address these metrics in the presence of control surface failures and dynamic changes under adverse flight conditions; (iii) development of a flight control system for implementation of the resulting algorithms onboard of small UAV; and (iv) conducting a comprehensive flight test program that demonstrates performance of the developed adaptive control algorithms in the presence of failures. As the initial milestone the paper concentrates on the adaptive flight system setup and initial efforts addressing the ability of a commercial off-the-shelf AP with and without adaptive augmentation to recover from control surface failures.

  18. 14 CFR 91.305 - Flight test areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flight test areas. 91.305 Section 91.305... AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Special Flight Operations § 91.305 Flight test areas. No person may flight test an aircraft except over open water, or sparsely populated...

  19. 14 CFR 91.305 - Flight test areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flight test areas. 91.305 Section 91.305... AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Special Flight Operations § 91.305 Flight test areas. No person may flight test an aircraft except over open water, or sparsely populated...

  20. 14 CFR 91.305 - Flight test areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight test areas. 91.305 Section 91.305... AND GENERAL OPERATING RULES GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES Special Flight Operations § 91.305 Flight test areas. No person may flight test an aircraft except over open water, or sparsely populated...

  1. The Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) and its operations from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during the AROMAT campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merlaud, Alexis; Tack, Frederik; Constantin, Daniel; Georgescu, Lucian; Maes, Jeroen; Fayt, Caroline; Mingireanu, Florin; Schuettemeyer, Dirk; Meier, Andreas Carlos; Schönardt, Anja; Ruhtz, Thomas; Bellegante, Livio; Nicolae, Doina; Den Hoed, Mirjam; Allaart, Marc; Van Roozendael, Michel

    2018-01-01

    The Small Whiskbroom Imager for atmospheric compositioN monitorinG (SWING) is a compact remote sensing instrument dedicated to mapping trace gases from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). SWING is based on a compact visible spectrometer and a scanning mirror to collect scattered sunlight. Its weight, size, and power consumption are respectively 920 g, 27 cm × 12 cm × 8 cm, and 6 W. SWING was developed in parallel with a 2.5 m flying-wing UAV. This unmanned aircraft is electrically powered, has a typical airspeed of 100 km h-1, and can operate at a maximum altitude of 3 km. We present SWING-UAV experiments performed in Romania on 11 September 2014 during the Airborne ROmanian Measurements of Aerosols and Trace gases (AROMAT) campaign, which was dedicated to test newly developed instruments in the context of air quality satellite validation. The UAV was operated up to 700 m above ground, in the vicinity of the large power plant of Turceni (44.67° N, 23.41° E; 116 m a. s. l. ). These SWING-UAV flights were coincident with another airborne experiment using the Airborne imaging differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instrument for Measurements of Atmospheric Pollution (AirMAP), and with ground-based DOAS, lidar, and balloon-borne in situ observations. The spectra recorded during the SWING-UAV flights are analysed with the DOAS technique. This analysis reveals NO2 differential slant column densities (DSCDs) up to 13±0.6×1016 molec cm-2. These NO2 DSCDs are converted to vertical column densities (VCDs) by estimating air mass factors. The resulting NO2 VCDs are up to 4.7±0.4×1016 molec cm-2. The water vapour DSCD measurements, up to 8±0.15×1022 molec cm-2, are used to estimate a volume mixing ratio of water vapour in the boundary layer of 0.013±0.002 mol mol-1. These geophysical quantities are validated with the coincident measurements.

  2. Vision-Based Precision Landings of a Tailsitter UAV

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

    2.2: Schematic of the controller used in simulation. The block diagram shown in Figure 2.2 shows the simulation structure used to simulate the vision...the structure of the flight facility walls, any vibration applied to the structure would potentially change the pose of the cameras. Each camera’s pose...relative to the target in Chap- ter 4, a flat earth assumption was made. In several situations the approximation that the ground over which the UAV is

  3. 14 CFR 437.25 - Flight test plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flight test plan. 437.25 Section 437.25... TRANSPORTATION LICENSING EXPERIMENTAL PERMITS Requirements to Obtain an Experimental Permit Flight Test Plan § 437.25 Flight test plan. An applicant must— (a) Describe any flight test program, including estimated...

  4. 14 CFR 437.25 - Flight test plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flight test plan. 437.25 Section 437.25... TRANSPORTATION LICENSING EXPERIMENTAL PERMITS Requirements to Obtain an Experimental Permit Flight Test Plan § 437.25 Flight test plan. An applicant must— (a) Describe any flight test program, including estimated...

  5. 14 CFR 437.25 - Flight test plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flight test plan. 437.25 Section 437.25... TRANSPORTATION LICENSING EXPERIMENTAL PERMITS Requirements to Obtain an Experimental Permit Flight Test Plan § 437.25 Flight test plan. An applicant must— (a) Describe any flight test program, including estimated...

  6. Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test 1 - Post-Flight Assessment of Simulation Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Soumyo; Bowes, Angela L.; Striepe, Scott A.; Davis, Jody L.; Queen, Eric M.; Blood, Eric M.; Ivanov, Mark C.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project conducted its first Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT-1) on June 28, 2014. Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) was one of the flight dynamics codes used to simulate and predict the flight performance and Monte Carlo analysis was used to characterize the potential flight conditions experienced by the test vehicle. This paper compares the simulation predictions with the reconstructed trajectory of SFDT-1. Additionally, off-nominal conditions seen during flight are modeled in post-flight simulations to find the primary contributors that reconcile the simulation with flight data. The results of these analyses are beneficial for the pre-flight simulation and targeting of the follow-on SFDT flights currently scheduled for summer 2015.

  7. Photogrammetric Archaeological Survey with UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouget, A.; Lucet, G.

    2014-05-01

    This document describes a way to obtain various photogrammetric products from aerial photograph using a drone. The aim of the project was to develop a methodology to obtain information for the study of the architecture of pre-Columbian archaeological sites in Mexico combining the manoeuvrability and low cost of a drone with the accuracy of the results of the open source photogrammetric MicMac software. It presents the UAV and the camera used, explains how to manipulate it to carry out stereoscopic photographs, the flight and camera parameters chosen, the treatments performed to obtain orthophotos and 3D models with a centimetric resolution, and finally outlines the quality of the results.

  8. Integration and flight test of a biomimetic heading sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chahl, Javaan; Mizutani, Akiko

    2013-04-01

    We report on the first successful development and implementation of an automatic polarisation compass as the primary heading sensor for a UAV. Polarisation compassing is the primary navigation sense of many flying and walking insects, including bees, ants and crickets. Manually operated polarisation astrolabes were fitted in some passenger airliners prior to the implementation of the global positioning system, to compensate for the overal degradation of magnetic and gyrocompass sensors in polar regions. The device we developed demonstrated accurate determination of the direction of the Sun, with repeatability of better than 0.2 degrees. These figures are comparable to any solid state magnetic compass, including flux gate based devices. Flight trials were undertaken in which the output of the polarimeter was the only heading reference used by the aircraft as it flew through GPS waypoints.

  9. Mobile 3d Mapping with a Low-Cost Uav System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neitzel, F.; Klonowski, J.

    2011-09-01

    In this contribution it is shown how an UAV system can be built at low costs. The components of the system, the equipment as well as the control software are presented. Furthermore an implemented programme for photogrammetric flight planning and its execution are described. The main focus of this contribution is on the generation of 3D point clouds from digital imagery. For this web services and free software solutions are presented which automatically generate 3D point clouds from arbitrary image configurations. Possibilities of georeferencing are described whereas the achieved accuracy has been determined. The presented workflow is finally used for the acquisition of 3D geodata. On the example of a landfill survey it is shown that marketable products can be derived using a low-cost UAV.

  10. Flight Test Implementation of a Second Generation Intelligent Flight Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team was to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology, to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions, and to stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. The Intelligent Flight Control System team is currently in the process of implementing a second generation control scheme, collectively known as Generation 2 or Gen 2, for flight testing on the NASA F-15 aircraft. This report describes the Gen 2 system as implemented by the team for flight test evaluation. Simulation results are shown which describe the experiment to be performed in flight and highlight the ways in which the Gen 2 system meets the defined objectives.

  11. A Flight Control System for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tunik, A. A.; Nadsadnaya, O. I.

    2018-03-01

    The program adaptation of the controller for the flight control system (FCS) of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is considered. Linearized flight dynamic models depend mainly on the true airspeed of the UAV, which is measured by the onboard air data system. This enables its use for program adaptation of the FCS over the full range of altitudes and velocities, which define the flight operating range. FCS with program adaptation, based on static feedback (SF), is selected. The SF parameters for every sub-range of the true airspeed are determined using the linear matrix inequality approach in the case of discrete systems for synthesis of a suboptimal robust H ∞-controller. The use of the Lagrange interpolation between true airspeed sub-ranges provides continuous adaptation. The efficiency of the proposed approach is shown against an example of the heading stabilization system.

  12. UAV Cooperation Architectures for Persistent Sensing

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Roberts, R S; Kent, C A; Jones, E D

    2003-03-20

    With the number of small, inexpensive Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) increasing, it is feasible to build multi-UAV sensing networks. In particular, by using UAVs in conjunction with unattended ground sensors, a degree of persistent sensing can be achieved. With proper UAV cooperation algorithms, sensing is maintained even though exceptional events, e.g., the loss of a UAV, have occurred. In this paper a cooperation technique that allows multiple UAVs to perform coordinated, persistent sensing with unattended ground sensors over a wide area is described. The technique automatically adapts the UAV paths so that on the average, the amount of time thatmore » any sensor has to wait for a UAV revisit is minimized. We also describe the Simulation, Tactical Operations and Mission Planning (STOMP) software architecture. This architecture is designed to help simulate and operate distributed sensor networks where multiple UAVs are used to collect data.« less

  13. Flight testing of airbreathing hypersonic vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, John W.

    1993-01-01

    Using the scramjet engine as the prime example of a hypersonic airbreathing concept, this paper reviews the history of and addresses the need for hypersonic flight tests. It also describes how such tests can contribute to the development of airbreathing technology. Aspects of captive-carry and free-flight concepts are compared. An incremental flight envelope expansion technique for manned flight vehicles is also described. Such critical issues as required instrumentation technology and proper scaling of experimental devices are addressed. Lastly, examples of international flight test approaches, existing programs, or concepts currently under study, development, or both, are given.

  14. Implementation and flight tests for the Digital Integrated Automatic Landing System (DIALS). Part 1: Flight software equations, flight test description and selected flight test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueschen, R. M.

    1986-01-01

    Five flight tests of the Digital Automated Landing System (DIALS) were conducted on the Advanced Transport Operating Systems (ATOPS) Transportation Research Vehicle (TSRV) -- a modified Boeing 737 aircraft for advanced controls and displays research. These flight tests were conducted at NASA's Wallops Flight Center using the microwave landing system (MLS) installation on runway 22. This report describes the flight software equations of the DIALS which was designed using modern control theory direct-digital design methods and employed a constant gain Kalman filter. Selected flight test performance data is presented for localizer (runway centerline) capture and track at various intercept angles, for glideslope capture and track of 3, 4.5, and 5 degree glideslopes, for the decrab maneuver, and for the flare maneuver. Data is also presented to illustrate the system performance in the presence of cross, gust, and shear winds. The mean and standard deviation of the peak position errors for localizer capture were, respectively, 24 feet and 26 feet. For mild wind conditions, glideslope and localizer tracking position errors did not exceed, respectively, 5 and 20 feet. For gusty wind conditions (8 to 10 knots), these errors were, respectively, 10 and 30 feet. Ten hands off automatic lands were performed. The standard deviation of the touchdown position and velocity errors from the mean values were, respectively, 244 feet and 0.7 feet/sec.

  15. Chosen results of field tests of synthetic aperture radar system installed on board UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaniewski, Piotr; Komorniczak, Wojciech; Lesnik, Czeslaw; Cyrek, Jacek; Serafin, Piotr; Labowski, Michal; Wajszczyk, Bronislaw

    2017-04-01

    The paper presents a synthetic information on a UAV-based radar terrain imaging system, its purpose, structure and working principle as well as terrain images obtained from flight experiments. A SAR technology demonstrator has been built as a result of a research project conducted by the Military University of Technology and WB Electronics S.A. under the name WATSAR. The developed system allows to obtain high resolution radar images, both in on-line and off-line modes, independently of the light conditions over the observed area. The software developed for the system allows to determine geographic coordinates of the imaged objects with high accuracy. Four LFM-CW radar sensors were built during the project: two for S band and two for Ku band, working with different signal bandwidths. Acquired signals were processed with the TDC algorithm, which allowed for a number of analyses in order to evaluate the performance of the system. The impact of the navigational corrections on a SAR image quality was assessed as well. The research methodology of the in-flight experiments of the system is presented in the paper. The projects results show that the developed system may be implemented as an aid to tactical C4ISR systems.

  16. Efficiency calibration and minimum detectable activity concentration of a real-time UAV airborne sensor system with two gamma spectrometers.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-Bin; Meng, Jia; Wang, Peng; Cao, Ye; Huang, Xi; Wen, Liang-Sheng; Chen, Da

    2016-04-01

    A small-sized UAV (NH-UAV) airborne system with two gamma spectrometers (LaBr3 detector and HPGe detector) was developed to monitor activity concentration in serious nuclear accidents, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident. The efficiency calibration and determination of minimum detectable activity concentration (MDAC) of the specific system were studied by MC simulations at different flight altitudes, different horizontal distances from the detection position to the source term center and different source term sizes. Both air and ground radiation were considered in the models. The results obtained may provide instructive suggestions for in-situ radioactivity measurements of NH-UAV. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 14 CFR 21.35 - Flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight tests. 21.35 Section 21.35... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.35 Flight tests. (a) Each applicant for an aircraft...) That the aircraft conforms with the type design; and (4) That the Administrator received a flight test...

  18. 14 CFR 21.35 - Flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flight tests. 21.35 Section 21.35... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.35 Flight tests. (a) Each applicant for an aircraft...) That the aircraft conforms with the type design; and (4) That the FAA received a flight test report...

  19. Accuracy evaluation of 3D lidar data from small UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tulldahl, H. M.; Bissmarck, Fredrik; Larsson, Hâkan; Grönwall, Christina; Tolt, Gustav

    2015-10-01

    A UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) with an integrated lidar can be an efficient system for collection of high-resolution and accurate three-dimensional (3D) data. In this paper we evaluate the accuracy of a system consisting of a lidar sensor on a small UAV. High geometric accuracy in the produced point cloud is a fundamental qualification for detection and recognition of objects in a single-flight dataset as well as for change detection using two or several data collections over the same scene. Our work presented here has two purposes: first to relate the point cloud accuracy to data processing parameters and second, to examine the influence on accuracy from the UAV platform parameters. In our work, the accuracy is numerically quantified as local surface smoothness on planar surfaces, and as distance and relative height accuracy using data from a terrestrial laser scanner as reference. The UAV lidar system used is the Velodyne HDL-32E lidar on a multirotor UAV with a total weight of 7 kg. For processing of data into a geographically referenced point cloud, positioning and orientation of the lidar sensor is based on inertial navigation system (INS) data combined with lidar data. The combination of INS and lidar data is achieved in a dynamic calibration process that minimizes the navigation errors in six degrees of freedom, namely the errors of the absolute position (x, y, z) and the orientation (pitch, roll, yaw) measured by GPS/INS. Our results show that low-cost and light-weight MEMS based (microelectromechanical systems) INS equipment with a dynamic calibration process can obtain significantly improved accuracy compared to processing based solely on INS data.

  20. Hyper-X Flight Engine Ground Testing for X-43 Flight Risk Reduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huebner, Lawrence D.; Rock, Kenneth E.; Ruf, Edward G.; Witte, David W.; Andrews, Earl H., Jr.

    2001-01-01

    Airframe-integrated scramjet engine testing has been completed at Mach 7 flight conditions in the NASA Langley 8-Foot High Temperature Tunnel as part of the NASA Hyper-X program. This test provided engine performance and operability data, as well as design and database verification, for the Mach 7 flight tests of the Hyper-X research vehicle (X-43), which will provide the first-ever airframe-integrated scramjet data in flight. The Hyper-X Flight Engine, a duplicate Mach 7 X-43 scramjet engine, was mounted on an airframe structure that duplicated the entire three-dimensional propulsion flowpath from the vehicle leading edge to the vehicle trailing edge. This model was also tested to verify and validate the complete flight-like engine system. This paper describes the subsystems that were subjected to flight-like conditions and presents supporting data. The results from this test help to reduce risk for the Mach 7 flights of the X-43.

  1. Towards a More Efficient Detection of Earthquake Induced FAÇADE Damages Using Oblique Uav Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, D.; Nex, F.; Kerle, N.; Vosselman, G.

    2017-08-01

    Urban search and rescue (USaR) teams require a fast and thorough building damage assessment, to focus their rescue efforts accordingly. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are able to capture relevant data in a short time frame and survey otherwise inaccessible areas after a disaster, and have thus been identified as useful when coupled with RGB cameras for façade damage detection. Existing literature focuses on the extraction of 3D and/or image features as cues for damage. However, little attention has been given to the efficiency of the proposed methods which hinders its use in an urban search and rescue context. The framework proposed in this paper aims at a more efficient façade damage detection using UAV multi-view imagery. This was achieved directing all damage classification computations only to the image regions containing the façades, hence discarding the irrelevant areas of the acquired images and consequently reducing the time needed for such task. To accomplish this, a three-step approach is proposed: i) building extraction from the sparse point cloud computed from the nadir images collected in an initial flight; ii) use of the latter as proxy for façade location in the oblique images captured in subsequent flights, and iii) selection of the façade image regions to be fed to a damage classification routine. The results show that the proposed framework successfully reduces the extracted façade image regions to be assessed for damage 6 fold, hence increasing the efficiency of subsequent damage detection routines. The framework was tested on a set of UAV multi-view images over a neighborhood of the city of L'Aquila, Italy, affected in 2009 by an earthquake.

  2. Hypersonic Flight Test Windows for Technology Development Testing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-01

    used. 2.1 Propulsion and Controls Test Window The technologies dealing with scramjet propulsion (inlets, fuel injection, etc.) and hypersonic ...AFRL-RQ-WP-TM-2013-0260 HYPERSONIC FLIGHT TEST WINDOWS FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TESTING Barry M. Hellman Vehicle Technology Branch...DATES COVERED (From - To) November 2013 Final 01 November 2013 – 25 November 2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE HYPERSONIC FLIGHT TEST WINDOWS FOR

  3. Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Mojave Airport in Southern California.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-03

    Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Mojave Airport in Southern California. The unique tandem-wing Proteus was the testbed for a series of UAV collision-avoidance flight demonstrations. An Amphitech 35GHz radar unit installed below Proteus' nose was the primary sensor for the Detect, See and Avoid tests. NASA Dryden's F/A-18 Hornet was one of many different aircraft used in the tests.

  4. The left wing of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rests in a jig during construction at G

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The left wing of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rests in a jig during construction at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., (GA-ASI) facility at Adelanto, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator to validate a variety of command and control technologies for UAVs, as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Eleven-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 86 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  5. ACAS-Xu Initial Self-Separation Flight Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marston, Mike; Baca, Gabe

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this flight test report is to document and report the details of the ACAS Xu (Airborne Collision Avoidance System For Unmanned Aircraft) / Self-Separation flight test series performed at Edwards AFB from November to December of 2014. Included in this document are details about participating aircraft, aircrew, mission crew, system configurations, flight data, flight execution, flight summary, test results, and lessons learned.

  6. UAV-borne coherent doppler lidar for marine atmospheric boundary layer observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Songhua; Wang, Qichao; Liu, Bingyi; Liu, Jintao; Zhang, Kailin; Song, Xiaoquan

    2018-04-01

    A compact UAV-borne Coherent Doppler Lidar (UCDL) has been developed at the Ocean University of China for the observation of wind profile and boundary layer structure in Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer (MABL). The design, specifications and motion-correction methodology of the UCDL are presented. Preliminary results of the first flight campaign in Hailing Island in December 2016 is discussed.

  7. Ares I-X Flight Test Philosophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, S. R.; Tuma, M. L.; Heitzman, K.

    2007-01-01

    In response to the Vision for Space Exploration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has defined a new space exploration architecture to return humans to the Moon and prepare for human exploration of Mars. One of the first new developments will be the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), which will carry the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to support International Space Station (ISS) missions and, later, support lunar missions. As part of Ares I development, NASA will perform a series of Ares I flight tests. The tests will provide data that will inform the engineering and design process and verify the flight hardware and software. The data gained from the flight tests will be used to certify the new Ares/Orion vehicle for human space flight. The primary objectives of this first flight test (Ares I-X) are the following: Demonstrate control of a dynamically similar integrated Ares CLV/Orion CEV using Ares CLV ascent control algorithms; Perform an in-flight separation/staging event between an Ares I-similar First Stage and a representative Upper Stage; Demonstrate assembly and recovery of a new Ares CLV-like First Stage element at Kennedy Space Center (KSC); Demonstrate First Stage separation sequencing, and quantify First Stage atmospheric entry dynamics and parachute performance; and Characterize the magnitude of the integrated vehicle roll torque throughout the First Stage (powered) flight. This paper will provide an overview of the Ares I-X flight test process and details of the individual flight tests.

  8. Pricise Target Geolocation and Tracking Based on Uav Video Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinpoor, H. R.; Samadzadegan, F.; Dadrasjavan, F.

    2016-06-01

    There is an increasingly large number of applications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from monitoring, mapping and target geolocation. However, most of commercial UAVs are equipped with low-cost navigation sensors such as C/A code GPS and a low-cost IMU on board, allowing a positioning accuracy of 5 to 10 meters. This low accuracy cannot be used in applications that require high precision data on cm-level. This paper presents a precise process for geolocation of ground targets based on thermal video imagery acquired by small UAV equipped with RTK GPS. The geolocation data is filtered using an extended Kalman filter, which provides a smoothed estimate of target location and target velocity. The accurate geo-locating of targets during image acquisition is conducted via traditional photogrammetric bundle adjustment equations using accurate exterior parameters achieved by on board IMU and RTK GPS sensors, Kalman filtering and interior orientation parameters of thermal camera from pre-flight laboratory calibration process. The results of this study compared with code-based ordinary GPS, indicate that RTK observation with proposed method shows more than 10 times improvement of accuracy in target geolocation.

  9. a Uav-Based Low-Cost Stereo Camera System for Archaeological Surveys - Experiences from Doliche (turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haubeck, K.; Prinz, T.

    2013-08-01

    The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveying archaeological sites is becoming more and more common due to their advantages in rapidity of data acquisition, cost-efficiency and flexibility. One possible usage is the documentation and visualization of historic geo-structures and -objects using UAV-attached digital small frame cameras. These monoscopic cameras offer the possibility to obtain close-range aerial photographs, but - under the condition that an accurate nadir-waypoint flight is not possible due to choppy or windy weather conditions - at the same time implicate the problem that two single aerial images not always meet the required overlap to use them for 3D photogrammetric purposes. In this paper, we present an attempt to replace the monoscopic camera with a calibrated low-cost stereo camera that takes two pictures from a slightly different angle at the same time. Our results show that such a geometrically predefined stereo image pair can be used for photogrammetric purposes e.g. the creation of digital terrain models (DTMs) and orthophotos or the 3D extraction of single geo-objects. Because of the limited geometric photobase of the applied stereo camera and the resulting base-height ratio the accuracy of the DTM however directly depends on the UAV flight altitude.

  10. Remote Marker-Based Tracking for UAV Landing Using Visible-Light Camera Sensor.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Phong Ha; Kim, Ki Wan; Lee, Young Won; Park, Kang Ryoung

    2017-08-30

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are commonly known as drones, have proved to be useful not only on the battlefields where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult, but also in everyday life purposes such as surveillance, monitoring, rescue, unmanned cargo, aerial video, and photography. More advanced drones make use of global positioning system (GPS) receivers during the navigation and control loop which allows for smart GPS features of drone navigation. However, there are problems if the drones operate in heterogeneous areas with no GPS signal, so it is important to perform research into the development of UAVs with autonomous navigation and landing guidance using computer vision. In this research, we determined how to safely land a drone in the absence of GPS signals using our remote maker-based tracking algorithm based on the visible light camera sensor. The proposed method uses a unique marker designed as a tracking target during landing procedures. Experimental results show that our method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art object trackers in terms of both accuracy and processing time, and we perform test on an embedded system in various environments.

  11. Remote Marker-Based Tracking for UAV Landing Using Visible-Light Camera Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Phong Ha; Kim, Ki Wan; Lee, Young Won; Park, Kang Ryoung

    2017-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are commonly known as drones, have proved to be useful not only on the battlefields where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult, but also in everyday life purposes such as surveillance, monitoring, rescue, unmanned cargo, aerial video, and photography. More advanced drones make use of global positioning system (GPS) receivers during the navigation and control loop which allows for smart GPS features of drone navigation. However, there are problems if the drones operate in heterogeneous areas with no GPS signal, so it is important to perform research into the development of UAVs with autonomous navigation and landing guidance using computer vision. In this research, we determined how to safely land a drone in the absence of GPS signals using our remote maker-based tracking algorithm based on the visible light camera sensor. The proposed method uses a unique marker designed as a tracking target during landing procedures. Experimental results show that our method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art object trackers in terms of both accuracy and processing time, and we perform test on an embedded system in various environments. PMID:28867775

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexakis, Dimitrios; Seiradakis, Kostas; Tsanis, Ioannis

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Optimal design of UAV's pod shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Qun; Jia, Hong-guang

    2011-08-01

    In the modern war, UAV(unmanned aircraft system) plays a more and more important role in the army. UAVs always carry electrical-optical reconnaissance systems. These systems are used to accomplish the missions of observing and reconnaissance the battlefield. For traditional UAV, the shape of the pod on UAV is sphericity. In addition, the pod of UAV not only has the job of observing and reconnaissance the battlefield, but its shape also has impact on the UAV's drag when it flies in the air. In this paper, two different kinds of pod models are set up, one is the traditional sphericity model, the other is a new model. Unstructured grid is used on the flow field. Using CFD(computational fluid dynamic) method, the results of the drags of the different kinds of pod are got. The drag's relationship between the pod and the UAV is obtained by comparing the results of simulations. After analyzing the results we can get: when UAV flies at low speed(0.3Ma{0.7Ma), the drag's difference between the two kinds of pod is little, the pod's drag takes a small part of the UAV's whole drag which is only about 14%. At transonic speed(0.8Ma{1.2Ma), the drag's difference between these two kinds of pod is getting bigger and bigger along with the speed goes higher. The traditional pod's drag is 1/3 of the UAV's whole drag value, but for the new pod, it is only 1/5. At supersonic speed(1.3Ma{2.0Ma), the traditional pod's drag goes up rapidly, but the new kind of pod's drag goes up slowly. This makes the difference between the two kinds of UAVs' total drag comes greater. For example, at 2Ma, the total drag of new UAV is only 2/3 of the traditional UAV. These results show: when the UAV flies at low speed, these two kinds of pod have little difference in drag. But if it flies at supersonic speed, the pod has great impact on the UAV's total drag, so the designer of UAV's pod should pay more attention on the out shape.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollgger, Stefan; Cruden, Alexander

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Evaluation of composite materials providing improved acoustic transmission loss for UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callicoat, Jeffrey R.

    With the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in civilian airspace in the near future, community noise will be a major issue of concern. Numerous studies have shown a direct link between community noise pollution (i.e., road traffic noise and airport noise) and serious health problems. There exists, therefore, a pressing need to create quiet UAVs, and this drives the need for noise-attenuating materials and structures suitable for UAV airframe fabrication. By shrouding predominant noise sources such as the engine, exhaust, and even the propeller (in the case of a ducted fan) with the airframe structure, the airframe can serve as a noise transmission barrier and substantially reduce UAV noise profiles. The present research effort is an experimental investigation of light-weight fiber-reinforced composite materials to provide high acoustic transmission loss (TL) for use in fabricating UAV airframes. A transmission loss tube acoustic test system was designed, fabricated, and validated, and extensive testing was done on numerous composite layups of interest for UAV fabrication. Composites under study included carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar fabrics as skin materials along with vinyl foam, Nomex honeycomb, and balsawood as core materials. Results from testing small 3"x3" samples in the TL tube led to the selection of four composite sandwich panels of interest for further study. Larger 36"x36" test samples of these selected layups were then fabricated and tested using a 2-room methodology. Whereas the TL tube yielded results in the stiffness-controlled region of acoustic behavior, the 2-room tests produced results in the mass-controlled region for these materials, enabling relative performance comparisons over both acoustic regimes. Recognizing that a good material for airframe fabrication should possess not only high TL, but also low weight and high stiffness, load-deflection tests were conducted and overall material performance was compared in terms of

  16. A debugging method of the Quadrotor UAV based on infrared thermal imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Guangjie; Hao, Qian; Yang, Jianguo; Chen, Lizhi; Hu, Hongkang; Zhang, Lijun

    2018-01-01

    High-performance UAV has been popular and in great need in recent years. The paper introduces a new method in debugging Quadrotor UAVs. Based on the infrared thermal technology and heat transfer theory, a UAV is under debugging above a hot-wire grid which is composed of 14 heated nichrome wires. And the air flow propelled by the rotating rotors has an influence on the temperature distribution of the hot-wire grid. An infrared thermal imager below observes the distribution and gets thermal images of the hot-wire grid. With the assistance of mathematic model and some experiments, the paper discusses the relationship between thermal images and the speed of rotors. By means of getting debugged UAVs into test, the standard information and thermal images can be acquired. The paper demonstrates that comparing to the standard thermal images, a UAV being debugging in the same test can draw some critical data directly or after interpolation. The results are shown in the paper and the advantages are discussed.

  17. UAV-based Natural Hazard Management in High-Alpine Terrain - Case Studies from Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotier, Bernadette; Adams, Marc; Lechner, Veronika

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become a standard tool for geodata collection, as they allow conducting on-demand mapping missions in a flexible, cost-effective manner at an unprecedented level of detail. Easy-to-use, high-performance image matching software make it possible to process the collected aerial images to orthophotos and 3D-terrain models. Such up-to-date geodata have proven to be an important asset in natural hazard management: Processes like debris flows, avalanches, landslides, fluvial erosion and rock-fall can be detected and quantified; damages can be documented and evaluated. In the Alps, these processes mostly originate in remote areas, which are difficult and hazardous to access, thus presenting a challenging task for RPAS data collection. In particular, the problems include finding suitable landing and piloting-places, dealing with bad or no GPS-signals and the installation of ground control points (GCP) for georeferencing. At the BFW, RPAS have been used since 2012 to aid natural hazard management of various processes, of which three case studies are presented below. The first case study deals with the results from an attempt to employ UAV-based multi-spectral remote sensing to monitor the state of natural hazard protection forests. Images in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) band were collected using modified low-cost cameras, combined with different optical filters. Several UAV-flights were performed in the 72 ha large study site in 2014, which lies in the Wattental, Tyrol (Austria) between 1700 and 2050 m a.s.l., where the main tree species are stone pine and mountain pine. The matched aerial images were analysed using different UAV-specific vitality indices, evaluating both single- and dual-camera UAV-missions. To calculate the mass balance of a debris flow in the Tyrolean Halltal (Austria), an RPAS flight was conducted in autumn 2012. The extreme alpine environment was challenging for both the mission and the evaluation of the aerial

  18. Simulations for the Test Flight of an Experimental HALE Aircraft

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    as a plant representation for HALE aircraft control design. It focuses on a reduced number of states to represent the complex nonlinear problem...Atkins, Ella M., Shearer, Christopher M. and Nathan A. Pitcher . “X-HALE: A Very Flexible UAV for Nonlinear Aeroelastic Tests.” (AIAA 2010-2715), April

  19. Long-term monitoring of a large landslide by using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindner, Gerald; Schraml, Klaus; Mansberger, Reinfried; Hübl, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    Currently UAVs become more and more important in various scientific areas, including forestry, precision farming, archaeology and hydrology. Using these drones in natural hazards research enables a completely new level of data acquisition being flexible of site, invariant in time, cost-efficient and enabling arbitrary spatial resolution. In this study, a rotary-wing Mini-UAV carrying a DSLR camera was used to acquire time series of overlapping aerial images. These photographs were taken as input to extract Digital Surface Models (DSM) as well as orthophotos in the area of interest. The "Pechgraben" area in Upper Austria has a catchment area of approximately 2 km². Geology is mainly dominated by limestone and sandstone. Caused by heavy rainfalls in the late spring of 2013, an area of about 70 ha began to move towards the village in the valley. In addition to the urgent measures, the slow-moving landslide was monitored approximately every month over a time period of more than 18 months. A detailed documentation of the change process was the result. Moving velocities and height differences were quantified and validated using a dense network of Ground Control Points (GCP). For further analysis, 14 image flights with a total amount of 10.000 photographs were performed to create multi-temporal geodata in in sub-decimeter-resolution for two depicted areas of the landslide. Using a UAV for this application proved to be an excellent choice, as it allows short repetition times, low flying heights and high spatial resolution. Furthermore, the UAV acts almost weather independently as well as highly autonomously. High-quality results can be expected within a few hours after the photo flight. The UAV system performs very well in an alpine environment. Time series of the assessed geodata detect changes in topography and provide a long-term documentation of the measures taken in order to stop the landslide and to prevent infrastructure from damage.

  20. DAZZLE project: UAV to ground communication system using a laser and a modulated retro-reflector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thueux, Yoann; Avlonitis, Nicholas; Erry, Gavin

    2014-10-01

    The advent of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has generated the need for reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements for communications systems with a high data rate, enhanced security and quality of service. This paper presents the current results of the DAZZLE project run by Airbus Group Innovations. The specifications, integration steps and initial performance of a UAV to ground communication system using a laser and a modulated retro-reflector are detailed. The laser operates at the wavelength of 1550nm and at power levels that keep it eye safe. It is directed using a FLIR pan and tilt unit driven by an image processing-based system that tracks the UAV in flight at a range of a few kilometers. The modulated retro-reflector is capable of a data rate of 20Mbps over short distances, using 200mW of electrical power. The communication system was tested at the Pershore Laser Range in July 2014. Video data from a flying Octocopter was successfully transmitted over 1200m. During the next phase of the DAZZLE project, the team will attempt to produce a modulated retro-reflector capable of 1Gbps in partnership with the research institute Acreo1 based in Sweden. A high speed laser beam steering capability based on a Spatial Light Modulator will also be added to the system to improve beam pointing accuracy.

  1. Development and Validation of a UAV Based System for Air Pollution Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Villa, Tommaso Francesco; Salimi, Farhad; Morton, Kye; Morawska, Lidia; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    Air quality data collection near pollution sources is difficult, particularly when sites are complex, have physical barriers, or are themselves moving. Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer new approaches to air pollution and atmospheric studies. However, there are a number of critical design decisions which need to be made to enable representative data collection, in particular the location of the air sampler or air sensor intake. The aim of this research was to establish the best mounting point for four gas sensors and a Particle Number Concentration (PNC) monitor, onboard a hexacopter, so to develop a UAV system capable of measuring point source emissions. The research included two different tests: (1) evaluate the air flow behavior of a hexacopter, its downwash and upwash effect, by measuring air speed along three axes to determine the location where the sensors should be mounted; (2) evaluate the use of gas sensors for CO2, CO, NO2 and NO, and the PNC monitor (DISCmini) to assess the efficiency and performance of the UAV based system by measuring emissions from a diesel engine. The air speed behavior map produced by test 1 shows the best mounting point for the sensors to be alongside the UAV. This position is less affected by the propeller downwash effect. Test 2 results demonstrated that the UAV propellers cause a dispersion effect shown by the decrease of gas and PN concentration measured in real time. A Linear Regression model was used to estimate how the sensor position, relative to the UAV center, affects pollutant concentration measurements when the propellers are turned on. This research establishes guidelines on how to develop a UAV system to measure point source emissions. Such research should be undertaken before any UAV system is developed for real world data collection. PMID:28009820

  2. Development and Validation of a UAV Based System for Air Pollution Measurements.

    PubMed

    Villa, Tommaso Francesco; Salimi, Farhad; Morton, Kye; Morawska, Lidia; Gonzalez, Felipe

    2016-12-21

    Air quality data collection near pollution sources is difficult, particularly when sites are complex, have physical barriers, or are themselves moving. Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer new approaches to air pollution and atmospheric studies. However, there are a number of critical design decisions which need to be made to enable representative data collection, in particular the location of the air sampler or air sensor intake. The aim of this research was to establish the best mounting point for four gas sensors and a Particle Number Concentration (PNC) monitor, onboard a hexacopter, so to develop a UAV system capable of measuring point source emissions. The research included two different tests: (1) evaluate the air flow behavior of a hexacopter, its downwash and upwash effect, by measuring air speed along three axes to determine the location where the sensors should be mounted; (2) evaluate the use of gas sensors for CO₂, CO, NO₂ and NO, and the PNC monitor (DISCmini) to assess the efficiency and performance of the UAV based system by measuring emissions from a diesel engine. The air speed behavior map produced by test 1 shows the best mounting point for the sensors to be alongside the UAV. This position is less affected by the propeller downwash effect. Test 2 results demonstrated that the UAV propellers cause a dispersion effect shown by the decrease of gas and PN concentration measured in real time. A Linear Regression model was used to estimate how the sensor position, relative to the UAV center, affects pollutant concentration measurements when the propellers are turned on. This research establishes guidelines on how to develop a UAV system to measure point source emissions. Such research should be undertaken before any UAV system is developed for real world data collection.

  3. Long Corridor Survey for High Voltage Power Lines Design Using Uav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarlatos, D.; Vamvakousis, V.

    2017-11-01

    The term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is often directly associated with the armed forces due to their widely-criticized use of such vehicles on the modern battlefield. However, with the advancement of UAV technology, the acquisition and operational cost of small civilian UAV have reduced while their functionalities have increased. Therefore, a wide variety of new civilian applications have emerged. Mapping industry has been benefited as affordable UAV can partially replace traditional platforms, such as helicopters and small aircrafts, for low altitude photography acquisition. Although relatively new to the industry, the use of UAV is rapidly commercialized and they are expected to have a sizeable impact on the mapping industry in the coming years. The aim of this work was to test the use of a low-cost UAV for orthophoto production and Digital Surface Model (DSM) creation, to be used for the design of a new 23km high voltage line of Electricity Authority of Cyprus.

  4. NASA Crew Launch Vehicle Flight Test Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, Charles E., Jr.; Davis, Stephan R.; Robonson, Kimberly; Tuma, Margaret L.; Sullivan, Greg

    2006-01-01

    Options for development flight testing (DFT) of the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) are discussed. The Ares-I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) is being developed by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to launch the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) into low Earth Orbit (LEO). The Ares-I implements one of the components of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), providing crew and cargo access to the International Space Station (ISS) after retirement of the Space Shuttle and, eventually, forming part of the launch capability needed for lunar exploration. The role of development flight testing is to demonstrate key sub-systems, address key technical risks, and provide flight data to validate engineering models in representative flight environments. This is distinguished from certification flight testing, which is designed to formally validate system functionality and achieve flight readiness. Lessons learned from Saturn V, Space Shuttle, and other flight programs are examined along with key Ares-I technical risks in order to provide insight into possible development flight test strategies. A strategy for the first test flight of the Ares I, known as Ares I-1, is presented.

  5. Feasibility Study for an Autonomous UAV -Magnetometer System -- Final Report on SERDP SEED 1509:2206

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Roelof Versteeg; Mark McKay; Matt Anderson

    2007-09-01

    challenges associated with a low stand off distance autonomous UAV magnetometer platform and to investigate whether these challenges can be resolved successfully such that a successful UAV magnetometer platform can be constructed. The primary challenges which were identified and investigated include: 1. The feasibility of assembling a payload package which integrates magnetometers, accurate positioning systems (DGPS, height above ground measurement), obstacle avoidance systems, power infrastructure, communications and data storage as well as auxiliary flight controls 2. The availability of commercial UAV platforms with autonomous flight capability which can accommodate this payload package 3. The feasibility of integrating obstacle avoidance controls in UAV platform control 4. The feasibility of collecting high quality magnetic data in the vicinity of an UAV.« less

  6. Evaluating the accuracy of low cost UAV generated topography and its effectiveness for geomorphic change detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Kristen

    2015-04-01

    With the recent explosion in the use and availability of unmanned aerial vehicle platforms and development of easy to use structure from motion (SfM) software, UAV based photogrammetry is increasingly being adopted to produce high resolution topography for the study of surface processes. UAV systems can vary substantially in price and complexity, but the tradeoffs between these and the quality of the resulting data are not well constrained. We look at one end of this spectrum and evaluate the effectiveness of a simple low cost UAV setup for obtaining high resolution topography in a challenging field setting. Our study site is the Daan River gorge in western Taiwan, a rapidly eroding bedrock gorge that we have monitored with terrestrial Lidar since 2009. The site presents challenges for the generation and analysis of high resolution topography, including vertical gorge walls, vegetation, wide variation in surface roughness, and a complicated 3D morphology. In order to evaluate the accuracy of the UAV-derived topography, we compare it with terrestrial Lidar data collected during the same survey period. Our UAV setup combines a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter with a 16 megapixel Canon Powershot camera for a total platform cost of less than 850. The quadcopter is flown manually, and the camera is programmed to take a photograph every 4 seconds, yielding 200-250 pictures per flight. We measured ground control points and targets for both the Lidar scans and the aerial surveys using a Leica RTK GPS with 1-2 cm accuracy. UAV derived point clouds were obtained using Agisoft Photoscan software. We conducted both Lidar and UAV surveys before and after the 2014 typhoon season, allowing us to evaluate the reliability of the UAV survey to detect geomorphic changes in the range of one to several meters. The accuracy of the SfM point clouds depends strongly on the characteristics of the surface being considered, with vegetation and small scale texture causing inaccuracies. However, we

  7. Flight-Test Evaluation of Flutter-Prediction Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lind, RIck; Brenner, Marty

    2003-01-01

    The flight-test community routinely spends considerable time and money to determine a range of flight conditions, called a flight envelope, within which an aircraft is safe to fly. The cost of determining a flight envelope could be greatly reduced if there were a method of safely and accurately predicting the speed associated with the onset of an instability called flutter. Several methods have been developed with the goal of predicting flutter speeds to improve the efficiency of flight testing. These methods include (1) data-based methods, in which one relies entirely on information obtained from the flight tests and (2) model-based approaches, in which one relies on a combination of flight data and theoretical models. The data-driven methods include one based on extrapolation of damping trends, one that involves an envelope function, one that involves the Zimmerman-Weissenburger flutter margin, and one that involves a discrete-time auto-regressive model. An example of a model-based approach is that of the flutterometer. These methods have all been shown to be theoretically valid and have been demonstrated on simple test cases; however, until now, they have not been thoroughly evaluated in flight tests. An experimental apparatus called the Aerostructures Test Wing (ATW) was developed to test these prediction methods.

  8. Free Flight Ground Testing of ADEPT in Advance of the Sounding Rocket One Flight Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, B. P.; Dutta, S.

    2017-01-01

    The Adaptable Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT) project will be conducting the first flight test of ADEPT, titled Sounding Rocket One (SR-1), in just two months. The need for this flight test stems from the fact that ADEPT's supersonic dynamic stability has not yet been characterized. The SR-1 flight test will provide critical data describing the flight mechanics of ADEPT in ballistic flight. These data will feed decision making on future ADEPT mission designs. This presentation will describe the SR-1 scientific data products, possible flight test outcomes, and the implications of those outcomes on future ADEPT development. In addition, this presentation will describe free-flight ground testing performed in advance of the flight test. A subsonic flight dynamics test conducted at the Vertical Spin Tunnel located at NASA Langley Research Center provided subsonic flight dynamics data at high and low altitudes for multiple center of mass (CoM) locations. A ballistic range test at the Hypervelocity Free Flight Aerodynamics Facility (HFFAF) located at NASA Ames Research Center provided supersonic flight dynamics data at low supersonic Mach numbers. Execution and outcomes of these tests will be discussed. Finally, a hypothesized trajectory estimate for the SR-1 flight will be presented.

  9. Flight Test of an L(sub 1) Adaptive Controller on the NASA AirSTAR Flight Test Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregory, Irene M.; Xargay, Enric; Cao, Chengyu; Hovakimyan, Naira

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents results of a flight test of the L-1 adaptive control architecture designed to directly compensate for significant uncertain cross-coupling in nonlinear systems. The flight test was conducted on the subscale turbine powered Generic Transport Model that is an integral part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system at the NASA Langley Research Center. The results presented are for piloted tasks performed during the flight test.

  10. In-Flight Vibration Environment of the NASA F-15B Flight Test Fixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corda, Stephen; Franz, Russell J.; Blanton, James N.; Vachon, M. Jake; DeBoer, James B.

    2002-01-01

    Flight vibration data are analyzed for the NASA F-15B/Flight Test Fixture II test bed. Understanding the in-flight vibration environment benefits design and integration of experiments on the test bed. The power spectral density (PSD) of accelerometer flight data is analyzed to quantify the in-flight vibration environment from a frequency of 15 Hz to 1325 Hz. These accelerometer data are analyzed for typical flight conditions and maneuvers. The vibration data are compared to flight-qualification random vibration test standards. The PSD levels in the lateral axis generally are greater than in the longitudinal and vertical axes and decrease with increasing frequency. At frequencies less than approximately 40 Hz, the highest PSD levels occur during takeoff and landing. Peaks in the PSD data for the test fixture occur at approximately 65, 85, 105-110, 200, 500, and 1000 Hz. The pitch-pulse and 2-g turn maneuvers produce PSD peaks at 115 Hz. For cruise conditions, the PSD level of the 85-Hz peak is greatest for transonic flight at Mach 0.9. From 400 Hz to 1325 Hz, the takeoff phase has the highest random vibration levels. The flight-measured vibration levels generally are substantially lower than the random vibration test curve.

  11. Orion Pad Abort 1 Flight Test - Ground and Flight Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hackenbergy, Davis L.; Hicks, Wayne

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the ground and flight operations aspects to the Pad Abort 1 launch. The paper details the processes used to plan all operations. The paper then discussions the difficulties of integration and testing, while detailing some of the lessons learned throughout the entire launch campaign. Flight operational aspects of the launc are covered in order to provide the listener with the full suite of operational issues encountered in preparation for the first flight test of the Orion Launch Abort System.

  12. A method of fast mosaic for massive UAV images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Ren; Sun, Min; Jiang, Cheng; Liu, Lei; Zheng, Hui; Li, Xiaodong

    2014-11-01

    With the development of UAV technology, UAVs are used widely in multiple fields such as agriculture, forest protection, mineral exploration, natural disaster management and surveillances of public security events. In contrast of traditional manned aerial remote sensing platforms, UAVs are cheaper and more flexible to use. So users can obtain massive image data with UAVs, but this requires a lot of time to process the image data, for example, Pix4UAV need approximately 10 hours to process 1000 images in a high performance PC. But disaster management and many other fields require quick respond which is hard to realize with massive image data. Aiming at improving the disadvantage of high time consumption and manual interaction, in this article a solution of fast UAV image stitching is raised. GPS and POS data are used to pre-process the original images from UAV, belts and relation between belts and images are recognized automatically by the program, in the same time useless images are picked out. This can boost the progress of finding match points between images. Levenberg-Marquard algorithm is improved so that parallel computing can be applied to shorten the time of global optimization notably. Besides traditional mosaic result, it can also generate superoverlay result for Google Earth, which can provide a fast and easy way to show the result data. In order to verify the feasibility of this method, a fast mosaic system of massive UAV images is developed, which is fully automated and no manual interaction is needed after original images and GPS data are provided. A test using 800 images of Kelan River in Xinjiang Province shows that this system can reduce 35%-50% time consumption in contrast of traditional methods, and increases respond speed of UAV image processing rapidly.

  13. Integrated Test and Evaluation (ITE) Flight Test Series 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marston, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The integrated Flight Test 4 (FT4) will gather data for the UAS researchers Sense and Avoid systems (referred to as Detect and Avoid in the RTCA SC 228 ToR) algorithms and pilot displays for candidate UAS systems in a relevant environment. The technical goals of FT4 are to: 1) perform end-to-end traffic encounter test of pilot guidance generated by DAA algorithms; 2) collect data to inform the initial Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid systems. FT4 objectives and test infrastructure builds from previous UAS project simulations and flight tests. NASA Ames (ARC), NASA Armstrong (AFRC), and NASA Langley (LaRC) Research Centers will share responsibility for conducting the tests, each providing a test lab and critical functionality. UAS-NAS project support and participation on the 2014 flight test of ACAS Xu and DAA Self Separation (SS) significantly contributed to building up infrastructure and procedures for FT3 as well. The DAA Scripted flight test (FT4) will be conducted out of NASA Armstrong over an eight-week period beginning in April 2016.

  14. Selected Flight Test Results for Online Learning Neural Network-Based Flight Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate neural network-based adaptive controller benefits, with the objective to develop and flight-test control systems using neural network technology to optimize aircraft performance under nominal conditions and stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This open-loop flight test set was performed in preparation for a future phase in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed - pitch frequency sweep and automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. Flight data examination shows that addition of flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved aircraft pitch handling qualities.

  15. Integration Testing of Space Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Honeycutt, Timothy; Sowards, Stephanie

    2008-01-01

    Based on the previous success' of Multi-Element Integration Testing (MEITs) for the International Space Station Program, these type of integrated tests have also been planned for the Constellation Program: MEIT (1) CEV to ISS (emulated) (2) CEV to Lunar Lander/EDS (emulated) (3) Future: Lunar Surface Systems and Mars Missions Finite Element Integration Test (FEIT) (1) CEV/CLV (2) Lunar Lander/EDS/CaL V Integrated Verification Tests (IVT) (1) Performed as a subset of the FEITs during the flight tests and then performed for every flight after Full Operational Capability (FOC) has been obtained with the flight and ground Systems.

  16. A Ground-Based Near Infrared Camera Array System for UAV Auto-Landing in GPS-Denied Environment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tao; Li, Guangpo; Li, Jing; Zhang, Yanning; Zhang, Xiaoqiang; Zhang, Zhuoyue; Li, Zhi

    2016-08-30

    This paper proposes a novel infrared camera array guidance system with capability to track and provide real time position and speed of a fixed-wing Unmanned air vehicle (UAV) during a landing process. The system mainly include three novel parts: (1) Infrared camera array and near infrared laser lamp based cooperative long range optical imaging module; (2) Large scale outdoor camera array calibration module; and (3) Laser marker detection and 3D tracking module. Extensive automatic landing experiments with fixed-wing flight demonstrate that our infrared camera array system has the unique ability to guide the UAV landing safely and accurately in real time. Moreover, the measurement and control distance of our system is more than 1000 m. The experimental results also demonstrate that our system can be used for UAV automatic accurate landing in Global Position System (GPS)-denied environments.

  17. Pegasus air-launched space booster flight test program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Antonio L.; Knutson, Martin A.

    1995-03-01

    Pegasus is a satellite-launching space rocket dropped from a B52 carrier aircraft instead of launching vertically from a ground pad. Its three-year, privately-funded accelerated development was carried out under a demanding design-to-nonrecurring cost methodology, which imposed unique requirements on its flight test program, such as the decision not to drop an inert model from the carrier aircraft; the number and type of captive and free-flight tests; the extent of envelope exploration; and the decision to combine test and operational orbital flights. The authors believe that Pegasus may be the first vehicle where constraints in the number and type of flight tests to be carried out actually influenced the design of the vehicle. During the period November 1989 to February of 1990 a total of three captive flight tests were conducted, starting with a flutter clearing flight and culminating in a complete drop rehearsal. Starting on April 5, 1990, two combination test/operational flights were conducted. A unique aspect of the program was the degree of involvement of flight test personnel in the early design of the vehicle and, conversely, of the design team in flight testing and early flight operations. Various lessons learned as a result of this process are discussed throughout this paper.

  18. Flight flutter testing of multi-jet aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartley, J.

    1975-01-01

    Extensive flight flutter tests were conducted by BAC on B-52 and KC-135 prototype airplanes. The need for and importance of these flight flutter programs to Boeing airplane design are discussed. Basic concepts of flight flutter testing of multi-jet aircraft and analysis of the test data will be presented. Exciter equipment and instrumentation employed in these tests will be discussed.

  19. Development flight tests of JetStar LFC leading-edge flight test experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisher, David F.; Fischer, Michael C.

    1987-01-01

    The overall objective of the flight tests on the JetStar aircraft was to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of laminar flow control under representative flight conditions. One specific objective was to obtain laminar flow on the JetStar leading-edge test articles for the design and off-design conditions. Another specific objective was to obtain operational experience on a Laminar Flow Control (LFC) leading-edge system in a simulated airline service. This included operational experience with cleaning requirements, the effect of clogging, possible foreign object damage, erosion, and the effects of ice particle and cloud encounters. Results are summarized.

  20. INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF SURFACE PRESSURE CHARACTERISTICS OF TWO ROTARY WING UAV DESIGNS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Henry E.; Wong, Oliver D.; Watkins, A. Neal; Noonan, Kevin W.; Reis, Deane G.; Malovrh, Brendon D.; Ingram, Joanne L.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents results of an experimental investigation of two rotary-wing UAV designs. The primary goal of the investigation was to provide a set of interactional aerodynamic data for an emerging class of rotorcraft. The present paper provides an overview of the test and an introduction to the test articles, and instrumentation. Sample data in the form of fixed system pressure coefficient response to changes in configuration attitude and flight condition for both rotor off and on conditions are presented. The presence of the rotor is seen to greatly affect the magnitude of the response. Pressure coefficients were measured using both conventional pressure taps and via pressure sensitive paint. Comparisons between the two methods are presented and demonstrate that the pressure sensitive paint is a promising method; however, further work on the technique is required.

  1. The pan-sharpening of satellite and UAV imagery for agricultural applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenerowicz, Agnieszka; Woroszkiewicz, Malgorzata

    2016-10-01

    Remote sensing techniques are widely used in many different areas of interest, i.e. urban studies, environmental studies, agriculture, etc., due to fact that they provide rapid, accurate and information over large areas with optimal time, spatial and spectral resolutions. Agricultural management is one of the most common application of remote sensing methods nowadays. Monitoring of agricultural sites and creating information regarding spatial distribution and characteristics of crops are important tasks to provide data for precision agriculture, crop management and registries of agricultural lands. For monitoring of cultivated areas many different types of remote sensing data can be used- most popular are multispectral satellites imagery. Such data allow for generating land use and land cover maps, based on various methods of image processing and remote sensing methods. This paper presents fusion of satellite and unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery for agricultural applications, especially for distinguishing crop types. Authors in their article presented chosen data fusion methods for satellite images and data obtained from low altitudes. Moreover the authors described pan- sharpening approaches and applied chosen pan- sharpening methods for multiresolution image fusion of satellite and UAV imagery. For such purpose, satellite images from Landsat- 8 OLI sensor and data collected within various UAV flights (with mounted RGB camera) were used. In this article, the authors not only had shown the potential of fusion of satellite and UAV images, but also presented the application of pan- sharpening in crop identification and management.

  2. Tonopah Test Range Flight Test

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    None

    From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon — containing only non-nuclear components — was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada’s Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation’s B61-12 weapon refurbishment program.

  3. Post-Flight Assessment of Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Flight Dynamics Test 2 Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutta, Soumyo; Bowes, Angela L.; White, Joseph P.; Striepe, Scott A.; Queen, Eric M.; O'Farrel, Clara; Ivanov, Mark C.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project conducted its second Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT-2) on June 8, 2015. The Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2) was one of the flight dynamics tools used to simulate and predict the flight performance and was a major tool used in the post-flight assessment of the flight trajectory. This paper compares the simulation predictions with the reconstructed trajectory. Additionally, off-nominal conditions seen during flight are modeled in the simulation to reconcile the predictions with flight data. These analyses are beneficial to characterize the results of the flight test and to improve the simulation and targeting of the subsequent LDSD flights.

  4. 14 CFR 21.37 - Flight test pilot.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flight test pilot. 21.37 Section 21.37... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.37 Flight test pilot. Each applicant for a normal... holding an appropriate pilot certificate to make the flight tests required by this part. [Doc. No. 5085...

  5. 14 CFR 21.37 - Flight test pilot.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight test pilot. 21.37 Section 21.37... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.37 Flight test pilot. Each applicant for a normal... holding an appropriate pilot certificate to make the flight tests required by this part. [Doc. No. 5085...

  6. 14 CFR 21.37 - Flight test pilot.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight test pilot. 21.37 Section 21.37... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.37 Flight test pilot. Each applicant for a normal... holding an appropriate pilot certificate to make the flight tests required by this part. [Doc. No. 5085...

  7. Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems.

    PubMed

    Vetrella, Amedeo Rodi; Fasano, Giancarmine; Accardo, Domenico; Moccia, Antonio

    2016-12-17

    Autonomous navigation of micro-UAVs is typically based on the integration of low cost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based inertial and magnetic sensors to stabilize and control the flight. The resulting navigation performance in terms of position and attitude accuracy may not suffice for other mission needs, such as the ones relevant to fine sensor pointing. In this framework, this paper presents a cooperative UAV navigation algorithm that allows a chief vehicle, equipped with inertial and magnetic sensors, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a vision system, to improve its navigation performance (in real time or in the post processing phase) exploiting formation flying deputy vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. The focus is set on outdoor environments and the key concept is to exploit differential GPS among vehicles and vision-based tracking (DGPS/Vision) to build a virtual additional navigation sensor whose information is then integrated in a sensor fusion algorithm based on an Extended Kalman Filter. The developed concept and processing architecture are described, with a focus on DGPS/Vision attitude determination algorithm. Performance assessment is carried out on the basis of both numerical simulations and flight tests. In the latter ones, navigation estimates derived from the DGPS/Vision approach are compared with those provided by the onboard autopilot system of a customized quadrotor. The analysis shows the potential of the developed approach, mainly deriving from the possibility to exploit magnetic- and inertial-independent accurate attitude information.

  8. Selected Flight Test Results for Online Learning Neural Network-Based Flight Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Peggy S.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team is to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions as well as stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to the baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This set of open-loop flight tests was performed in preparation for a future phase of flights in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed a pitch frequency sweep and an automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. An examination of flight data shows that addition of the flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved the pitch handling qualities of the aircraft.

  9. Fatigue Tests with Random Flight Simulation Loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schijve, J.

    1972-01-01

    Crack propagation was studied in a full-scale wing structure under different simulated flight conditions. Omission of low-amplitude gust cycles had a small effect on the crack rate. Truncation of the infrequently occurring high-amplitude gust cycles to a lower level had a noticeably accelerating effect on crack growth. The application of fail-safe load (100 percent limit load) effectively stopped subsequent crack growth under resumed flight-simulation loading. In another flight-simulation test series on sheet specimens, the variables studied are the design stress level and the cyclic frequency of the random gust loading. Inflight mean stresses vary from 5.5 to 10.0 kg/sq mm. The effect of the stress level is larger for the 2024 alloy than for the 7075 alloy. Three frequencies were employed: namely, 10 cps, 1 cps, and 0.1 cps. The frequency effect was small. The advantages and limitations of flight-simulation tests are compared with those of alternative test procedures such as constant-amplitude tests, program tests, and random-load tests. Various testing purposes are considered. The variables of flight-simulation tests are listed and their effects are discussed. A proposal is made for performing systematic flight-simulation tests in such a way that the compiled data may be used as a source of reference.

  10. A Flight Dynamics Perspective of the Orion Pad Abort One Flight Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Idicula, Jinu; Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.; Stillwater, Ryan; Yates, Max

    2009-01-01

    The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle is America s next generation of human rated spacecraft. The Orion Launch Abort System will take the astronauts away from the exploration vehicle in the event of an aborted launch. The pad abort mode of the Launch Abort System will be flight-tested in 2009 from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This paper examines some of the efforts currently underway at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center by the Controls & Dynamics group in preparation for the flight test. The concept of operation for the pad abort flight is presented along with an overview of the guidance, control and navigation systems. Preparations for the flight test, such as hardware testing and development of the real-time displays, are examined. The results from the validation and verification efforts for the aerodynamic and atmospheric models are shown along with Monte Carlo analysis results.

  11. Flight-Tested Prototype of BEAM Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackey, Ryan; Tikidjian, Raffi; James, Mark; Wang, David

    2006-01-01

    Researchers at JPL have completed a software prototype of BEAM (Beacon-based Exception Analysis for Multi-missions) and successfully tested its operation in flight onboard a NASA research aircraft. BEAM (see NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 9; and Vol. 27, No. 3) is an ISHM (Integrated Systems Health Management) technology that automatically analyzes sensor data and classifies system behavior as either nominal or anomalous, and further characterizes anomalies according to strength, duration, and affected signals. BEAM (see figure) can be used to monitor a wide variety of physical systems and sensor types in real time. In this series of tests, BEAM monitored the engines of a Dryden Flight Research Center F-18 aircraft, and performed onboard, unattended analysis of 26 engine sensors from engine startup to shutdown. The BEAM algorithm can detect anomalies based solely on the sensor data, which includes but is not limited to sensor failure, performance degradation, incorrect operation such as unplanned engine shutdown or flameout in this example, and major system faults. BEAM was tested on an F-18 simulator, static engine tests, and 25 individual flights totaling approximately 60 hours of flight time. During these tests, BEAM successfully identified planned anomalies (in-flight shutdowns of one engine) as well as minor unplanned anomalies (e.g., transient oil- and fuel-pressure drops), with no false alarms or suspected false-negative results for the period tested. BEAM also detected previously unknown behavior in the F- 18 compressor section during several flights. This result, confirmed by direct analysis of the raw data, serves as a significant test of BEAM's capability.

  12. X-48B Flight Test Progress Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Risch, Timoth K.; Cosentino, Gary B.; Regan, Christopher D.; Kisska, Michael; Princen, Norman

    2009-01-01

    The results of a series of 39 flight tests of the X-48B Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) performed at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center from July 2007 through December 2008 are reported here. The goal of these tests is to evaluate the aerodynamic and controls and dynamics performance of the subscale LSV aircraft, eventually leading to the development of a control system for a full-scale vehicle. The X-48B LSV is an 8.5%-scale aircraft of a potential, full-scale Blended Wing Body (BWB) type aircraft and is flown remotely from a ground control station using a computerized flight control system located onboard the aircraft. The flight tests were the first two phases of a planned three-phase research program aimed at ascertaining the flying characteristics of this type of aircraft. The two test phases reported here are: 1) envelope expansion, during which the basic flying characteristics of the airplane were examined, and 2) parameter identification, stalls, and engine-out testing, during which further information on the aircraft performance was obtained and the airplane was tested to the limits of controlled flight. The third phase, departure limiter assaults, has yet to be performed. Flight tests in two different wing leading edge configurations (slats extended and slats retracted) as well as three weight and three center of gravity positions were conducted during each phase. Data gathered in the test program included measured airplane performance parameters such as speed, acceleration, and control surface deflections along with qualitative flying evaluations obtained from pilot and crew observations. Flight tests performed to-date indicate the aircraft exhibits good handling qualities and performance, consistent with pre-flight simulations.

  13. Remotely Piloted Vehicles for Experimental Flight Control Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motter, Mark A.; High, James W.

    2009-01-01

    A successful flight test and training campaign of the NASA Flying Controls Testbed was conducted at Naval Outlying Field, Webster Field, MD during 2008. Both the prop and jet-powered versions of the subscale, remotely piloted testbeds were used to test representative experimental flight controllers. These testbeds were developed by the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project s emphasis on new flight test techniques. The Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is under the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). The purpose of these testbeds is to quickly and inexpensively evaluate advanced concepts and experimental flight controls, with applications to adaptive control, system identification, novel control effectors, correlation of subscale flight tests with wind tunnel results, and autonomous operations. Flight tests and operator training were conducted during four separate series of tests during April, May, June and August 2008. Experimental controllers were engaged and disengaged during fully autonomous flight in the designated test area. Flaps and landing gear were deployed by commands from the ground control station as unanticipated disturbances. The flight tests were performed NASA personnel with support from the Maritime Unmanned Development and Operations (MUDO) team of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division

  14. Fatigue-test acceleration with flight-by-flight loading and heating to simulate supersonic-transport operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imig, L. A.; Garrett, L. E.

    1973-01-01

    Possibilities for reducing fatigue-test time for supersonic-transport materials and structures were studied in tests with simulated flight-by-flight loading. In order to determine whether short-time tests were feasible, the results of accelerated tests (2 sec per flight) were compared with the results of real-time tests (96 min per flight). The effects of design mean stress, the stress range for ground-air-ground cycles, simulated thermal stress, the number of stress cycles in each flight, and salt corrosion were studied. The flight-by-flight stress sequences were applied to notched sheet specimens of Ti-8Al-1Mo-1V and Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloys. A linear cumulative-damage analysis accounted for large changes in stress range of the simulated flights but did not account for the differences between real-time and accelerated tests. The fatigue lives from accelerated tests were generally within a factor of two of the lives from real-time tests; thus, within the scope of the investigation, accelerated testing seems feasible.

  15. Assessing the consistency of UAV-derived point clouds and images acquired at different altitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozcan, O.

    2016-12-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer several advantages in terms of cost and image resolution compared to terrestrial photogrammetry and satellite remote sensing system. Nowadays, UAVs that bridge the gap between the satellite scale and field scale applications were initiated to be used in various application areas to acquire hyperspatial and high temporal resolution imageries due to working capacity and acquiring in a short span of time with regard to conventional photogrammetry methods. UAVs have been used for various fields such as for the creation of 3-D earth models, production of high resolution orthophotos, network planning, field monitoring and agricultural lands as well. Thus, geometric accuracy of orthophotos and volumetric accuracy of point clouds are of capital importance for land surveying applications. Correspondingly, Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry, which is frequently used in conjunction with UAV, recently appeared in environmental sciences as an impressive tool allowing for the creation of 3-D models from unstructured imagery. In this study, it was aimed to reveal the spatial accuracy of the images acquired from integrated digital camera and the volumetric accuracy of Digital Surface Models (DSMs) which were derived from UAV flight plans at different altitudes using SfM methodology. Low-altitude multispectral overlapping aerial photography was collected at the altitudes of 30 to 100 meters and georeferenced with RTK-GPS ground control points. These altitudes allow hyperspatial imagery with the resolutions of 1-5 cm depending upon the sensor being used. Preliminary results revealed that the vertical comparison of UAV-derived point clouds with respect to GPS measurements pointed out an average distance at cm-level. Larger values are found in areas where instantaneous changes in surface are present.

  16. Flight Test of GL-1 Glider Half Scale Prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fikri Zulkarnain, Muhammad; Fazlur Rahman, Muhammad; Luthfi Imam Nurhakim, Muhammad; Arifianto, Ony; Mulyanto, Taufiq

    2018-04-01

    GL-1 is a single-seat mid-performance glider, designed to be Indonesian National Glider. The Glider have been developing since 2014. The development produced a half scale prototype called BL-1, which had accomplished static test in 2016, then followed by first flight test at April 20th 2017, and second flight test at May 21st 2017. The purpose of the flight test was to obtain familiarization of the aircraft, aerodynamics characteristics and flow visualization, with data from flight recorded in FDR. The flight test resulted in two flights with total length of 21 minutes. The data from FDR and flight test documents extracted to analyze the characteristics and behavior of the aircraft during flight test. The aerodynamics characteristic was close to analytical results. The control was good; however, the effectiveness of control surface may need to be further analyzed. The result of the flight test will be used as a reference for further improvements and may need further testing.

  17. Spurious RF signals emitted by mini-UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schleijpen, Ric (H. M. A.); Voogt, Vincent; Zwamborn, Peter; van den Oever, Jaap

    2016-10-01

    This paper presents experimental work on the detection of spurious RF emissions of mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (mini-UAV). Many recent events have shown that mini-UAVs can be considered as a potential threat for civil security. For this reason the detection of mini-UAVs has become of interest to the sensor community. The detection, classification and identification chain can take advantage of different sensor technologies. Apart from the signatures used by radar and electro-optical sensor systems, the UAV also emits RF signals. These RF signatures can be split in intentional signals for communication with the operator and un-intentional RF signals emitted by the UAV. These unintentional or spurious RF emissions are very weak but could be used to discriminate potential UAV detections from false alarms. The goal of this research was to assess the potential of exploiting spurious emissions in the classification and identification chain of mini-UAVs. It was already known that spurious signals are very weak, but the focus was on the question whether the emission pattern could be correlated to the behaviour of the UAV. In this paper experimental examples of spurious RF emission for different types of mini-UAVs and their correlation with the electronic circuits in the UAVs will be shown

  18. Writing executable assertions to test flight software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mahmood, A.; Andrews, D. M.; Mccluskey, E. J.

    1984-01-01

    An executable assertion is a logical statement about the variables or a block of code. If there is no error during execution, the assertion statement results in a true value. Executable assertions can be used for dynamic testing of software. They can be employed for validation during the design phase, and exception and error detection during the operation phase. The present investigation is concerned with the problem of writing executable assertions, taking into account the use of assertions for testing flight software. They can be employed for validation during the design phase, and for exception handling and error detection during the operation phase The digital flight control system and the flight control software are discussed. The considered system provides autopilot and flight director modes of operation for automatic and manual control of the aircraft during all phases of flight. Attention is given to techniques for writing and using assertions to test flight software, an experimental setup to test flight software, and language features to support efficient use of assertions.

  19. Pricise Target Geolocation Based on Integeration of Thermal Video Imagery and Rtk GPS in Uavs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinpoor, H. R.; Samadzadegan, F.; Dadras Javan, F.

    2015-12-01

    There are an increasingly large number of uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from surveillance, mapping and target geolocation. However, most of commercial UAVs are equipped with low-cost navigation sensors such as C/A code GPS and a low-cost IMU on board, allowing a positioning accuracy of 5 to 10 meters. This low accuracy which implicates that it cannot be used in applications that require high precision data on cm-level. This paper presents a precise process for geolocation of ground targets based on thermal video imagery acquired by small UAV equipped with RTK GPS. The geolocation data is filtered using a linear Kalman filter, which provides a smoothed estimate of target location and target velocity. The accurate geo-locating of targets during image acquisition is conducted via traditional photogrammetric bundle adjustment equations using accurate exterior parameters achieved by on board IMU and RTK GPS sensors and Kalman filtering and interior orientation parameters of thermal camera from pre-flight laboratory calibration process.

  20. Experimental tests and radiometric calculations for the feasibility of fluorescence LIDAR-based discrimination of oil spills from UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raimondi, Valentina; Palombi, Lorenzo; Lognoli, David; Masini, Andrea; Simeone, Emilio

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents experimental tests and radiometric calculations for the feasibility of an ultra-compact fluorescence LIDAR from an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) for the characterisation of oil spills in natural waters. The first step of this study was to define the experimental conditions for a LIDAR and its budget constraints on the basis of the specifications of small UAVs already available on the market. The second step consisted of a set of fluorescence LIDAR measurements on oil spills in the laboratory in order to propose a simplified discrimination method and to calculate the oil fluorescence conversion efficiency. Lastly, the main technical specifications of the payload were defined and radiometric calculations carried out to evaluate the performances of both the payload and the proposed discrimination method.

  1. Overview of recent aero-optics flight tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Otten, L. J., III

    1980-01-01

    A chronological overview of aero-optics test flights is presented highlighting the objectives and conclusions from the tests. Flight tests performed in coordination with the PRESS reentry observation missions and the ALL Cycle 2 laser propagation and tracking demonstrations are described addressing the identification and quantification of distortion phenomena. Finally, current aero-optics flight investigations of an atmospheric turbulence probe are briefly discussed.

  2. The development of an automated flight test management system for flight test planning and monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hewett, Marle D.; Tartt, David M.; Duke, Eugene L.; Antoniewicz, Robert F.; Brumbaugh, Randal W.

    1988-01-01

    The development of an automated flight test management system (ATMS) as a component of a rapid-prototyping flight research facility for AI-based flight systems concepts is described. The rapid-prototyping facility includes real-time high-fidelity simulators, numeric and symbolic processors, and high-performance research aircraft modified to accept commands for a ground-based remotely augmented vehicle facility. The flight system configuration of the ATMS includes three computers: the TI explorer LX and two GOULD SEL 32/27s.

  3. Quad-rotor flight path energy optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemper, Edward

    Quad-Rotor unmanned areal vehicles (UAVs) have been a popular area of research and development in the last decade, especially with the advent of affordable microcontrollers like the MSP 430 and the Raspberry Pi. Path-Energy Optimization is an area that is well developed for linear systems. In this thesis, this idea of path-energy optimization is extended to the nonlinear model of the Quad-rotor UAV. The classical optimization technique is adapted to the nonlinear model that is derived for the problem at hand, coming up with a set of partial differential equations and boundary value conditions to solve these equations. Then, different techniques to implement energy optimization algorithms are tested using simulations in Python. First, a purely nonlinear approach is used. This method is shown to be computationally intensive, with no practical solution available in a reasonable amount of time. Second, heuristic techniques to minimize the energy of the flight path are tested, using Ziegler-Nichols' proportional integral derivative (PID) controller tuning technique. Finally, a brute force look-up table based PID controller is used. Simulation results of the heuristic method show that both reliable control of the system and path-energy optimization are achieved in a reasonable amount of time.

  4. French MALE UAV Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-09-02

    ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) MoD- France 8...1French Air Force MINISTÈRE DE LA DÉFENSE 1 SIDM CONOPS 2 FAF IMAGERY ARCHITECTURE 3 FUTURE FRENCH MALE UAV PROGRAM FRENCH MALE UAV PROGRAM Report...2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE French Male UAV Program 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  5. Autonomous unmanned air vehicles (UAV) techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Ming-Kai; Lee, Ting N.

    2007-04-01

    The UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) have great potentials in different civilian applications, such as oil pipeline surveillance, precision farming, forest fire fighting (yearly), search and rescue, boarder patrol, etc. The related industries of UAVs can create billions of dollars for each year. However, the road block of adopting UAVs is that it is against FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and ATC (Air Traffic Control) regulations. In this paper, we have reviewed the latest technologies and researches on UAV navigation and obstacle avoidance. We have purposed a system design of Jittering Mosaic Image Processing (JMIP) with stereo vision and optical flow to fulfill the functionalities of autonomous UAVs.

  6. SSI-ARC Flight Test 3 Data Review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gong, Chester; Wu, Minghong G.

    2015-01-01

    The "Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration into the National Airspace System (NAS)" Project conducted flight test program, referred to as Flight Test 3, at Armstrong Flight Research Center from June - August 2015. Four flight test days were dedicated to the NASA Ames-developed Detect and Avoid (DAA) System referred to as Autoresolver. The encounter scenarios, which involved NASA's Ikhana UAS and a manned intruder aircraft, were designed to collect data on DAA system performance in real-world conditions and uncertainties with four different surveillance sensor systems. Resulting flight test data and analysis results will be used to evaluate the DAA system performance (e.g., trajectory prediction accuracy, threat detection) and to add fidelity to simulation models used to inform Minimum Operating Performance Standards (MOPS) for integrating UAS into routine NAS operations.

  7. Mini-Uav LIDAR for Power Line Inspection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, G. E.; Zhou, M.; Li, C. R.; Wu, H. H.; Li, W.; Meng, F. R.; Zhou, C. C.; Ma, L.

    2017-09-01

    Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) recently are in rapid advancement, meanwhile portable and flexible mini-UAV-borne laser scanners have been a hot research field, especially for the complex terrain survey in the mountains and other areas. This study proposes a power line inspection system solution based on mini-UAV-borne LIDAR system-AOEagle, developed by Academy of Opto-Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which mounted on a Multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle for complex terrain survey according to real test. Furthermore, the point cloud data was explored to validate its applicability for power line inspection, in terms of corridor and line laser point clouds; deformation detection of power towers, etc. The feasibility and advantages of AOEagle have been demonstrated by the promising results based on the real-measured data in the field of power line inspection.

  8. Integration Testing of Space Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sowards, Stephanie; Honeycutt, Timothy

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the benefits of conducting multi-system integration testing of space flight elements in lieu of merely shipping and shooting to the launch site and launching. "Ship and shoot" is a philosophy that proposes to transport flight elements directly from the factory to the launch site and begin the mission without further testing. Integration testing, relevant to validation testing in this context, is a risk mitigation effort that builds upon the individual element and system levels of qualification and acceptance tests, greatly improving the confidence of operations in space. The International Space Station Program (ISSP) experience is the focus of most discussions from a historical perspective, while proposed integration testing of the Constellation Program is also discussed. The latter will include Multi-Element Integration Testing (MElT) and Flight Element Integration Testing (FElT).

  9. Determining the Products of Inertia for Small Scale UAVs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzetti, Joseph S.; Banuelos, Leonel C.; Clarke, Robert; Murillo, Oscar J.; Bowers, Albion H.

    2017-01-01

    Moments of inertia and products of inertia often need to be determined for aircraft. As complex bodies, their mass properties need to be determined experimentally for best accuracy. While several moment of inertia experimental techniques have been developed, there are few to determine the products of inertia. Products of inertia can be easily determined mathematically if the angle between the aircraft x body axis and principal x axis is known. This method finds the principal inclination angle by mathematically correlating the measured moments of inertia about a range of axes of the aircraft. This correlation uses a least squares error minimization of a mathematical model that describes the ellipse of inertia in the aircraft's x-z axes plane. Results from a test conducted on a small scale UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center is also presented, which is an example of the intended application of this technique.

  10. The payload bay in the nose of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be able to carry up

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The payload bay in the nose of NASA's Altair unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), shown here during final construction at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., (GA-ASI) facility at Adelanto, Calif., will be able to carry up to 700 lbs. of sensors, imaging equipment and other instruments for Earth science missions. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator to validate a variety of command and control technologies for UAVs, as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Eleven-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 86 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  11. 14 CFR 21.35 - Flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flight tests. 21.35 Section 21.35... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.35 Flight tests. (a) Each applicant for an aircraft type certificate (other than under §§ 21.24 through 21.29) must make the tests listed in paragraph (b...

  12. 14 CFR 21.35 - Flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight tests. 21.35 Section 21.35... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.35 Flight tests. (a) Each applicant for an aircraft type certificate (other than under §§ 21.24 through 21.29) must make the tests listed in paragraph (b...

  13. 14 CFR 21.35 - Flight tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flight tests. 21.35 Section 21.35... PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND PARTS Type Certificates § 21.35 Flight tests. (a) Each applicant for an aircraft type certificate (other than under §§ 21.24 through 21.29) must make the tests listed in paragraph (b...

  14. Uav Photogrammetry with Oblique Images: First Analysis on Data Acquisition and Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aicardi, I.; Chiabrando, F.; Grasso, N.; Lingua, A. M.; Noardo, F.; Spanò, A.

    2016-06-01

    In recent years, many studies revealed the advantages of using airborne oblique images for obtaining improved 3D city models (e.g. including façades and building footprints). Expensive airborne cameras, installed on traditional aerial platforms, usually acquired the data. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the possibility of acquire and use oblique images for the 3D reconstruction of a historical building, obtained by UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and traditional COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) digital cameras (more compact and lighter than generally used devices), for the realization of high-level-of-detail architectural survey. The critical issues of the acquisitions from a common UAV (flight planning strategies, ground control points, check points distribution and measurement, etc.) are described. Another important considered aspect was the evaluation of the possibility to use such systems as low cost methods for obtaining complete information from an aerial point of view in case of emergency problems or, as in the present paper, in the cultural heritage application field. The data processing was realized using SfM-based approach for point cloud generation: different dense image-matching algorithms implemented in some commercial and open source software were tested. The achieved results are analysed and the discrepancies from some reference LiDAR data are computed for a final evaluation. The system was tested on the S. Maria Chapel, a part of the Novalesa Abbey (Italy).

  15. DTM Generation Through Uav Survey with a Fisheye Camera on a Vineyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronchetti, G.; Pagliari, D.; Sona, G.

    2018-05-01

    Precision agriculture recommends a sustainable employment of nutrients and water, according to the site-specific crop requirements. In this context, the knowledge of soil characteristics allows to appropriately manage resources. Even the topography can influence the spatial distribution of the water on a field. This work focuses on the production of high-resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM) in agriculture by photogrammetric processing fisheye images, acquired with very light Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Particular attention is given to the data processing procedures and to the assessment of the quality of the results, considering the peculiarity of the acquired images. An experimental test has been carried out on a vineyard located in Monzambano, Northern Italy, through photogrammetric survey with Parrot Bebop 2 UAV. It has been realized at the end of the vegetation season, to investigate the ground without any impediment due to the presence of leaves or branches. In addition, the survey has been used for evaluating the performance of Bebop fisheye camera in viticulture. Different flight strategies have been tested, together with different Ground Control Points (GCPs) and Check Points (CPs) configurations and software packages. The computed DTMs have been compared with a reference model obtained through Kriging interpolation of GNSS-RTK measurements. Residuals on CPs are of the order of 0.06 m, for all the considered scenarios, that for agricultural applications is by far sufficient. The photogrammetric DTMs show a good agreement with the reference one.

  16. Diverse Planning for UAV Control and Remote Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Tožička, Jan; Komenda, Antonín

    2016-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are suited to various remote sensing missions, such as measuring air quality. The conventional method of UAV control is by human operators. Such an approach is limited by the ability of cooperation among the operators controlling larger fleets of UAVs in a shared area. The remedy for this is to increase autonomy of the UAVs in planning their trajectories by considering other UAVs and their plans. To provide such improvement in autonomy, we need better algorithms for generating alternative trajectory variants that the UAV coordination algorithms can utilize. In this article, we define a novel family of multi-UAV sensing problems, solving task allocation of huge number of tasks (tens of thousands) to a group of configurable UAVs with non-zero weight of equipped sensors (comprising the air quality measurement as well) together with two base-line solvers. To solve the problem efficiently, we use an algorithm for diverse trajectory generation and integrate it with a solver for the multi-UAV coordination problem. Finally, we experimentally evaluate the multi-UAV sensing problem solver. The evaluation is done on synthetic and real-world-inspired benchmarks in a multi-UAV simulator. Results show that diverse planning is a valuable method for remote sensing applications containing multiple UAVs. PMID:28009831

  17. Diverse Planning for UAV Control and Remote Sensing.

    PubMed

    Tožička, Jan; Komenda, Antonín

    2016-12-21

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are suited to various remote sensing missions, such as measuring air quality. The conventional method of UAV control is by human operators. Such an approach is limited by the ability of cooperation among the operators controlling larger fleets of UAVs in a shared area. The remedy for this is to increase autonomy of the UAVs in planning their trajectories by considering other UAVs and their plans. To provide such improvement in autonomy, we need better algorithms for generating alternative trajectory variants that the UAV coordination algorithms can utilize. In this article, we define a novel family of multi-UAV sensing problems, solving task allocation of huge number of tasks (tens of thousands) to a group of configurable UAVs with non-zero weight of equipped sensors (comprising the air quality measurement as well) together with two base-line solvers. To solve the problem efficiently, we use an algorithm for diverse trajectory generation and integrate it with a solver for the multi-UAV coordination problem. Finally, we experimentally evaluate the multi-UAV sensing problem solver. The evaluation is done on synthetic and real-world-inspired benchmarks in a multi-UAV simulator. Results show that diverse planning is a valuable method for remote sensing applications containing multiple UAVs.

  18. Demonstration of UAV deployment and control of mobile wireless sensing networks for modal analysis of structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Hao; Hirose, Mitsuhito; Greenwood, William; Xiao, Yong; Lynch, Jerome; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Kamat, Vineet

    2016-04-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can serve as a powerful mobile sensing platform for assessing the health of civil infrastructure systems. To date, the majority of their uses have been dedicated to vision and laser-based spatial imaging using on-board cameras and LiDAR units, respectively. Comparatively less work has focused on integration of other sensing modalities relevant to structural monitoring applications. The overarching goal of this study is to explore the ability for UAVs to deploy a network of wireless sensors on structures for controlled vibration testing. The study develops a UAV platform with an integrated robotic gripper that can be used to install wireless sensors in structures, drop a heavy weight for the introduction of impact loads, and to uninstall wireless sensors for reinstallation elsewhere. A pose estimation algorithm is embedded in the UAV to estimate the location of the UAV during sensor placement and impact load introduction. The Martlet wireless sensor network architecture is integrated with the UAV to provide the UAV a mobile sensing capability. The UAV is programmed to command field deployed Martlets, aggregate and temporarily store data from the wireless sensor network, and to communicate data to a fixed base station on site. This study demonstrates the integrated UAV system using a simply supported beam in the lab with Martlet wireless sensors placed by the UAV and impact load testing performed. The study verifies the feasibility of the integrated UAV-wireless monitoring system architecture with accurate modal characteristics of the beam estimated by modal analysis.

  19. A UAV-based active AirCore system for measurements of greenhouse gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Truls; Scheeren, Bert; Peters, Wouter; Chen, Huilin

    2018-05-01

    We developed and field-tested an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based active AirCore for atmospheric mole fraction measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO. The system applies an alternative way of using the AirCore technique invented by NOAA. As opposed to the conventional concept of passively sampling air using the atmospheric pressure gradient during descent, the active AirCore collects atmospheric air samples using a pump to pull the air through the tube during flight, which opens up the possibility to spatially sample atmospheric air. The active AirCore system used for this study weighs ˜ 1.1 kg. It consists of a ˜ 50 m long stainless-steel tube, a small stainless-steel tube filled with magnesium perchlorate, a KNF micropump, and a 45 µm orifice working together to form a critical flow of dried atmospheric air through the active AirCore. A cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) was used to analyze the air samples on site not more than 7 min after landing for mole fraction measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO. We flew the active AirCore system on a UAV near the atmospheric measurement station at Lutjewad, located in the northwest of the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. Five consecutive flights took place over a 5 h period on the same morning, from sunrise until noon. We validated the measurements of CO2 and CH4 from the active AirCore against those from the Lutjewad station at 60 m. The results show a good agreement between the measurements from the active AirCore and the atmospheric station (N = 146; R2CO2: 0.97 and R2CH4: 0.94; and mean differences: ΔCO2: 0.18 ppm and ΔCH4: 5.13 ppb). The vertical and horizontal resolution (for CH4) at typical UAV speeds of 1.5 and 2.5 m s-1 were determined to be ±24.7 to 29.3 and ±41.2 to 48.9 m, respectively, depending on the storage time. The collapse of the nocturnal boundary layer and the buildup of the mixed layer were clearly observed with three consecutive vertical profile measurements in the early morning hours. Besides

  20. Flight Testing an Iced Business Jet for Flight Simulation Model Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ratvasky, Thomas P.; Barnhart, Billy P.; Lee, Sam; Cooper, Jon

    2007-01-01

    A flight test of a business jet aircraft with various ice accretions was performed to obtain data to validate flight simulation models developed through wind tunnel tests. Three types of ice accretions were tested: pre-activation roughness, runback shapes that form downstream of the thermal wing ice protection system, and a wing ice protection system failure shape. The high fidelity flight simulation models of this business jet aircraft were validated using a software tool called "Overdrive." Through comparisons of flight-extracted aerodynamic forces and moments to simulation-predicted forces and moments, the simulation models were successfully validated. Only minor adjustments in the simulation database were required to obtain adequate match, signifying the process used to develop the simulation models was successful. The simulation models were implemented in the NASA Ice Contamination Effects Flight Training Device (ICEFTD) to enable company pilots to evaluate flight characteristics of the simulation models. By and large, the pilots confirmed good similarities in the flight characteristics when compared to the real airplane. However, pilots noted pitch up tendencies at stall with the flaps extended that were not representative of the airplane and identified some differences in pilot forces. The elevator hinge moment model and implementation of the control forces on the ICEFTD were identified as a driver in the pitch ups and control force issues, and will be an area for future work.

  1. Simulation Testing of Embedded Flight Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shahabuddin, Mohammad; Reinholtz, William

    2004-01-01

    Virtual Real Time (VRT) is a computer program for testing embedded flight software by computational simulation in a workstation, in contradistinction to testing it in its target central processing unit (CPU). The disadvantages of testing in the target CPU include the need for an expensive test bed, the necessity for testers and programmers to take turns using the test bed, and the lack of software tools for debugging in a real-time environment. By virtue of its architecture, most of the flight software of the type in question is amenable to development and testing on workstations, for which there is an abundance of commercially available debugging and analysis software tools. Unfortunately, the timing of a workstation differs from that of a target CPU in a test bed. VRT, in conjunction with closed-loop simulation software, provides a capability for executing embedded flight software on a workstation in a close-to-real-time environment. A scale factor is used to convert between execution time in VRT on a workstation and execution on a target CPU. VRT includes high-resolution operating- system timers that enable the synchronization of flight software with simulation software and ground software, all running on different workstations.

  2. UAV and SfM in Detailed Geomorphological Mapping of Granite Tors: An Example of Starościńskie Skały (Sudetes, SW Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasprzak, Marek; Jancewicz, Kacper; Michniewicz, Aleksandra

    2017-11-01

    The paper presents an example of using photographs taken by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and processed using the structure from motion (SfM) procedure in a geomorphological study of rock relief. Subject to analysis is a small rock city in the West Sudetes (SW Poland), known as Starościńskie Skały and developed in coarse granite bedrock. The aims of this paper were, first, to compare UAV/SfM-derived data with the cartographical image based on the traditional geomorphological field-mapping methods and the digital elevation model derived from airborne laser scanning (ALS). Second, to test if the proposed combination of UAV and SfM methods may be helpful in recognizing the detailed structure of granite tors. As a result of conducted UAV flights and digital image post-processing in AgiSoft software, it was possible to obtain datasets (dense point cloud, texture model, orthophotomap, bare-ground-type digital terrain model—DTM) which allowed to visualize in detail the surface of the study area. In consequence, it was possible to distinguish even the very small forms of rock surface microrelief: joints, aplite veins, rills and karren, weathering pits, etc., otherwise difficult to map and measure. The study includes also valorization of particular datasets concerning microtopography and allows to discuss indisputable advantages of using the UAV/SfM-based DTM in geomorphic studies of tors and rock cities, even those located within forest as in the presented case study.

  3. Dynamic Flight Maneuvering Using Virtual Control Surfaces Generated by Trapped Vorticity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    of a modified Dragon Eye UAV. These tests illustrated the possibility of controlled flight using open-loop flow control actuators. Future research...2 -1 0 1 2 z ( cm ) 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Time (s)  (d eg ) Figure II-1 Step command tracking in plung: ideal reference model response...experimental results. The experimental results were obtained with the ball screws locked in position so that the wing model was only allowed to pitch

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ro, Kapseong

    2006-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Light UAV Support Ship (ASW) (LUSSA)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    35 9.5 TriSWACH Model Test Data...7 Figure 8: TriSWACH Model ...Innovation in Ship Design (CISD) used the Northrop Grumman Bat UAV (formally known as the Swift Engineering Killer Bee KB4) to model launch, recovery, and

  7. Flight Systems Integration and Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Topics to be Covered in this presentation are: (1) Integration and Test (I&T) Planning (2) Integration and Test Flows (3) Overview of Typical Mission I&T (4) Supporting Elements (5) Lessons-Learned and Helpful Hints (6) I&T Mishaps and Failures (7) The Lighter Side of I&T and (8) Small-Group Activity. This presentation highlights a typical NASA "in-house" I&T program (1) For flight systems that are developed by NASA at a space flight center (like GSFC) (2) Requirements well-defined: qualification/acceptance, documentation, configuration management. (3) Factors: precedents, human flight, risk-aversion ("failure-phobia"), taxpayer dollars, jobs and (4) Some differences among NASA centers, but generally a resource-intensive process

  8. Aircraft flight test trajectory control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.

    1988-01-01

    Two control law design techniques are compared and the performance of the resulting controllers evaluated. The design requirement is for a flight test trajectory controller (FTTC) capable of closed-loop, outer-loop control of an F-15 aircraft performing high-quality research flight test maneuvers. The maneuver modeling, linearization, and design methodologies utilized in this research, are detailed. The results of applying these FTTCs to a nonlinear F-15 simulation are presented.

  9. High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) Flight Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Southwick, Robert D.; Gallops, George W.; Kerr, Laura J.; Kielb, Robert P.; Welsh, Mark G.; DeLaat, John C.; Orme, John S.

    1998-01-01

    The High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) Program, managed and funded by the NASA Lewis Research Center, is a cooperative effort between NASA and Pratt & Whitney (P&W). The program objective is to develop and flight demonstrate an advanced high stability integrated engine control system that uses real-time, measurement-based estimation of inlet pressure distortion to enhance engine stability. Flight testing was performed using the NASA Advanced Controls Technologies for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) F-15 aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The flight test configuration, details of the research objectives, and the flight test matrix to achieve those objectives are presented. Flight test results are discussed that show the design approach can accurately estimate distortion and perform real-time control actions for engine accommodation.

  10. Skeletal camera network embedded structure-from-motion for 3D scene reconstruction from UAV images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhihua; Wu, Lixin; Gerke, Markus; Wang, Ran; Yang, Huachao

    2016-11-01

    Structure-from-Motion (SfM) techniques have been widely used for 3D scene reconstruction from multi-view images. However, due to the large computational costs of SfM methods there is a major challenge in processing highly overlapping images, e.g. images from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). This paper embeds a novel skeletal camera network (SCN) into SfM to enable efficient 3D scene reconstruction from a large set of UAV images. First, the flight control data are used within a weighted graph to construct a topologically connected camera network (TCN) to determine the spatial connections between UAV images. Second, the TCN is refined using a novel hierarchical degree bounded maximum spanning tree to generate a SCN, which contains a subset of edges from the TCN and ensures that each image is involved in at least a 3-view configuration. Third, the SCN is embedded into the SfM to produce a novel SCN-SfM method, which allows performing tie-point matching only for the actually connected image pairs. The proposed method was applied in three experiments with images from two fixed-wing UAVs and an octocopter UAV, respectively. In addition, the SCN-SfM method was compared to three other methods for image connectivity determination. The comparison shows a significant reduction in the number of matched images if our method is used, which leads to less computational costs. At the same time the achieved scene completeness and geometric accuracy are comparable.

  11. Skylab rescue space vehicle flight readiness test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jevitt, S. J.

    1973-01-01

    A Skylab Rescue Space Vehicle flight readiness test is described which ensures that space vehicle systems are in a state of flight readiness and are compatible with associated ground support equipment. The functions of propellant loading, umbilical ejection, ignition, holddown arm release, liftoff, and service arm and tail service mast retraction are simulated. The test outline is presented along with a list of references, intercommunications information, operations interface control chart, and flight test.

  12. UAV visual signature suppression via adaptive materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Ron; Melkert, Joris

    2005-05-01

    Visual signature suppression (VSS) methods for several classes of aircraft from WWII on are examined and historically summarized. This study shows that for some classes of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs), primary mission threats do not stem from infrared or radar signatures, but from the amount that an aircraft visually stands out against the sky. The paper shows that such visual mismatch can often jeopardize mission success and/or induce the destruction of the entire aircraft. A psycho-physioptical study was conducted to establish the definition and benchmarks of a Visual Cross Section (VCS) for airborne objects. This study was centered on combining the effects of size, shape, color and luminosity or effective illumance (EI) of a given aircraft to arrive at a VCS. A series of tests were conducted with a 6.6ft (2m) UAV which was fitted with optically adaptive electroluminescent sheets at altitudes of up to 1000 ft (300m). It was shown that with proper tailoring of the color and luminosity, the VCS of the aircraft dropped from more than 4,200cm2 to less than 1.8cm2 at 100m (the observed lower limit of the 20-20 human eye in this study). In laypersons terms this indicated that the UAV essentially "disappeared". This study concludes with an assessment of the weight and volume impact of such a Visual Suppression System (VSS) on the UAV, showing that VCS levels on this class UAV can be suppressed to below 1.8cm2 for aircraft gross weight penalties of only 9.8%.

  13. Crew Exploration Vehicle Launch Abort System Flight Test Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.

    2007-01-01

    The Constellation program is an organization within NASA whose mission is to create the new generation of spacecraft that will replace the Space Shuttle after its planned retirement in 2010. In the event of a catastrophic failure on the launch pad or launch vehicle during ascent, the successful use of the launch abort system will allow crew members to escape harm. The Flight Test Office is the organization within the Constellation project that will flight-test the launch abort system on the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Flight Test Office has proposed six tests that will demonstrate the use of the launch abort system. These flight tests will be performed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and are similar in nature to the Apollo Little Joe II tests performed in the 1960s. An overview of the launch abort system flight tests for the Orion crew exploration vehicle is given. Details on the configuration of the first pad abort flight test are discussed. Sample flight trajectories for two of the six flight tests are shown.

  14. Flight Flutter Testing of Supersonic Interceptors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dublin, M.; Peller, R.

    1975-01-01

    A summary is presented of experiences in connection with flight flutter testing of supersonic interceptors. The planning and operational aspects involved are described along with the difficulties encountered, and the correlation between measurement and theory. Recommendations for future research and development to advance the science of flight flutter testing are included.

  15. Automatic Hotspot and Sun Glint Detection in UAV Multispectral Images

    PubMed Central

    Ortega-Terol, Damian; Ballesteros, Rocio

    2017-01-01

    Last advances in sensors, photogrammetry and computer vision have led to high-automation levels of 3D reconstruction processes for generating dense models and multispectral orthoimages from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images. However, these cartographic products are sometimes blurred and degraded due to sun reflection effects which reduce the image contrast and colour fidelity in photogrammetry and the quality of radiometric values in remote sensing applications. This paper proposes an automatic approach for detecting sun reflections problems (hotspot and sun glint) in multispectral images acquired with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), based on a photogrammetric strategy included in a flight planning and control software developed by the authors. In particular, two main consequences are derived from the approach developed: (i) different areas of the images can be excluded since they contain sun reflection problems; (ii) the cartographic products obtained (e.g., digital terrain model, orthoimages) and the agronomical parameters computed (e.g., normalized vegetation index-NVDI) are improved since radiometric defects in pixels are not considered. Finally, an accuracy assessment was performed in order to analyse the error in the detection process, getting errors around 10 pixels for a ground sample distance (GSD) of 5 cm which is perfectly valid for agricultural applications. This error confirms that the precision in the detection of sun reflections can be guaranteed using this approach and the current low-cost UAV technology. PMID:29036930

  16. Automatic Hotspot and Sun Glint Detection in UAV Multispectral Images.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Terol, Damian; Hernandez-Lopez, David; Ballesteros, Rocio; Gonzalez-Aguilera, Diego

    2017-10-15

    Last advances in sensors, photogrammetry and computer vision have led to high-automation levels of 3D reconstruction processes for generating dense models and multispectral orthoimages from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images. However, these cartographic products are sometimes blurred and degraded due to sun reflection effects which reduce the image contrast and colour fidelity in photogrammetry and the quality of radiometric values in remote sensing applications. This paper proposes an automatic approach for detecting sun reflections problems (hotspot and sun glint) in multispectral images acquired with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), based on a photogrammetric strategy included in a flight planning and control software developed by the authors. In particular, two main consequences are derived from the approach developed: (i) different areas of the images can be excluded since they contain sun reflection problems; (ii) the cartographic products obtained (e.g., digital terrain model, orthoimages) and the agronomical parameters computed (e.g., normalized vegetation index-NVDI) are improved since radiometric defects in pixels are not considered. Finally, an accuracy assessment was performed in order to analyse the error in the detection process, getting errors around 10 pixels for a ground sample distance (GSD) of 5 cm which is perfectly valid for agricultural applications. This error confirms that the precision in the detection of sun reflections can be guaranteed using this approach and the current low-cost UAV technology.

  17. Colour-based Object Detection and Tracking for Autonomous Quadrotor UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadouf, Hani Hunud A.; Mohd Mustafah, Yasir

    2013-12-01

    With robotics becoming a fundamental aspect of modern society, further research and consequent application is ever increasing. Aerial robotics, in particular, covers applications such as surveillance in hostile military zones or search and rescue operations in disaster stricken areas, where ground navigation is impossible. The increased visual capacity of UAV's (Unmanned Air Vehicles) is also applicable in the support of ground vehicles to provide supplies for emergency assistance, for scouting purposes or to extend communication beyond insurmountable land or water barriers. The Quadrotor, which is a small UAV has its lift generated by four rotors and can be controlled by altering the speeds of its motors relative to each other. The four rotors allow for a higher payload than single or dual rotor UAVs, which makes it safer and more suitable to carry camera and transmitter equipment. An onboard camera is used to capture and transmit images of the Quadrotor's First Person View (FPV) while in flight, in real time, wirelessly to a base station. The aim of this research is to develop an autonomous quadrotor platform capable of transmitting real time video signals to a base station for processing. The result from the image analysis will be used as a feedback in the quadrotor positioning control. To validate the system, the algorithm should have the capacity to make the quadrotor identify, track or hover above stationary or moving objects.

  18. Flight Test Maneuvers for Efficient Aerodynamic Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morelli, Eugene A.

    2011-01-01

    Novel flight test maneuvers for efficient aerodynamic modeling were developed and demonstrated in flight. Orthogonal optimized multi-sine inputs were applied to aircraft control surfaces to excite aircraft dynamic response in all six degrees of freedom simultaneously while keeping the aircraft close to chosen reference flight conditions. Each maneuver was designed for a specific modeling task that cannot be adequately or efficiently accomplished using conventional flight test maneuvers. All of the new maneuvers were first described and explained, then demonstrated on a subscale jet transport aircraft in flight. Real-time and post-flight modeling results obtained using equation-error parameter estimation in the frequency domain were used to show the effectiveness and efficiency of the new maneuvers, as well as the quality of the aerodynamic models that can be identified from the resultant flight data.

  19. Design and development of a 3D printed UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banfield, Christopher P.

    The purpose of this project was to investigate the viability and practicality of using a desktop 3D printer to fabricate small UAV airframes. To that end, ASTM based bending and tensile tests were conducted to assess the effects of print orientation, infill density, infill pattern, and infill orientation on the structural properties of 3D printed components. A Vernier Structures & Materials Tester was used to record force and displacement data from which stress-strain diagrams, yielding strength, maximum strength, and the moduli of elasticity were found. Results indicated that print orientation and infill density had the greatest impact on strength. In bending, vertically printed test pieces showed the greatest strength, with yield strengths 1.6 - 10.4% higher than conventionally extruded ABS's 64.0MPa average flexural strength. In contrast, the horizontally printed specimens showed yield strengths reduced anywhere from 17.0 - 34.9%. The tensile test specimens also exhibited reduced strength relative to ABS's average tensile yield strength of 40.7MPa. Test pieces with 20% infill density saw strength reductions anywhere from 47.8 - 55.6%, and those with 50% saw strength reductions from 33.6 - 47.8%. Only a single test piece with 100%, 45° crisscross infill achieved tensile performance on par with that of conventionally fabricated ABS. Its yield strength was 43MPa, a positive strength difference of 5.5%. As a supplement to the tensile and bending tests, a prototype printable airplane, the Phoebe, was designed. Its development process in turn provided the opportunity to develop techniques for printing various aircraft components such as fuselage sections, airfoils, and live-in hinges. Initial results seem promising, with the prototype's first production run requiring 19 hours of print time and an additional 4 - 5 hours of assembly time. The maiden flight test demonstrated that the design was stable and controllable in sustained flight.

  20. Status of 'HIMES' reentry flight test project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inatani, Yoshifumi; Kawaguchi, Jun'ichiro; Yonemoto, Koichi

    1990-10-01

    The salient features of the Highly Maneuverable Experimental Space (HIMES) vehicle which is being developed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan are discussed together with the results of tests conducted. Analytical studies carried out so far include system analyses, aerodynamic design, the navigation/guidance and control systems, the propulsion system, and structural studies. Results of flight tests conducted to verify these analyses include the low-speed gliding flight test and the atmospheric reentry flight test, as well as a ground firing test of the hydrogen-fueled propulsion system. Diagrams are presented of the HIMES vehicle and its propulsion engines.

  1. Flight test results of the Strapdown hexad Inertial Reference Unit (SIRU). Volume 1: Flight test summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hruby, R. J.; Bjorkman, W. S.

    1977-01-01

    Flight test results of the strapdown inertial reference unit (SIRU) navigation system are presented. The fault-tolerant SIRU navigation system features a redundant inertial sensor unit and dual computers. System software provides for detection and isolation of inertial sensor failures and continued operation in the event of failures. Flight test results include assessments of the system's navigational performance and fault tolerance.

  2. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle shape, flight path and camera type for waterfowl surveys: disturbance effects and species recognition.

    PubMed

    McEvoy, John F; Hall, Graham P; McDonald, Paul G

    2016-01-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for ecological research has grown rapidly in recent years, but few studies have assessed the disturbance impacts of these tools on focal subjects, particularly when observing easily disturbed species such as waterfowl. In this study we assessed the level of disturbance that a range of UAV shapes and sizes had on free-living, non-breeding waterfowl surveyed in two sites in eastern Australia between March and May 2015, as well as the capability of airborne digital imaging systems to provide adequate resolution for unambiguous species identification of these taxa. We found little or no obvious disturbance effects on wild, mixed-species flocks of waterfowl when UAVs were flown at least 60m above the water level (fixed wing models) or 40m above individuals (multirotor models). Disturbance in the form of swimming away from the UAV through to leaving the water surface and flying away from the UAV was visible at lower altitudes and when fixed-wing UAVs either approached subjects directly or rapidly changed altitude and/or direction near animals. Using tangential approach flight paths that did not cause disturbance, commercially available onboard optical equipment was able to capture images of sufficient quality to identify waterfowl and even much smaller taxa such as swallows. Our results show that with proper planning of take-off and landing sites, flight paths and careful UAV model selection, UAVs can provide an excellent tool for accurately surveying wild waterfowl populations and provide archival data with fewer logistical issues than traditional methods such as manned aerial surveys.

  3. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle shape, flight path and camera type for waterfowl surveys: disturbance effects and species recognition

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Graham P.; McDonald, Paul G.

    2016-01-01

    The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for ecological research has grown rapidly in recent years, but few studies have assessed the disturbance impacts of these tools on focal subjects, particularly when observing easily disturbed species such as waterfowl. In this study we assessed the level of disturbance that a range of UAV shapes and sizes had on free-living, non-breeding waterfowl surveyed in two sites in eastern Australia between March and May 2015, as well as the capability of airborne digital imaging systems to provide adequate resolution for unambiguous species identification of these taxa. We found little or no obvious disturbance effects on wild, mixed-species flocks of waterfowl when UAVs were flown at least 60m above the water level (fixed wing models) or 40m above individuals (multirotor models). Disturbance in the form of swimming away from the UAV through to leaving the water surface and flying away from the UAV was visible at lower altitudes and when fixed-wing UAVs either approached subjects directly or rapidly changed altitude and/or direction near animals. Using tangential approach flight paths that did not cause disturbance, commercially available onboard optical equipment was able to capture images of sufficient quality to identify waterfowl and even much smaller taxa such as swallows. Our results show that with proper planning of take-off and landing sites, flight paths and careful UAV model selection, UAVs can provide an excellent tool for accurately surveying wild waterfowl populations and provide archival data with fewer logistical issues than traditional methods such as manned aerial surveys. PMID:27020132

  4. First UAV Measurements of Entrainment Layer Fluxes with Coupled Cloud Property Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, R. M.; Praveen, P. S.; Wilcox, E. M.; Pistone, K.; Bender, F.; Ramanathan, V.

    2012-12-01

    This study details entrainment flux measurements made from a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) containing turbulent water vapor flux instrumentation (Thomas et al., 2012). The system was flown for 26 flights during the Cloud, Aerosol, Radiative forcing, Dynamics EXperiment (CARDEX) in the Maldives in March 2012 to study interrelationships between entrainment, aerosols, water budget, cloud microphysics and radiative fluxes in a trade wind cumulus cloud regime. A major advantage of using this lightweight, precision autopiloted UAV system with scientific telemetry is the ability to target small-scale features in the boundary layer, such as an entrainment layer, with minimal aircraft induced disruption. Results are presented from two UAVs flown in stacked formation: one UAV situated in-cloud measuring cloud-droplet size distribution spectra and liquid water content, and another co-located 100m above measuring turbulent properties and entrainment latent heat flux (λEE). We also show latent heat flux and turbulence measurements routinely made at the entrainment layer base and altitudes from the surface up to 4kft. Ratios of λEE to corresponding surface tower values (λES) display a bimodal frequency distribution with ranges 0.22-0.53 and 0.79-1.5, with occasional events >7. Reasons for this distribution are discussed drawing upon boundary layer and free tropospheric dynamics and meteorology, turbulence length scales, surface conditions, and cloud interactions. Latent heat flux profiles are combined with in-cloud UAV Liquid Water Content (LWC) data and surface based Liquid Water Path (LWP) and Precipitable Water Vapor (PWV) measurements to produce observationally constrained vertical water budgets, providing insights into diurnal coupling of λEE and λES. Observed λEE, λES, water budgets, and cloud microphysical responses to entrainment are then contextualized with respect to measured aerosol loading profiles and airmass history.

  5. The UAV take-off and landing system used for small areas of mobile vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Tian-Yu; Duanmu, Qing-Duo; Wu, Bo-Qi

    2018-03-01

    In order to realize an UAV formation cluster system based on the current GPS and the fault and insufficiency of Beidou integrated navigation system in strong jamming environment. Due to the impact of the compass on the plane crash, navigation system error caused by the mobile area to help reduce the need for large landing sites and not in the small fast moving area to achieve the reality of the landing. By using Strapdown inertial and all-optical system to form Composite UAV flight control system, the photoelectric composite strapdown inertial coupling is realized, and through the laser and microwave telemetry link compound communication mechanism, using all-optical strapdown inertial and visual navigation system to solve the deviation of take-off and landing caused by electromagnetic interference, all-optical bidirectional data link realizes two-way position correction of landing site and aircraft, thus achieves the accurate recovery of UAV formation cluster in the mobile narrow area which the traditional navigation system can't realize. This system is a set of efficient unmanned aerial vehicle Group Take-off/descending system, which is suitable for many tasks, and not only realizes the reliable continuous navigation under the complex electromagnetic interference environment, moreover, the intelligent flight and Take-off and landing of unmanned aerial vehicles relative to the fast moving and small recovery sites in complex electromagnetic interference environment can not only improve the safe operation rate of unmanned aerial vehicle, but also guarantee the operation safety of the aircraft, and the more has important social value for the application foreground of the aircraft.

  6. Fused Reality for Enhanced Flight Test Capabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bachelder, Ed; Klyde, David

    2011-01-01

    The feasibility of using Fused Reality-based simulation technology to enhance flight test capabilities has been investigated. In terms of relevancy to piloted evaluation, there remains no substitute for actual flight tests, even when considering the fidelity and effectiveness of modern ground-based simulators. In addition to real-world cueing (vestibular, visual, aural, environmental, etc.), flight tests provide subtle but key intangibles that cannot be duplicated in a ground-based simulator. There is, however, a cost to be paid for the benefits of flight in terms of budget, mission complexity, and safety, including the need for ground and control-room personnel, additional aircraft, etc. A Fused Reality(tm) (FR) Flight system was developed that allows a virtual environment to be integrated with the test aircraft so that tasks such as aerial refueling, formation flying, or approach and landing can be accomplished without additional aircraft resources or the risk of operating in close proximity to the ground or other aircraft. Furthermore, the dynamic motions of the simulated objects can be directly correlated with the responses of the test aircraft. The FR Flight system will allow real-time observation of, and manual interaction with, the cockpit environment that serves as a frame for the virtual out-the-window scene.

  7. Glider Flight Instructor Written Test Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Federal Aviation Administration (DOT), Washington, DC. Flight Standards Service.

    The purposes of the test guide are threefold. First, it is intended to outline the scope of the basic aeronautical knowledge requirements for a glider flight instructor. This includes fundamentals of flight instruction and performance and analysis of flight training maneuvers. Secondly, it is intended to acquaint the applicant with source material…

  8. Differential GNSS and Vision-Based Tracking to Improve Navigation Performance in Cooperative Multi-UAV Systems

    PubMed Central

    Vetrella, Amedeo Rodi; Fasano, Giancarmine; Accardo, Domenico; Moccia, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Autonomous navigation of micro-UAVs is typically based on the integration of low cost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based inertial and magnetic sensors to stabilize and control the flight. The resulting navigation performance in terms of position and attitude accuracy may not suffice for other mission needs, such as the ones relevant to fine sensor pointing. In this framework, this paper presents a cooperative UAV navigation algorithm that allows a chief vehicle, equipped with inertial and magnetic sensors, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a vision system, to improve its navigation performance (in real time or in the post processing phase) exploiting formation flying deputy vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. The focus is set on outdoor environments and the key concept is to exploit differential GPS among vehicles and vision-based tracking (DGPS/Vision) to build a virtual additional navigation sensor whose information is then integrated in a sensor fusion algorithm based on an Extended Kalman Filter. The developed concept and processing architecture are described, with a focus on DGPS/Vision attitude determination algorithm. Performance assessment is carried out on the basis of both numerical simulations and flight tests. In the latter ones, navigation estimates derived from the DGPS/Vision approach are compared with those provided by the onboard autopilot system of a customized quadrotor. The analysis shows the potential of the developed approach, mainly deriving from the possibility to exploit magnetic- and inertial-independent accurate attitude information. PMID:27999318

  9. Experimental Identification and Characterization of Multirotor UAV Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotarski, Denis; Krznar, Matija; Piljek, Petar; Simunic, Nikola

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, an experimental procedure for the identification and characterization of multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion is presented. Propulsion configuration needs to be defined precisely in order to achieve required flight performance. Based on the accurate dynamic model and empirical measurements of multirotor propulsion physical parameters, it is possible to design diverse configurations with different characteristics for various purposes. As a case study, we investigated design considerations for a micro indoor multirotor which is suitable for control algorithm implementation in structured environment. It consists of open source autopilot, sensors for indoor flight, “take off the shelf” propulsion components and frame. The series of experiments were conducted to show the process of parameters identification and the procedure for analysis and propulsion characterization. Additionally, we explore battery performance in terms of mass and specific energy. Experimental results show identified and estimated propulsion parameters through which blade element theory is verified.

  10. Improved quantification of mountain snowpack properties using observations from Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, J. M.; Harder, P.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain snowpacks represent a critical seasonal reservoir of water for downstream needs, and snowmelt is a significant component of mountain hydrological budgets. Ground-based point measurements are unable to describe the full spatial variability of snow accumulation and melt rates, and repeat Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) surveys provide an unparalleled opportunity to measure snow accumulation, redistribution and melt in alpine environments. This study presents results from a UAV-based observation campaign conducted at the Fortress Mountain Snow Laboratory in the Canadian Rockies in 2017. Seven survey flights were conducted between April (maximum snow accumulation) and mid-July (bare ground) to collect imagery with both an RGB camera and thermal infrared imager with the sensefly eBee RTK platform. UAV imagery are processed with structure from motion techniques, and orthoimages, digital elevation models, and surface temperature maps are validated against concurrent ground observations of snow depth, snow water equivalent, and snow surface temperature. We examine the seasonal evolution of snow depth and snow surface temperature, and explore the spatial covariances of these variables with respect to topographic factors and snow ablation rates. Our results have direct implications for scaling snow ablation calculations and model resolution and discretization.

  11. Cooperative UAV-Based Communications Backbone for Sensor Networks

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Roberts, R S

    2001-10-07

    The objective of this project is to investigate the use of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) as mobile, adaptive communications backbones for ground-based sensor networks. In this type of network, the UAVs provide communication connectivity to sensors that cannot communicate with each other because of terrain, distance, or other geographical constraints. In these situations, UAVs provide a vertical communication path for the sensors, thereby mitigating geographic obstacles often imposed on networks. With the proper use of UAVs, connectivity to a widely disbursed sensor network in rugged terrain is readily achieved. Our investigation has focused on networks where multiple cooperating UAVs aremore » used to form a network backbone. The advantage of using multiple UAVs to form the network backbone is parallelization of sensor connectivity. Many widely spaced or isolated sensors can be connected to the network at once using this approach. In these networks, the UAVs logically partition the sensor network into sub-networks (subnets), with one UAV assigned per subnet. Partitioning the network into subnets allows the UAVs to service sensors in parallel thereby decreasing the sensor-to-network connectivity. A UAV services sensors in its subnet by flying a route (path) through the subnet, uplinking data collected by the sensors, and forwarding the data to a ground station. An additional advantage of using multiple UAVs in the network is that they provide redundancy in the communications backbone, so that the failure of a single UAV does not necessarily imply the loss of the network.« less

  12. Aircraft flight test trajectory control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.

    1988-01-01

    Two design techniques for linear flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs) are described: Eigenstructure assignment and the minimum error excitation technique. The two techniques are used to design FTTCs for an F-15 aircraft model for eight different maneuvers at thirty different flight conditions. An evaluation of the FTTCs is presented.

  13. Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards for Glider

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    1997-10-01

    This Flight Instructor-Glider Practical Test Standards book has been : published by the Federal Aviation Administration to establish the : standards for the flight instructor certification practical tests for the : glider category. FAA inspectors and...

  14. UAV-based NDVI calculation over grassland: An alternative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mejia-Aguilar, Abraham; Tomelleri, Enrico; Asam, Sarah; Zebisch, Marc

    2016-04-01

    The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is one of the most widely used indicators for monitoring and assessing vegetation in remote sensing. The index relies on the reflectance difference between the near infrared (NIR) and red light and is thus able to track variations of structural, phenological, and biophysical parameters for seasonal and long-term monitoring. Conventionally, NDVI is inferred from space-borne spectroradiometers, such as MODIS, with moderate resolution up to 250 m ground resolution. In recent years, a new generation of miniaturized radiometers and integrated hyperspectral sensors with high resolution became available. Such small and light instruments are particularly adequate to be mounted on airborne unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) used for monitoring services reaching ground sampling resolution in the order of centimetres. Nevertheless, such miniaturized radiometers and hyperspectral sensors are still very expensive and require high upfront capital costs. Therefore, we propose an alternative, mainly cheaper method to calculate NDVI using a camera constellation consisting of two conventional consumer-grade cameras: (i) a Ricoh GR modified camera that acquires the NIR spectrum by removing the internal infrared filter. A mounted optical filter additionally obstructs all wavelengths below 700 nm. (ii) A Ricoh GR in RGB configuration using two optical filters for blocking wavelengths below 600 nm as well as NIR and ultraviolet (UV) light. To assess the merit of the proposed method, we carry out two comparisons: First, reflectance maps generated by the consumer-grade camera constellation are compared to reflectance maps produced with a hyperspectral camera (Rikola). All imaging data and reflectance maps are processed using the PIX4D software. In the second test, the NDVI at specific points of interest (POI) generated by the consumer-grade camera constellation is compared to NDVI values obtained by ground spectral measurements using a

  15. Indicator Species Population Monitoring in Antarctica with Uav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zmarz, A.; Korczak-Abshire, M.; Storvold, R.; Rodzewicz, M.; Kędzierska, I.

    2015-08-01

    A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km) were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 - 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance) less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  16. Navigation and flight director guidance for the NASA/FAA helicopter MLS curved approach flight test program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phatak, A. V.; Lee, M. G.

    1985-01-01

    The navigation and flight director guidance systems implemented in the NASA/FAA helicopter microwave landing system (MLS) curved approach flight test program is described. Flight test were conducted at the U.S. Navy's Crows Landing facility, using the NASA Ames UH-lH helicopter equipped with the V/STOLAND avionics system. The purpose of these tests was to investigate the feasibility of flying complex, curved and descending approaches to a landing using MLS flight director guidance. A description of the navigation aids used, the avionics system, cockpit instrumentation and on-board navigation equipment used for the flight test is provided. Three generic reference flight paths were developed and flown during the test. They were as follows: U-Turn, S-turn and Straight-In flight profiles. These profiles and their geometries are described in detail. A 3-cue flight director was implemented on the helicopter. A description of the formulation and implementation of the flight director laws is also presented. Performance data and analysis is presented for one pilot conducting the flight director approaches.

  17. Greased Lightning (GL-10) Flight Testing Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredericks, William J.; McSwain, Robert G.; Beaton, Brian F.; Klassman, David W.; Theodore, Colin R.

    2017-01-01

    Greased Lightning (GL-10) is an aircraft configuration that combines the characteristics of a cruise efficient airplane with the ability to perform vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). This aircraft has been designed, fabricated and flight tested at the small unmanned aerial system (UAS) scale. This technical memorandum will document the procedures and findings of the flight test experiments. The GL-10 design utilized two key technologies to enable this unique aircraft design; namely, distributed electric propulsion (DEP) and inexpensive closed loop controllers. These technologies enabled the flight of this inherently unstable aircraft. Overall it has been determined thru flight test that a design that leverages these new technologies can yield a useful VTOL cruise efficient aircraft.

  18. Ares I-X Flight Test Vehicle: Stack 5 Modal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehrle, Ralph D.; Templeton, Justin D.; Reaves, Mercedes C.; Horta, Lucas G.; Gaspar, James L.; Bartolotta, Paul A.; Parks, Russel A.; Lazor, Danel R.

    2010-01-01

    Ares I-X was the first flight test vehicle used in the development of NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle. The Ares I-X used a 4-segment reusable solid rocket booster from the Space Shuttle heritage with mass simulators for the 5th segment, upper stage, crew module and launch abort system. Three modal tests were defined to verify the dynamic finite element model of the Ares I-X flight test vehicle. Test configurations included two partial stacks and the full Ares I-X flight test vehicle on the Mobile Launcher Platform. This report focuses on the first modal test that was performed on the top section of the vehicle referred to as Stack 5, which consisted of the spacecraft adapter, service module, crew module and launch abort system simulators. This report describes the test requirements, constraints, pre-test analysis, test operations and data analysis for the Ares I-X Stack 5 modal test.

  19. Ares I-X Flight Test Vehicle:Stack 1 Modal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehrle, Ralph D.; Templeton, Justin D.; Reaves, Mercedes C.; Horta, Lucas G.; Gaspar, James L.; Bartolotta, Paul A.; Parks, Russel A.; Lazor, Daniel R.

    2010-01-01

    Ares I-X was the first flight test vehicle used in the development of NASA s Ares I crew launch vehicle. The Ares I-X used a 4-segment reusable solid rocket booster from the Space Shuttle heritage with mass simulators for the 5th segment, upper stage, crew module and launch abort system. Three modal tests were defined to verify the dynamic finite element model of the Ares I-X flight test vehicle. Test configurations included two partial stacks and the full Ares I-X flight test vehicle on the Mobile Launcher Platform. This report focuses on the second modal test that was performed on the middle section of the vehicle referred to as Stack 1, which consisted of the subassembly from the 5th segment simulator through the interstage. This report describes the test requirements, constraints, pre-test analysis, test operations and data analysis for the Ares I-X Stack 1 modal test.

  20. Visual Advantage of Enhanced Flight Vision System During NextGen Flight Test Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Harrison, Stephanie J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Shelton, Kevin J.; Ellis, Kyle K.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic Vision Systems and Enhanced Flight Vision System (SVS/EFVS) technologies have the potential to provide additional margins of safety for aircrew performance and enable operational improvements for low visibility operations in the terminal area environment. Simulation and flight tests were jointly sponsored by NASA's Aviation Safety Program, Vehicle Systems Safety Technology project and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to evaluate potential safety and operational benefits of SVS/EFVS technologies in low visibility Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) operations. The flight tests were conducted by a team of Honeywell, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and NASA personnel with the goal of obtaining pilot-in-the-loop test data for flight validation, verification, and demonstration of selected SVS/EFVS operational and system-level performance capabilities. Nine test flights were flown in Gulfstream's G450 flight test aircraft outfitted with the SVS/EFVS technologies under low visibility instrument meteorological conditions. Evaluation pilots flew 108 approaches in low visibility weather conditions (600 feet to 3600 feet reported visibility) under different obscurants (mist, fog, drizzle fog, frozen fog) and sky cover (broken, overcast). Flight test videos were evaluated at three different altitudes (decision altitude, 100 feet radar altitude, and touchdown) to determine the visual advantage afforded to the pilot using the EFVS/Forward-Looking InfraRed (FLIR) imagery compared to natural vision. Results indicate the EFVS provided a visual advantage of two to three times over that of the out-the-window (OTW) view. The EFVS allowed pilots to view the runway environment, specifically runway lights, before they would be able to OTW with natural vision.

  1. Flight Test Techniques Used to Evaluate Performance Benefits During Formation Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Ronald J.; Cobleigh, Brent R.; Vachon, M. Jake; SaintJohn, Clinton

    2002-01-01

    The Autonomous Formation Flight research project has been implemented at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to demonstrate the benefits of formation flight and develop advanced technologies to facilitate exploiting these benefits. Two F/A-18 aircraft have been modified to precisely control and monitor relative position, and to determine performance of the trailing airplane. Flight test maneuvers and analysis techniques have been developed to determine the performance advantages, including drag and fuel flow reductions and improvements in range factor. By flying the trailing airplane through a matrix of lateral, longitudinal, and vertical offset positions, a detailed map of the performance benefits has been obtained at two flight conditions. Significant performance benefits have been obtained during this flight test phase. Drag reductions of more than 20 percent and fuel flow reductions of more than 18 percent have been measured at flight conditions of Mach 0.56 and an altitude of 25,000 ft. The results show favorable agreement with published theory and generic predictions. An F/A-18 long-range cruise mission at Mach 0.8 and an altitude of 40,000 ft has been simulated in the optimum formation position and has demonstrated a 14-percent fuel reduction when compared with a controlled chase airplane of similar configuration.

  2. Validation of Inertial and Optical Navigation Techniques for Space Applications with UAVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montaño, J.; Wis, M.; Pulido, J. A.; Latorre, A.; Molina, P.; Fernández, E.; Angelats, E.; Colomina, I.

    2015-09-01

    into one system. The inertial navigation system implemented in PERIGEO is based on a classical loosely coupled INS/GNSS approach that is very similar to the implementation of the INS/Imaging navigation system that is mentioned above. The activities envisaged in PERIGEO cover the algorithms development and validation and technology testing on UAVs under representative conditions. Past activities have covered the design and development of the algorithms and systems. This paper presents the most recent activities and results on the area of image processing for robust estimation within PERIGEO, which are related with the hardware platforms definition (including sensors) and its integration in UAVs. Results for the tests performed during the flight campaigns in representative outdoor environments will be also presented (at the time of the full paper submission the tests will be performed), as well as analyzed, together with a roadmap definition for future developments.

  3. Development of Open source-based automatic shooting and processing UAV imagery for Orthoimage Using Smart Camera UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J. W.; Jeong, H. H.; Kim, J. S.; Choi, C. U.

    2016-06-01

    Recently, aerial photography with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system uses UAV and remote controls through connections of ground control system using bandwidth of about 430 MHz radio Frequency (RF) modem. However, as mentioned earlier, existing method of using RF modem has limitations in long distance communication. The Smart Camera equipments's LTE (long-term evolution), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to implement UAV that uses developed UAV communication module system carried out the close aerial photogrammetry with the automatic shooting. Automatic shooting system is an image capturing device for the drones in the area's that needs image capturing and software for loading a smart camera and managing it. This system is composed of automatic shooting using the sensor of smart camera and shooting catalog management which manages filmed images and information. Processing UAV imagery module used Open Drone Map. This study examined the feasibility of using the Smart Camera as the payload for a photogrammetric UAV system. The open soure tools used for generating Android, OpenCV (Open Computer Vision), RTKLIB, Open Drone Map.

  4. Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Flight Dynamics Test-1 Flight Design and Targeting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, Mark

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) program was established to identify, develop, and eventually qualify to Test [i.e. Technology] Readiness Level (TRL) - 6 aerodynamic decelerators for eventual use on Mars. Through comprehensive Mars application studies, two distinct Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) designs were chosen that afforded the optimum balance of benefit, cost, and development risk. In addition, a Supersonic Disk Sail (SSDS) parachute design was chosen that satisfied the same criteria. The final phase of the multi-tiered qualification process involves Earth Supersonic Flight Dynamics Tests (SFDTs) within environmental conditions similar to those that would be experienced during a Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) mission. The first of these flight tests (i.e. SFDT-1) was completed on June 28, 2014 with two more tests scheduled for the summer of 2015 and 2016, respectively. The basic flight design for all the SFDT flights is for the SFDT test vehicle to be ferried to a float altitude of 120 kilo-feet by a 34 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) heavy lift helium balloon. Once float altitude is reached, the test vehicle is released from the balloon, spun-up for stability, and accelerated to supersonic speeds using a Star48 solid rocket motor. After burnout of the Star48 motor the vehicle decelerates to pre-flight selected test conditions for the deployment of the SIAD system. After further deceleration with the SIAD deployed, the SSDS parachute is then deployed stressing the performance of the parachute in the wake of the SIAD augmented blunt body. The test vehicle/SIAD/parachute system then descends to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean for eventual recovery. This paper will discuss the development of both the test vehicle and the trajectory sequence including design trade-offs resulting from the interaction of both engineering efforts. In addition, the SFDT-1 nominal trajectory design and associated sensitivities will be discussed

  5. Vision and Control for UAVs: A Survey of General Methods and of Inexpensive Platforms for Infrastructure Inspection

    PubMed Central

    Máthé, Koppány; Buşoniu, Lucian

    2015-01-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have gained significant attention in recent years. Low-cost platforms using inexpensive sensor payloads have been shown to provide satisfactory flight and navigation capabilities. In this report, we survey vision and control methods that can be applied to low-cost UAVs, and we list some popular inexpensive platforms and application fields where they are useful. We also highlight the sensor suites used where this information is available. We overview, among others, feature detection and tracking, optical flow and visual servoing, low-level stabilization and high-level planning methods. We then list popular low-cost UAVs, selecting mainly quadrotors. We discuss applications, restricting our focus to the field of infrastructure inspection. Finally, as an example, we formulate two use-cases for railway inspection, a less explored application field, and illustrate the usage of the vision and control techniques reviewed by selecting appropriate ones to tackle these use-cases. To select vision methods, we run a thorough set of experimental evaluations. PMID:26121608

  6. Interactive Cadastral Boundary Delineation from Uav Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crommelinck, S.; Höfle, B.; Koeva, M. N.; Yang, M. Y.; Vosselman, G.

    2018-05-01

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are evolving as an alternative tool to acquire land tenure data. UAVs can capture geospatial data at high quality and resolution in a cost-effective, transparent and flexible manner, from which visible land parcel boundaries, i.e., cadastral boundaries are delineable. This delineation is to no extent automated, even though physical objects automatically retrievable through image analysis methods mark a large portion of cadastral boundaries. This study proposes (i) a methodology that automatically extracts and processes candidate cadastral boundary features from UAV data, and (ii) a procedure for a subsequent interactive delineation. Part (i) consists of two state-of-the-art computer vision methods, namely gPb contour detection and SLIC superpixels, as well as a classification part assigning costs to each outline according to local boundary knowledge. Part (ii) allows a user-guided delineation by calculating least-cost paths along previously extracted and weighted lines. The approach is tested on visible road outlines in two UAV datasets from Germany. Results show that all roads can be delineated comprehensively. Compared to manual delineation, the number of clicks per 100 m is reduced by up to 86 %, while obtaining a similar localization quality. The approach shows promising results to reduce the effort of manual delineation that is currently employed for indirect (cadastral) surveying.

  7. Flight Test Approach to Adaptive Control Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pavlock, Kate Maureen; Less, James L.; Larson, David Nils

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on a full-scale F-18 testbed. The validation of adaptive controls has the potential to enhance safety in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage or control surface failures. This paper describes the research interface architecture, risk mitigations, flight test approach and lessons learned of adaptive controls research.

  8. Asset Analysis and Operational Concepts for Separation Assurance Flight Testing at Dryden Flight Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Costa, Guillermo J.; Arteaga, Ricardo A.

    2011-01-01

    A preliminary survey of existing separation assurance and collision avoidance advancements, technologies, and efforts has been conducted in order to develop a concept of operations for flight testing autonomous separation assurance at Dryden Flight Research Center. This effort was part of the Unmanned Aerial Systems in the National Airspace System project. The survey focused primarily on separation assurance projects validated through flight testing (including lessons learned), however current forays into the field were also examined. Comparisons between current Dryden flight and range assets were conducted using House of Quality matrices in order to allow project management to make determinations regarding asset utilization for future flight tests. This was conducted in order to establish a body of knowledge of the current collision avoidance landscape, and thus focus Dryden s efforts more effectively towards the providing of assets and test ranges for future flight testing within this research field.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-14

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

  10. Requirements for Flight Testing Automated Terminal Service

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    1977-05-01

    This report describes requirements for the flight tests of the baseline Automated Terminals Service (ATS) system. The overall objective of the flight test program is to evaluate the feasibility of the ATS concept. Within this objective there are two ...

  11. Orion Exploration Flight Test Post-Flight Inspection and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. E.; Berger, E. L.; Bohl, W. E.; Christiansen, E. L.; Davis, B. A.; Deighton, K. D.; Enriquez, P. A.; Garcia, M. A.; Hyde, J. L.; Oliveras, O. M.

    2017-01-01

    The multipurpose crew vehicle, Orion, is being designed and built for NASA to handle the rigors of crew launch, sustainment and return from scientific missions beyond Earth orbit. In this role, the Orion vehicle is meant to operate in the space environments like the naturally occurring meteoroid and the artificial orbital debris environments (MMOD) with successful atmospheric reentry at the conclusion of the flight. As a result, Orion's reentry module uses durable porous, ceramic tiles on almost thirty square meters of exposed surfaces to accomplish both of these functions. These durable, non-ablative surfaces maintain their surface profile through atmospheric reentry; thus, they preserve any surface imperfections that occur prior to atmospheric reentry. Furthermore, Orion's launch abort system includes a shroud that protects the thermal protection system while awaiting launch and during ascent. The combination of these design features and a careful pre-flight inspection to identify any manufacturing imperfections results in a high confidence that damage to the thermal protection system identified post-flight is due to the in-flight solid particle environments. These favorable design features of Orion along with the unique flight profile of the first exploration flight test of Orion (EFT-1) have yielded solid particle environment measurements that have never been obtained before this flight.

  12. Flight testing of a luminescent surface pressure sensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclachlan, B. G.; Bell, J. H.; Espina, J.; Gallery, J.; Gouterman, M.; Demandante, C. G. N.; Bjarke, L.

    1992-01-01

    NASA ARC has conducted flight tests of a new type of aerodynamic pressure sensor based on a luminescent surface coating. Flights were conducted at the NASA ARC-Dryden Flight Research Facility. The luminescent pressure sensor is based on a surface coating which, when illuminated with ultraviolet light, emits visible light with an intensity dependent on the local air pressure on the surface. This technique makes it possible to obtain pressure data over the entire surface of an aircraft, as opposed to conventional instrumentation, which can only make measurements at pre-selected points. The objective of the flight tests was to evaluate the effectiveness and practicality of a luminescent pressure sensor in the actual flight environment. A luminescent pressure sensor was installed on a fin, the Flight Test Fixture (FTF), that is attached to the underside of an F-104 aircraft. The response of one particular surface coating was evaluated at low supersonic Mach numbers (M = 1.0-1.6) in order to provide an initial estimate of the sensor's capabilities. This memo describes the test approach, the techniques used, and the pressure sensor's behavior under flight conditions. A direct comparison between data provided by the luminescent pressure sensor and that produced by conventional pressure instrumentation shows that the luminescent sensor can provide quantitative data under flight conditions. However, the test results also show that the sensor has a number of limitations which must be addressed if this technique is to prove useful in the flight environment.

  13. Development and Evaluation of a UAV-Photogrammetry System for Precise 3D Environmental Modeling.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi, Mozhdeh; Sohn, Gunho; Théau, Jérôme; Menard, Patrick

    2015-10-30

    The specific requirements of UAV-photogrammetry necessitate particular solutions for system development, which have mostly been ignored or not assessed adequately in recent studies. Accordingly, this paper presents the methodological and experimental aspects of correctly implementing a UAV-photogrammetry system. The hardware of the system consists of an electric-powered helicopter, a high-resolution digital camera and an inertial navigation system. The software of the system includes the in-house programs specifically designed for camera calibration, platform calibration, system integration, on-board data acquisition, flight planning and on-the-job self-calibration. The detailed features of the system are discussed, and solutions are proposed in order to enhance the system and its photogrammetric outputs. The developed system is extensively tested for precise modeling of the challenging environment of an open-pit gravel mine. The accuracy of the results is evaluated under various mapping conditions, including direct georeferencing and indirect georeferencing with different numbers, distributions and types of ground control points. Additionally, the effects of imaging configuration and network stability on modeling accuracy are assessed. The experiments demonstrated that 1.55 m horizontal and 3.16 m vertical absolute modeling accuracy could be achieved via direct geo-referencing, which was improved to 0.4 cm and 1.7 cm after indirect geo-referencing.

  14. Development and Evaluation of a UAV-Photogrammetry System for Precise 3D Environmental Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi, Mozhdeh; Sohn, Gunho; Théau, Jérôme; Menard, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The specific requirements of UAV-photogrammetry necessitate particular solutions for system development, which have mostly been ignored or not assessed adequately in recent studies. Accordingly, this paper presents the methodological and experimental aspects of correctly implementing a UAV-photogrammetry system. The hardware of the system consists of an electric-powered helicopter, a high-resolution digital camera and an inertial navigation system. The software of the system includes the in-house programs specifically designed for camera calibration, platform calibration, system integration, on-board data acquisition, flight planning and on-the-job self-calibration. The detailed features of the system are discussed, and solutions are proposed in order to enhance the system and its photogrammetric outputs. The developed system is extensively tested for precise modeling of the challenging environment of an open-pit gravel mine. The accuracy of the results is evaluated under various mapping conditions, including direct georeferencing and indirect georeferencing with different numbers, distributions and types of ground control points. Additionally, the effects of imaging configuration and network stability on modeling accuracy are assessed. The experiments demonstrated that 1.55 m horizontal and 3.16 m vertical absolute modeling accuracy could be achieved via direct geo-referencing, which was improved to 0.4 cm and 1.7 cm after indirect geo-referencing. PMID:26528976

  15. UAV-Based Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angel, Y.; Parkes, S. D.; Turner, D.; Houborg, R.; Lucieer, A.; McCabe, M.

    2017-12-01

    Modern agricultural production relies on monitoring crop status by observing and measuring variables such as soil condition, plant health, fertilizer and pesticide effect, irrigation and crop yield. Managing all of these factors is a considerable challenge for crop producers. As such, providing integrated technological solutions that enable improved diagnostics of field condition to maximize profits, while minimizing environmental impacts, would be of much interest. Such challenges can be addressed by implementing remote sensing systems such as hyperspectral imaging to produce precise biophysical indicator maps across the various cycles of crop development. Recent progress in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have advanced traditional satellite-based capabilities, providing a capacity for high-spatial, spectral and temporal response. However, while some hyperspectral sensors have been developed for use onboard UAVs, significant investment is required to develop a system and data processing workflow that retrieves accurately georeferenced mosaics. Here we explore the use of a pushbroom hyperspectral camera that is integrated on-board a multi-rotor UAV system to measure the surface reflectance in 272 distinct spectral bands across a wavelengths range spanning 400-1000 nm, and outline the requirement for sensor calibration, integration onto a stable UAV platform enabling accurate positional data, flight planning, and development of data post-processing workflows for georeferenced mosaics. The provision of high-quality and geo-corrected imagery facilitates the development of metrics of vegetation health that can be used to identify potential problems such as production inefficiencies, diseases and nutrient deficiencies and other data-streams to enable improved crop management. Immense opportunities remain to be exploited in the implementation of UAV-based hyperspectral sensing (and its combination with other imaging systems) to provide a transferable and scalable

  16. Space Shuttle Orbiter Approach and Landing Test Evaluation Report. Captive-Active Flight Test Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Captive-active tests consisted of three mated carrier aircraft/Orbiter flights with an active manned Orbiter. The objectives of this series of flights were to (1) verify the separation profile, (2) verify the integrated structure, aerodynamics, and flight control system, (3) verify Orbiter integrated system operations, and (4) refine and finalize carrier aircraft, Orbiter crew, and ground procedures in preparation for free flight tests. A summary description of the flights is presented with assessments of flight test requirements, and of the performance operations, and of significant flight anomalies is included.

  17. Supervisory Presentation for Research, Information, Integration and Testing (SPRINT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-29

    autonomous UAVs in subsequent tests. The Vigilant Spirit Control Station ( VSCS ) is a test bed designed by the Air Force Research Laboratory for studying... VSCS has tactical situation displays (i.e., geo-spatial maps), vehicle status displays, route planning interfaces for creating vehicle flight plans...is considered one of those novel displays; Figure 2). The model builder software was integrated into the VSCS that constructs a mission model that is

  18. AGARD Flight Test Techniques Series. Volume 18. Flight Testing of Radio Navigation Systems. (Les Essais en Vol des Systemes de Radionavigation)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-04-01

    18 Flight Testing of Radio Navigation Systems (les Essais en vol des systemes de radionavigation) This AGARDograph has been sponsored by the Systems...Techniques Series - Volume 18 Flight Testing of Radio Navigation Systems (les Essais en vol des syst~mes de radionavigation) Edited by H. Bothe H.J...Landing Test and Other Short-Range 19853 Applications by P. de Benquoe D’Agut, H. Rieheek and A. Pool 17. Analogue Signal Conditioning for Flight Test

  19. Unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV): Flight testing and evaluation of two-channel E-field very low frequency (VLF) instrument

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    NONE

    1998-12-01

    Using VLF frequencies, transmitted by the Navy`s network, for airborne remote sensing of the earth`s electrical, magnetic characteristics was first considered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) around the mid 1970s. The first VLF system was designed and developed by the USGS for installation and operation on a single engine, fixed wing aircraft used by the Branch of Geophysics for geophysical surveying. The system consisted of five channels. Two E-field channels with sensors consisting of a fixed vertical loaded dipole antenna with pre-amp mounted on top of the fuselage and a gyro stabilized horizontal loaded dipole antenna with pre-ampmore » mounted on a tail boom. The three channel magnetic sensor consisted of three orthogonal coils mounted on the same gyro stabilized platform as the horizontal E-field antenna. The main features of the VLF receiver were: narrow band-width frequency selection using crystal filters, phase shifters for zeroing out system phase variances, phase-lock loops for generating real and quadrature gates, and synchronous detectors for generating real and quadrature outputs. In the mid 1990s the Branch of Geophysics designed and developed a two-channel E-field ground portable VLF system. The system was built using state-of-the-art circuit components and new concepts in circuit architecture. Small size, light weight, low power, durability, and reliability were key considerations in the design of the instrument. The primary purpose of the instrument was for collecting VLF data during ground surveys over small grid areas. Later the system was modified for installation on a Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV). A series of three field trips were made to Easton, Maryland for testing and evaluating the system performance.« less

  20. Orbital flight test shuttle external tank aerothermal flight evaluation, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Praharaj, Sarat C.; Engel, Carl D.; Warmbrod, John D.

    1986-01-01

    This 3-volume report discusses the evaluation of aerothermal flight measurements made on the orbital flight test Space Shuttle External Tanks (ETs). Six ETs were instrumented to measure various quantities during flight; including heat transfer, pressure, and structural temperature. The flight data was reduced and analyzed against math models established from an extensive wind tunnel data base and empirical heat-transfer relationships. This analysis has supported the validity of the current aeroheating methodology and existing data base; and, has also identified some problem areas which require methodology modifications. This is Volume 1, an Executive Summary. Volume 2 contains Appendices A (Aerothermal Comparisons) and B (Flight Derived h sub 1/h sub u vs. M sub inf. Plots), and Volume 3 contains Appendix C (Comparison of Interference Factors among OFT Flight, Prediction and 1H-97A Data), Appendix D (Freestream Stanton Number and Reynolds Number Correlation for Flight and Tunnel Data), and Appendix E (Flight-Derived h sub i/h sub u Tables).

  1. Orbital flight test shuttle external tank aerothermal flight evaluation, volume 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Praharaj, Sarat C.; Engel, Carl D.; Warmbrod, John D.

    1986-01-01

    This 3-volume report discusses the evaluation of aerothermal flight measurements made on the orbital flight test Space Shuttle External Tanks (ETs). Six ETs were instrumented to measure various quantities during flight; including heat transfer, pressure, and structural temperature. The flight data was reduced and analyzed against math models established from an extensive wind tunnel data base and empirical heat-transfer relationships. This analysis has supported the validity of the current aeroheating methodology and existing data base; and, has also identified some problem areas which require methodology modifications. Volume 1 is the Executive Summary. Volume 2 contains Appendix A (Aerothermal Comparisons), and Appendix B (Flight-Derived h sub 1/h sub u vs. M sub inf. Plots). This is Volume 3, containing Appendix C (Comparison of Interference Factors between OFT Flight, Prediction and 1H-97A Data), Appendix D (Freestream Stanton Number and Reynolds Number Correlation for Flight and Tunnel Data), and Appendix E (Flight-Derived h sub i/h sub u Tables).

  2. Orbital flight test shuttle external tank aerothermal flight evaluation, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Praharaj, Sarat C.; Engel, Carl D.; Warmbrod, John D.

    1986-01-01

    This 3-volume report discusses the evaluation of aerothermal flight measurements made on the orbital flight test Space Shuttle External Tanks (ETs). Six ETs were instrumented to measure various quantities during flight; including heat transfer, pressure, and structural temperature. The flight data was reduced and analyzed against math models established from an extensive wind tunnel data base and empirical heat-transfer relationships. This analysis has supported the validity of the current aeroheating methodology and existing data base; and, has also identified some problem areas which require methodology modifications. Volume 1 is the Executive Summary. This is volume 2, containing Appendix A (Aerothermal Comparisons), and Appendix B (Flight-Derived h sub i/h sub u vs. M sub inf. Plots). Volume 3 contains Appendix C (Comparison of Interference Factors between OFT Flight, Prediction and 1H-97A Data), Appendix D (Freestream Stanton Number and Reynolds Number Correlation for Flight and Tunnel Data), and Appendix E (Flight-Derived h sub i/h sub u Tables).

  3. A Robust H ∞ Controller for an UAV Flight Control System

    PubMed Central

    López, J.

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this paper is the implementation and validation of a robust H ∞ controller for an UAV to track all types of manoeuvres in the presence of noisy environment. A robust inner-outer loop strategy is implemented. To design the H ∞ robust controller in the inner loop, H ∞ control methodology is used. The two controllers that conform the outer loop are designed using the H ∞ Loop Shaping technique. The reference vector used in the control architecture formed by vertical velocity, true airspeed, and heading angle, suggests a nontraditional way to pilot the aircraft. The simulation results show that the proposed control scheme works well despite the presence of noise and uncertainties, so the control system satisfies the requirements. PMID:26221622

  4. A Robust H ∞ Controller for an UAV Flight Control System.

    PubMed

    López, J; Dormido, R; Dormido, S; Gómez, J P

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this paper is the implementation and validation of a robust H ∞ controller for an UAV to track all types of manoeuvres in the presence of noisy environment. A robust inner-outer loop strategy is implemented. To design the H ∞ robust controller in the inner loop, H ∞ control methodology is used. The two controllers that conform the outer loop are designed using the H ∞ Loop Shaping technique. The reference vector used in the control architecture formed by vertical velocity, true airspeed, and heading angle, suggests a nontraditional way to pilot the aircraft. The simulation results show that the proposed control scheme works well despite the presence of noise and uncertainties, so the control system satisfies the requirements.

  5. Space Shuttle stability and control flight test techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooke, D. R.

    1980-01-01

    A unique approach for obtaining vehicle aerodynamic characteristics during entry has been developed for the Space Shuttle. This is due to the high cost of Shuttle testing, the need to open constraints for operational flights, and the fact that all flight regimes are flown starting with the first flight. Because of uncertainties associated with predicted aerodynamic coefficients, nine flight conditions have been identified at which control problems could occur. A detailed test plan has been developed for testing at these conditions and is presented. Due to limited testing, precise computer initiated maneuvers are implemented. These maneuvers are designed to optimize the vehicle motion for determining aerodynamic coefficients. Special sensors and atmospheric measurements are required to provide stability and control flight data during an entire entry. The techniques employed in data reduction are proven programs developed and used at NASA/DFRC.

  6. X-29A flight control system performance during flight test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, J.; Chacon, V.; Gera, J.

    1987-01-01

    An account is given of flight control system performance results for the X-29A forward-swept wing 'Advanced Technology Demonstrator' fighter aircraft, with attention to its software and hardware components' achievement of the requisite levels of system stability and desirable aircraft handling qualities. The Automatic Camber Control Logic is found to be well integrated with the stability loop of the aircraft. A number of flight test support software programs developed by NASA facilitated monitoring of the X-29A's stability in real time, and allowed the test team to clear the envelope with confidence.

  7. Test Platforms for Model-Based Flight Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorobantu, Andrei

    Demonstrating the reliability of flight control algorithms is critical to integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the civilian airspace. For many potential applications, design and certification of these algorithms will rely heavily on mathematical models of the aircraft dynamics. Therefore, the aerospace community must develop flight test platforms to support the advancement of model-based techniques. The University of Minnesota has developed a test platform dedicated to model-based flight research for unmanned aircraft systems. This thesis provides an overview of the test platform and its research activities in the areas of system identification, model validation, and closed-loop control for small unmanned aircraft.

  8. UAV based 3D digital surface model to estimate paleolandscape in high mountainous environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mészáros, János; Árvai, Mátyás; Kohán, Balázs; Deák, Márton; Nagy, Balázs

    2016-04-01

    Our method to present current state of a peat bog was focused on the possible use of a UAV-system and later Structure-from-motion algorithms as processing technique. The peat bog site is located on the Vinderel Plateau, Farcǎu Massif, Maramures Mountains (Romania). The peat bog (1530 m a.s.l., N47°54'11", E24°26'37") lies below Rugasu ridge (c. 1820 m a.s.l.) and the locality serves as a conservation area for fallen down coniferous trees. Peat deposits were formed in a landslide concavity on the western slope of Farcǎu Massif. Nowadays the site is surrounded by a completely deforested landscape, and Farcǎu Massif lies above the depressed treeline. The peat bog has an extraordinary geomorphological situation, because a gully reached the bog and drained the water. In the recent past sedimentological and dendrochronological researches have been initiated. However, an accurate 3D digital surface model also needed for a complex paleoenvironmental research. Last autumn the bog and its surroundings were finally surveyed by a multirotor UAV developed in-house based on an open-source flight management unit and its firmware. During this survey a lightweight action camera (mainly to decrease payload weight) was used to take aerial photographs. While our quadcopter is capable to fly automatically on a predefined flight route, several over- and sidelapping flight lines were generated prior to the actual survey on the ground using a control software running on a notebook. Despite those precautions, limited number of batteries and severe weather affected our final flights, resulting a reduced surveyed area around peat bog. Later, during the processing we looked for a reliable tool which powerful enough to process more than 500 photos taken during flights. After testing several software Agisoft PhotoScan was used to create 3D point cloud and mesh about bog and its environment. Due to large number of photographs PhotoScan had to be configured for network processing to get

  9. Research for new UAV capabilities

    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI.GOV)

    Canavan, G.H.; Leadabrand, R.

    1996-07-01

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

  10. Orion Launch Abort System Performance on Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCauley, R.; Davidson, J.; Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    This paper will present an overview of the flight test objectives and performance of the Orion Launch Abort System during Exploration Flight Test-1. Exploration Flight Test-1, the first flight test of the Orion spacecraft, was managed and led by the Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, and launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket. This flight test was a two-orbit, high-apogee, high-energy entry, low-inclination test mission used to validate and test systems critical to crew safety. This test included the first flight test of the Launch Abort System preforming Orion nominal flight mission critical objectives. NASA is currently designing and testing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Orion will serve as NASA's new exploration vehicle to carry astronauts to deep space destinations and safely return them to earth. The Orion spacecraft is composed of four main elements: the Launch Abort System, the Crew Module, the Service Module, and the Spacecraft Adapter (Fig. 1). The Launch Abort System (LAS) provides two functions; during nominal launches, the LAS provides protection for the Crew Module from atmospheric loads and heating during first stage flight and during emergencies provides a reliable abort capability for aborts that occur within the atmosphere. The Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) consists of an Abort Motor to provide the abort separation from the Launch Vehicle, an Attitude Control Motor to provide attitude and rate control, and a Jettison Motor for crew module to LAS separation (Fig. 2). The jettison motor is used during a nominal launch to separate the LAS from the Launch Vehicle (LV) early in the flight of the second stage when it is no longer needed for aborts and at the end of an LAS abort sequence to enable deployment of the crew module's Landing Recovery System. The LAS also provides a Boost Protective Cover fairing that shields the crew module from debris and the aero-thermal environment during ascent. Although the

  11. Design and simulation of flight control system for man-portable micro reconnaissance quadcopter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xinfan; Zhang, Daibing; Fang, Qiang; Shen, Lincheng

    2017-10-01

    The quadcopter has been widely used in the field of aerial photography and environmental detection, because of its advantages of VTOL, simple structure, and easy-control. In the field of urban anti-terrorism or special operations, micro reconnaissance quadcpter has its unique advantages such as all-weather taking off and landing, small noise and so on, and it is very popular with special forces and riot police. This paper aims at the flight control problem of the micro quadcopter, for the purposes of attitude stabilization control and trajectory tracking control of the micro quadcopter, first, the modeling of the micro quadcopter is presented. And using the MATLAB/SIMULINK toolbox to build the flight controller of the micro quadcopter, and then simulation analysis and real flight test are given. The results of the experiment show that the designed PID controller can correct the flight attitude shift effectively and track the planned tracks well, and can achieve the goal of stable and reliable flight of the quadcopter. It can be a useful reference for the flight control system design of future special operations micro UAV.

  12. French Flight Test Program LEA Status

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    RTO-EN-AVT-185 17 - 1 French Flight Test Program LEA Status Francois FALEMPIN MBDA France 1 avenue Reaumur Le Plessis Robinson FRANCE ...TITLE AND SUBTITLE French Flight Test Program LEA Status 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT ...Bouchez, Nicolas Gascoin, Measurement for fuel reforming for scramjet thermal management: status of COMPARER project - AIAA-2009-7373. French

  13. UAV telemetry communications using ZigBee protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasution, T. H.; Siregar, I.; Yasir, M.

    2017-10-01

    Wireless communication has been widely used in various fields or disciplines such as agriculture, health, engineering, military, and aerospace so as to support the work in that field. The communication technology is typically used for controlling devices and data monitoring. One development of wireless communication is the widely used telemetry system used to reach areas that cannot be reached by humans using UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or unmanned aircraft. In this paper we discuss the design of telemetry system in UAV using ZigBee protocol. From the test obtained the system can work well with visualization displays without pause is 20 data per second with a maximum data length of 120 characters.

  14. Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test: Trajectory, Atmosphere, and Aerodynamics Reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kutty, Prasad; Karlgaard, Christopher D.; Blood, Eric M.; O'Farrell, Clara; Ginn, Jason M.; Shoenenberger, Mark; Dutta, Soumyo

    2015-01-01

    The Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test is a full-scale flight test of a Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, which is part of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator technology development project. The purpose of the project is to develop and mature aerodynamic decelerator technologies for landing large mass payloads on the surface of Mars. The technologies include a Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator and Supersonic Parachutes. The first Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test occurred on June 28th, 2014 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. This test was used to validate the test architecture for future missions. The flight was a success and, in addition, was able to acquire data on the aerodynamic performance of the supersonic inflatable decelerator. This paper describes the instrumentation, analysis techniques, and acquired flight test data utilized to reconstruct the vehicle trajectory, atmosphere, and aerodynamics. The results of the reconstruction show significantly higher lofting of the trajectory, which can partially be explained by off-nominal booster motor performance. The reconstructed vehicle force and moment coefficients fall well within pre-flight predictions. A parameter identification analysis indicates that the vehicle displayed greater aerodynamic static stability than seen in pre-flight computational predictions and ballistic range tests.

  15. Orion Flight Test Preview Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-11-06

    In the Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site auditorium, members of the news media listen as NASA and contractor officials plans for the upcoming Orion flight test. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted flight test of Orion is scheduled to launch Dec. 4, 2014 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.

  16. Modelling multi-rotor UAVs swarm deployment using virtual pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Pujol, Mar; Rizo, Ramón; Rizo, Carlos

    2018-01-01

    In this work, a swarm behaviour for multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) deployment will be presented. The main contribution of this behaviour is the use of a virtual device for quantitative sematectonic stigmergy providing more adaptable behaviours in complex environments. It is a fault tolerant highly robust behaviour that does not require prior information of the area to be covered, or to assume the existence of any kind of information signals (GPS, mobile communication networks …), taking into account the specific features of UAVs. This behaviour will be oriented towards emergency tasks. Their main goal will be to cover an area of the environment for later creating an ad-hoc communication network, that can be used to establish communications inside this zone. Although there are several papers on robotic deployment it is more difficult to find applications with UAV systems, mainly because of the existence of various problems that must be overcome including limitations in available sensory and on-board processing capabilities and low flight endurance. In addition, those behaviours designed for UAVs often have significant limitations on their ability to be used in real tasks, because they assume specific features, not easily applicable in a general way. Firstly, in this article the characteristics of the simulation environment will be presented. Secondly, a microscopic model for deployment and creation of ad-hoc networks, that implicitly includes stigmergy features, will be shown. Then, the overall swarm behaviour will be modeled, providing a macroscopic model of this behaviour. This model can accurately predict the number of agents needed to cover an area as well as the time required for the deployment process. An experimental analysis through simulation will be carried out in order to verify our models. In this analysis the influence of both the complexity of the environment and the stigmergy system will be discussed, given the data obtained in the

  17. Volume Computation of a Stockpile - a Study Case Comparing GPS and Uav Measurements in AN Open Pit Quarry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raeva, P. L.; Filipova, S. L.; Filipov, D. G.

    2016-06-01

    The following paper aims to test and evaluate the accuracy of UAV data for volumetric measurements to the conventional GNSS techniques. For this purpose, an appropriate open pit quarry has been chosen. Two sets of measurements were performed. Firstly, a stockpile was measured by GNSS technologies and later other terrestrial GNSS measurements for modelling the berms of the quarry were taken. Secondly, the area of the whole quarry including the stockpile site was mapped by a UAV flight. Having considered how dynamic our world is, new techniques and methods should be presented in numerous fields. For instance, the management of an open pit quarry requires gaining, processing and storing a large amount of information which is constantly changing with time. Fast and precise acquisition of measurements regarding the process taking place in a quarry is the key to an effective and stable maintenance. In other words, this means getting an objective evaluations of the processes, using up-to-date technologies and reliable accuracy of the results. Often legislations concerning mine engineering state that the volumetric calculations are to present ±3% accuracy of the whole amount. On one hand, extremely precise measurements could be performed by GNSS technologies, however, it could be really time consuming. On the other hand, UAV photogrammetry presents a fast, accurate method for mapping large areas and calculating stockpiles volumes. The study case was performed as a part of a master thesis.

  18. Automated geographic registration and radiometric correction for UAV-based mosaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomasson, J. Alex; Shi, Yeyin; Sima, Chao; Yang, Chenghai; Cope, Dale A.

    2017-05-01

    Texas A and M University has been operating a large-scale, UAV-based, agricultural remote-sensing research project since 2015. To use UAV-based images in agricultural production, many high-resolution images must be mosaicked together to create an image of an agricultural field. Two key difficulties to science-based utilization of such mosaics are geographic registration and radiometric calibration. In our current research project, image files are taken to the computer laboratory after the flight, and semi-manual pre-processing is implemented on the raw image data, including ortho-mosaicking and radiometric calibration. Ground control points (GCPs) are critical for high-quality geographic registration of images during mosaicking. Applications requiring accurate reflectance data also require radiometric-calibration references so that reflectance values of image objects can be calculated. We have developed a method for automated geographic registration and radiometric correction with targets that are installed semi-permanently at distributed locations around fields. The targets are a combination of black (≍5% reflectance), dark gray (≍20% reflectance), and light gray (≍40% reflectance) sections that provide for a transformation of pixel-value to reflectance in the dynamic range of crop fields. The exact spectral reflectance of each target is known, having been measured with a spectrophotometer. At the time of installation, each target is measured for position with a real-time kinematic GPS receiver to give its precise latitude and longitude. Automated location of the reference targets in the images is required for precise, automated, geographic registration; and automated calculation of the digital-number to reflectance transformation is required for automated radiometric calibration. To validate the system for radiometric calibration, a calibrated UAV-based image mosaic of a field was compared to a calibrated single image from a manned aircraft. Reflectance

  19. Efficient structure from motion for oblique UAV images based on maximal spanning tree expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, San; Jiang, Wanshou

    2017-10-01

    The primary contribution of this paper is an efficient Structure from Motion (SfM) solution for oblique unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images. First, an algorithm, considering spatial relationship constraints between image footprints, is designed for match pair selection with the assistance of UAV flight control data and oblique camera mounting angles. Second, a topological connection network (TCN), represented by an undirected weighted graph, is constructed from initial match pairs, which encodes the overlap areas and intersection angles into edge weights. Then, an algorithm, termed MST-Expansion, is proposed to extract the match graph from the TCN, where the TCN is first simplified by a maximum spanning tree (MST). By further analysis of the local structure in the MST, expansion operations are performed on the vertices of the MST for match graph enhancement, which is achieved by introducing critical connections in the expansion directions. Finally, guided by the match graph, an efficient SfM is proposed. Under extensive analysis and comparison, its performance is verified by using three oblique UAV datasets captured with different multi-camera systems. Experimental results demonstrate that the efficiency of image matching is improved, with speedup ratios ranging from 19 to 35, and competitive orientation accuracy is achieved from both relative bundle adjustment (BA) without GCPs (Ground Control Points) and absolute BA with GCPs. At the same time, images in the three datasets are successfully oriented. For the orientation of oblique UAV images, the proposed method can be a more efficient solution.

  20. Wing configuration on Wind Tunnel Testing of an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daryanto, Yanto; Purwono, Joko; Subagyo

    2018-04-01

    Control surface of an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) consists of flap, aileron, spoiler, rudder, and elevator. Every control surface has its own special functionality. Some particular configurations in the flight mission often depend on the wing configuration. Configuration wing within flap deflection for takeoff setting deflection of flap 20° but during landing deflection of flap set on the value 40°. The aim of this research is to get the ultimate CLmax for take-off flap deflection setting. It is shown from Wind Tunnel Testing result that the 20° flap deflection gives optimum CLmax with moderate drag coefficient. The results of Wind Tunnel Testing representing by graphic plots show good performance as well as the stability of UAV.

  1. Development of testing machine for tunnel inspection using multi-rotor UAV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamoto, Tatsuya; Enaka, Tomoya; Tada, Keijirou

    2017-05-01

    Many concrete structures are deteriorating to dangerous levels throughout Japan. These concrete structures need to be inspected regularly to be sure that they are safe enough to be used. The inspection method for these concrete structures is typically the impact acoustic method. In the impact acoustic method, the worker taps the surface of the concrete with a hammer. Thus, it is necessary to set up scaffolding to access tunnel walls for inspection. Alternatively, aerial work platforms can be used. However, setting up scaffolding and aerial work platforms is not economical with regard to time or money. Therefore, we developed a testing machine using a multirotor UAV for tunnel inspection. This test machine flies by a plurality of rotors, and it is pushed along a concrete wall and moved by using rubber crawlers. The impact acoustic method is used in this testing machine. This testing machine has a hammer to make an impact, and a microphone to acquire the impact sound. The impact sound is converted into an electrical signal and is wirelessly transmitted to the computer. At the same time, the position of the testing machine is measured by image processing using a camera. The weight and dimensions of the testing machine are approximately 1.25 kg and 500 mm by 500 mm by 250 mm, respectively.

  2. Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft with an F/A-18 Hornet and a Beechcraft KingAir from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center during a low-level flyby at Mojave Airport in Southern California.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-03

    Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft with an F/A-18 Hornet and a Beechcraft KingAir from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center during a low-level flyby at Mojave Airport in Southern California. The unique tandem-wing Proteus was the testbed for a series of UAV collision-avoidance flight demonstrations. An Amphitech 35GHz radar unit installed below Proteus' nose was the primary sensor for the Detect, See and Avoid tests.

  3. UAV magnetometry in mineral exploration and infrastructure detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, A.; Parvar, K.; Burns, M.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic surveys are critical tools in mineral exploration and UAVs have the potential to carry magnetometers. UAV surveys can offer higher spatial resolution than traditional airborne surveys, and higher coverage than terrestrial surveys. However, the main advantage is their ability to sense the magnetic field in 3-D, while most airborne or terrestrial surveys are restricted to 2-D acquisition. This study compares UAV magnetic data from two different UAVs (JIB drone, DJI Phantom 2) and three different magnetometers (GEM GSPM35, Honeywell HMR2300, GEM GST-19). The first UAV survey was conducted using a JIB UAV with a GSPM35 flying at 10-15 m above ground. The survey's goal was to detect intrusive Rhyolite bodies for primary mineral exploration. The survey resulted in a better understanding of the validity/resolution of UAV data and led to improved knowledge about the geological structures in the area. The results further drove the design of a following terrestrial survey. Comparing the UAV data with an available airborne survey (upward continued to 250 m) reveals that the UAV data has superior spatial resolution, but exhibits a higher noise level. The magnetic anomalies related to the Rhyolite intrusions is about 109 nT and translates into an estimated depth of approximately 110 meters. The second survey was conducted using an in-house developed UAV magnetometer system equipped with a DJI Phantom 2 and a Honeywell HMR2300 fluxgate magnetometer. By flying the sensor in different altitudes, the vertical and horizontal gradients can be derived leading to full 3-D magnetic data volumes which can provide improved constraints for source depth/geometry characterization. We demonstrate that a buried steam pipeline was detectable with the UAV magnetometer system and compare the resulting data with a terrestrial survey using a GEM GST-19 Proton Precession Magnetometer.

  4. A Collaborative Decision Environment for UAV Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Ortenzio, Matthew V.; Enomoto, Francis Y.; Johan, Sandra L.

    2005-01-01

    NASA is developing Intelligent Mission Management (IMM) technology for science missions employing long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's). The IMM groundbased component is the Collaborative Decision Environment (CDE), a ground system that provides the Mission/Science team with situational awareness, collaboration, and decisionmaking tools. The CDE is used for pre-flight planning, mission monitoring, and visualization of acquired data. It integrates external data products used for planning and executing a mission, such as weather, satellite data products, and topographic maps by leveraging established and emerging Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards to acquire external data products via the Internet, and an industry standard geographic information system (GIs) toolkit for visualization As a Science/Mission team may be geographically dispersed, the CDE is capable of providing access to remote users across wide area networks using Web Services technology. A prototype CDE is being developed for an instrument checkout flight on a manned aircraft in the fall of 2005, in preparation for a full deployment in support of the US Forest Service and NASA Ames Western States Fire Mission in 2006.

  5. Fusion of UAV photogrammetry and digital optical granulometry for detection of structural changes in floodplains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langhammer, Jakub; Lendzioch, Theodora; Mirijovsky, Jakub

    2016-04-01

    Granulometric analysis represents a traditional, important and for the description of sedimentary material substantial method with various applications in sedimentology, hydrology and geomorphology. However, the conventional granulometric field survey methods are time consuming, laborious, costly and are invasive to the surface being sampled, which can be limiting factor for their applicability in protected areas.. The optical granulometry has recently emerged as an image analysis technique, enabling non-invasive survey, employing semi-automated identification of clasts from calibrated digital imagery, taken on site by conventional high resolution digital camera and calibrated frame. The image processing allows detection and measurement of mixed size natural grains, their sorting and quantitative analysis using standard granulometric approaches. Despite known limitations, the technique today presents reliable tool, significantly easing and speeding the field survey in fluvial geomorphology. However, the nature of such survey has still limitations in spatial coverage of the sites and applicability in research at multitemporal scale. In our study, we are presenting novel approach, based on fusion of two image analysis techniques - optical granulometry and UAV-based photogrammetry, allowing to bridge the gap between the needs of high resolution structural information for granulometric analysis and spatially accurate and data coverage. We have developed and tested a workflow that, using UAV imaging platform enabling to deliver seamless, high resolution and spatially accurate imagery of the study site from which can be derived the granulometric properties of the sedimentary material. We have set up a workflow modeling chain, providing (i) the optimum flight parameters for UAV imagery to balance the two key divergent requirements - imagery resolution and seamless spatial coverage, (ii) the workflow for the processing of UAV acquired imagery by means of the optical

  6. Technology Challenges in Small UAV Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logan, Michael J.; Vranas, Thomas L.; Motter, Mark; Shams, Qamar; Pollock, Dion S.

    2005-01-01

    Development of highly capable small UAVs present unique challenges for technology protagonists. Size constraints, the desire for ultra low cost and/or disposable platforms, lack of capable design and analysis tools, and unique mission requirements all add to the level of difficulty in creating state-of-the-art small UAVs. This paper presents the results of several small UAV developments, the difficulties encountered, and proposes a list of technology shortfalls that need to be addressed.

  7. Method for the visualization of landform by mapping using low altitude UAV application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharan Kumar, N.; Ashraf Mohamad Ismail, Mohd; Sukor, Nur Sabahiah Abdul; Cheang, William

    2018-05-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Digital Photogrammetry are evolving drastically in mapping technology. The significance and necessity for digital landform mapping are developing with years. In this study, a mapping workflow is applied to obtain two different input data sets which are the orthophoto and DSM. A fine flying technology is used to capture Low Altitude Aerial Photography (LAAP). Low altitude UAV (Drone) with the fixed advanced camera was utilized for imagery while computerized photogrammetry handling using Photo Scan was applied for cartographic information accumulation. The data processing through photogrammetry and orthomosaic processes is the main applications. High imagery quality is essential for the effectiveness and nature of normal mapping output such as 3D model, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Ortho Images. The exactitude of Ground Control Points (GCP), flight altitude and the resolution of the camera are essential for good quality DEM and Orthophoto.

  8. Some technical notes on using UAV-based remote sensing for post disaster assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rokhmana, Catur Aries; Andaru, Ruli

    2017-07-01

    Indonesia is located in an area prone to disasters, which are various kinds of natural disasters happen. In disaster management, the geoinformation data are needed to be able to evaluate the impact area. The UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)-Based remote sensing technology is a good choice to produce a high spatial resolution of less than 15 cm, while the current resolution of the satellite imagery is still greater than 50 cm. This paper shows some technical notes that should be considered when using UAV-Based remote sensing system in post disaster for rapid assessment. Some cases are Aceh Earthquake in years 2013 for seeing infrastructure damages, Banjarnegara landslide in year 2014 for seeing the impact; and Kelud volcano eruption in year 2014 for seeing the impact and volumetric material calculation. The UAV-Based remote sensing system should be able to produce the Orthophoto image that can provide capabilities for visual interpretation the individual damage objects, and the changes situation. Meanwhile the DEM (digital Elevation model) product can derive terrain topography, and volumetric calculation with accuracy 3-5 pixel or sub-meter also. The UAV platform should be able for working remotely and autonomously in dangerous area and limited infrastructures. In mountainous or volcano area, an unconventional flight plan should implemented. Unfortunately, not all impact can be seen from above such as wall crack, some parcel boundaries, and many objects that covered by others higher object. The previous existing geoinformation data are also needed to be able to evaluate the change detection automatically.

  9. Development of collision avoidance system for useful UAV applications using image sensors with laser transmitter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheong, M. K.; Bahiki, M. R.; Azrad, S.

    2016-10-01

    The main goal of this study is to demonstrate the approach of achieving collision avoidance on Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (QUAV) using image sensors with colour- based tracking method. A pair of high definition (HD) stereo cameras were chosen as the stereo vision sensor to obtain depth data from flat object surfaces. Laser transmitter was utilized to project high contrast tracking spot for depth calculation using common triangulation. Stereo vision algorithm was developed to acquire the distance from tracked point to QUAV and the control algorithm was designed to manipulate QUAV's response based on depth calculated. Attitude and position controller were designed using the non-linear model with the help of Optitrack motion tracking system. A number of collision avoidance flight tests were carried out to validate the performance of the stereo vision and control algorithm based on image sensors. In the results, the UAV was able to hover with fairly good accuracy in both static and dynamic collision avoidance for short range collision avoidance. Collision avoidance performance of the UAV was better with obstacle of dull surfaces in comparison to shiny surfaces. The minimum collision avoidance distance achievable was 0.4 m. The approach was suitable to be applied in short range collision avoidance.

  10. UAV remote sening for precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigneau, Nathalie; Chéron, Corentin; Mainfroy, Florent; Faroux, Romain

    2014-05-01

    Airinov offers to farmers, scientists and experimenters (plant breeders, etc.) its technical skills about UAVs, cartography and agronomic remote sensing. The UAV is a 2-m-wingspan flying wing. It can carry away either a RGB camera or a multispectral sensor, which records reflectance in 4 spectral bands. The spectral characteristics of the sensor are modular. Each spectral band is comprised between 400 and 850 nm and the FWHM (Full Width at Half Maximum) is between 10 and 40 nm. The spatial resolution varies according to sensor, flying height and user needs from 15cm/px for multispectral sensor at 150m to 1.5cm/px for RGB camera at 50m. The flight is totally automatic thanks to on-board autopilot, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) and GPS. Data processing (unvignetting, mosaicking, correction in reflectance) leads to agronomic variables as LAI (Leaf Area Index) or chlorophyll content for barley, wheat, rape and maize as well as vegetation indices as NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). Using these data, Airinov can product advices for farmers as nitrogen preconisation for rape. For scientists, Airinov offers trial plot monitoring by micro-plots vectorisation and numerical data exctraction micro-plot by micro-plot. This can lead to kinetic curve for LAI or NDVI to compare cover establishment for different genotypes for example. Airinov's system is a new way to monitor plots with a lot of data (biophysical or biochemical parameters) at high rate, high spatial resolution and high precision.

  11. Performance measurements of a dual-rotor arm mechanism for efficient flight transition of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGill, Karen Ashley Jean

    Reconfigurable systems are a class of systems that can be transformed into different configurations, generally to perform unique functions or to maintain operational efficiency under distinct conditions. A UAV can be considered a reconfigurable system when coupled with various useful features such as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), hover capability, long-range, and relatively large payload. Currently, a UAV having these capabilities is being designed by the UTSA Mechanical Engineering department. UAVs such as this one have the following potential uses: emergency response/disaster relief, hazard-critical missions, offshore oil rig/wind farm delivery, surveillance, etc. The goal of this thesis is to perform experimental thrust and power measurements for the propulsion system of this fixed-wing UAV. Focus was placed on a rotating truss arm supporting two brushless motors and rotors that will later be integrated to the ends of the UAV wing. These truss arms will rotate via a supporting shaft from 0° to 90° to transition the UAV between a vertical take-off, hover, and forward flight. To make this hover/transition possible, a relationship between thrust, arm angle, and power drawn was established by testing the performance of the arm/motor assembly at arm angles of 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°. Universal equations for this system of thrust as a function of the arm angle were created by correlating data collected by a load cell. A Solidworks model was created and used to conduct fluid dynamics simulations of the streamlines over the arm/motor assembly.

  12. Return to flight SSME test at A2 test stand

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-07-16

    The Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) reached a historic milestone July 16, 2004, when a successful flight acceptance test was conducted at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC). The engine tested today is the first complete engine to be tested and shipped in its entirety to Kennedy Space Center for installation on Space Shuttle Discovery for STS-114, NASA's Return to Flight mission. The engine test, which began about 3:59 p.m. CDT, ran for 520 seconds (8 minutes), the length of time it takes for the Space Shuttle to reach orbit.

  13. 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

    divergence. The sonar demonstrated a maximum ranging distance of 10 m, the laser prototype of 15 m, whilst the radar is potentially able to measure the range to water surface from a height up to 50 m. After numerous test flights above a lake with an approximately horizontal water surface, estimation of orthometric water height error, including overall accuracy of the system GPS-sensors, was possible. The RTK GPS system proved able to deliver a relative vertical accuracy better than 5-7 cm. The radar confirmed to have the best reliability with an accuracy which is generally few cm (0.7-1.3% of the ranging distance). Whereas the accuracy of the sonar and laser varies from few cm (0.7-1.6% of the ranging distance) to some tens of cm because sonar measurements are generally influenced by noise and turbulence generated by the propellers of the UAV and the laser prototype is affected by drone vibrations and water waviness. However, the laser prototype demonstrated the lowest beam divergence, which is required to measure unconventional remote sensing targets, such as sinkholes and Mexican cenotes, and to clearly distinguish between rivers and interfering surroundings, such as riparian vegetation.

  14. Nonlinear Landing Control for Quadrotor UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voos, Holger

    Quadrotor UAVs are one of the most preferred type of small unmanned aerial vehicles because of the very simple mechanical construction and propulsion principle. However, the nonlinear dynamic behavior requires a more advanced stabilizing control and guidance of these vehicles. In addition, the small payload reduces the amount of batteries that can be carried and thus also limits the operating range of the UAV. One possible solution for a range extension is the application of a mobile base station for recharging purpose even during operation. However, landing on a moving base station requires autonomous tracking and landing control of the UAV. In this paper, a nonlinear autopilot for quadrotor UAVs is extended with a tracking and landing controller to fulfill the required task.

  15. UAV Trajectory Modeling Using Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xue, Min

    2017-01-01

    Large amount of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAVs) are projected to operate in the near future. Potential sUAV applications include, but not limited to, search and rescue, inspection and surveillance, aerial photography and video, precision agriculture, and parcel delivery. sUAVs are expected to operate in the uncontrolled Class G airspace, which is at or below 500 feet above ground level (AGL), where many static and dynamic constraints exist, such as ground properties and terrains, restricted areas, various winds, manned helicopters, and conflict avoidance among sUAVs. How to enable safe, efficient, and massive sUAV operations at the low altitude airspace remains a great challenge. NASA's Unmanned aircraft system Traffic Management (UTM) research initiative works on establishing infrastructure and developing policies, requirement, and rules to enable safe and efficient sUAVs' operations. To achieve this goal, it is important to gain insights of future UTM traffic operations through simulations, where the accurate trajectory model plays an extremely important role. On the other hand, like what happens in current aviation development, trajectory modeling should also serve as the foundation for any advanced concepts and tools in UTM. Accurate models of sUAV dynamics and control systems are very important considering the requirement of the meter level precision in UTM operations. The vehicle dynamics are relatively easy to derive and model, however, vehicle control systems remain unknown as they are usually kept by manufactures as a part of intellectual properties. That brings challenges to trajectory modeling for sUAVs. How to model the vehicle's trajectories with unknown control system? This work proposes to use a neural network to model a vehicle's trajectory. The neural network is first trained to learn the vehicle's responses at numerous conditions. Once being fully trained, given current vehicle states, winds, and desired future trajectory, the neural

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. Orion Flight Test Preview Briefing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-11-06

    In the Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site auditorium, members of the news media are briefed on the upcoming Orion flight test. From left are: Rachel Kraft, NASA Public Affairs, Bill Hill, NASA deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development, Mark Geyer, NASA Orion Program manager, Bryan Austin, Lockheed Martin mission manager, Jeremy Graeber, Operations Integration Branch of Ground Systems Development and Operations at Kennedy, and Ron Fortson, United Launch Alliance director of Mission Management. Mike Sarafin, NASA's lead flight director, participated by video from the Johnson Space Center. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted flight test of Orion is scheduled to launch Dec. 4, 2014 atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, and in 2018 on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket.

  18. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Predator B in flight.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. ALTAIR/PREDATOR B -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator testbed aircraft to validate a variety of command and control technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Ten-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 84 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of those basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  19. UAV photogrammetry for topographic monitoring of coastal areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonçalves, J. A.; Henriques, R.

    2015-06-01

    Coastal areas suffer degradation due to the action of the sea and other natural and human-induced causes. Topographical changes in beaches and sand dunes need to be assessed, both after severe events and on a regular basis, to build models that can predict the evolution of these natural environments. This is an important application for airborne LIDAR, and conventional photogrammetry is also being used for regular monitoring programs of sensitive coastal areas. This paper analyses the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to map and monitor sand dunes and beaches. A very light plane (SwingletCam) equipped with a very cheap, non-metric camera was used to acquire images with ground resolutions better than 5 cm. The Agisoft Photoscan software was used to orientate the images, extract point clouds, build a digital surface model and produce orthoimage mosaics. The processing, which includes automatic aerial triangulation with camera calibration and subsequent model generation, was mostly automated. To achieve the best positional accuracy for the whole process, signalised ground control points were surveyed with a differential GPS receiver. Two very sensitive test areas on the Portuguese northwest coast were analysed. Detailed DSMs were obtained with 10 cm grid spacing and vertical accuracy (RMS) ranging from 3.5 to 5.0 cm, which is very similar to the image ground resolution (3.2-4.5 cm). Where possible to assess, the planimetric accuracy of the orthoimage mosaics was found to be subpixel. Within the regular coastal monitoring programme being carried out in the region, UAVs can replace many of the conventional flights, with considerable gains in the cost of the data acquisition and without any loss in the quality of topographic and aerial imagery data.

  20. Measuring atmospheric aerosols of organic origin on multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crazzolara, Claudio; Platis, Andreas; Bange, Jens

    2017-04-01

    In-situ measurements of the spatial distribution and transportation of atmospheric organic particles such as pollen and spores are of great interdisciplinary interest such as: - In agriculture to investigate the spread of transgenetic material, - In paleoclimatology to improve the accuracy of paleoclimate models derived from pollen grains retrieved from sediments, and - In meteorology/climate research to determine the role of spores and pollen acting as nuclei in cloud formation processes. The few known state of the art in-situ measurement systems are using passive sampling units carried by fixed wing UAVs, thus providing only limited spatial resolution of aerosol concentration. Also the passively sampled air volume is determined with low accuracy as it is only calculated by the length of the flight path. We will present a new approach, which is based on the use of a multirotor UAV providing a versatile platform. On this UAV an optical particle counter in addition to a particle collecting unit, e.g. a conventional filter element and/or a inertial mass separator were installed. Both sampling units were driven by a mass flow controlled blower. This allows not only an accurate determination of the number and size concentration, but also an exact classification of the type of collected aerosol particles as well as an accurate determination of the sampled air volume. In addition, due to the application of a multirotor UAV with its automated position stabilisation system, the aerosol concentration can be measured with a very high spatial resolution of less than 1 m in all three dimensions. The combination of comprehensive determination of number, type and classification of aerosol particles in combination with the very high spatial resolution provides not only valuable progress in agriculture, paleoclimatology and meteorology, but also opens up the application of multirotor UAVs in new fields, for example for precise determination of the mechanisms of generation and

  1. Autonomous Flight Safety System Road Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, James C.; Zoemer, Roger D.; Forney, Chris S.

    2005-01-01

    On February 3, 2005, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) conducted the first Autonomous Flight Safety System (AFSS) test on a moving vehicle -- a van driven around the KSC industrial area. A subset of the Phase III design was used consisting of a single computer, GPS receiver, and UPS antenna. The description and results of this road test are described in this report.AFSS is a joint KSC and Wallops Flight Facility project that is in its third phase of development. AFSS is an independent subsystem intended for use with Expendable Launch Vehicles that uses tracking data from redundant onboard sensors to autonomously make flight termination decisions using software-based rules implemented on redundant flight processors. The goals of this project are to increase capabilities by allowing launches from locations that do not have or cannot afford extensive ground-based range safety assets, to decrease range costs, and to decrease reaction time for special situations.

  2. Recommended fine positioning test for the Development Test Flight (DTF-1) of the NASA Flight Telerobotic Servicer (FTS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dagalakis, N.; Wavering, A. J.; Spidaliere, P.

    1991-01-01

    Test procedures are proposed for the NASA DTF (Development Test Flight)-1 positioning tests of the FTS (Flight Telerobotic Servicer). The unique problems associated with the DTF-1 mission are discussed, standard robot performance tests and terminology are reviewed and a very detailed description of flight-like testing and analysis is presented. The major technical problem associated with DTF-1 is that only one position sensor can be used, which will be fixed at one location, with a working volume which is probably smaller than some of the robot errors to be measured. Radiation heating of the arm and the sensor could also cause distortions that would interfere with the test. Two robot performance testing committees have established standard testing procedures relevant to the DTF-1. Due to the technical problems associated with DTF-1, these procedures cannot be applied directly. These standard tests call for the use of several test positions at specific locations. Only one position, that of the position sensor, can be used by DTF-1. Off-line programming accuracy might be impossible to measure and in that case it will have to be replaced by forward kinetics accuracy.

  3. Post-Flight Analysis of the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Performance During Orion Exploration Flight Test 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barth, Andrew; Mamich, Harvey; Hoelscher, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle presented additional challenges for guidance, navigation and control as compared to a typical re-entry from the International Space Station or other Low Earth Orbit. An elevated re-entry velocity and steeper flight path angle were chosen to achieve aero-thermal flight test objectives. New IMU's, a GPS receiver, and baro altimeters were flight qualified to provide the redundant navigation needed for human space flight. The guidance and control systems must manage the vehicle lift vector in order to deliver the vehicle to a precision, coastal, water landing, while operating within aerodynamic load, reaction control system, and propellant constraints. Extensive pre-