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Unmanned aerial vehicles

Dongliang Wang, Xiaoping Xin, Quanqin Shao, Matthew Brolly, Zhiliang Zhu, Jin Chen
Accurate canopy structure datasets, including canopy height and fractional cover, are required to monitor aboveground biomass as well as to provide validation data for satellite remote sensing products. In this study, the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) discrete light detection and ranging (lidar) was investigated for modeling both the canopy height and fractional cover in Hulunber grassland ecosystem. The extracted mean canopy height, maximum canopy height, and fractional cover were used to estimate the aboveground biomass...
January 19, 2017: Sensors
Pablo Ramon Soria, Begoña C Arrue, Anibal Ollero
The article presents a vision system for the autonomous grasping of objects with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in real time. Giving UAVs the capability to manipulate objects vastly extends their applications, as they are capable of accessing places that are difficult to reach or even unreachable for human beings. This work is focused on the grasping of known objects based on feature models. The system runs in an on-board computer on a UAV equipped with a stereo camera and a robotic arm. The algorithm learns a feature-based model in an offline stage, then it is used online for detection of the targeted object and estimation of its position...
January 7, 2017: Sensors
Guanbing Bai, Jinghong Liu, Yueming Song, Yujia Zuo
To address the limitation of the existing UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) photoelectric localization method used for moving objects, this paper proposes an improved two-UAV intersection localization system based on airborne optoelectronic platforms by using the crossed-angle localization method of photoelectric theodolites for reference. This paper introduces the makeup and operating principle of intersection localization system, creates auxiliary coordinate systems, transforms the LOS (line of sight, from the UAV to the target) vectors into homogeneous coordinates, and establishes a two-UAV intersection localization model...
January 6, 2017: Sensors
Xuan Wang, Jinghong Liu, Qianfei Zhou
In order to improve the reconnaissance efficiency of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) electro-optical stabilized imaging systems, a real-time multi-target localization scheme based on an UAV electro-optical stabilized imaging system is proposed. First, a target location model is studied. Then, the geodetic coordinates of multi-targets are calculated using the homogeneous coordinate transformation. On the basis of this, two methods which can improve the accuracy of the multi-target localization are proposed: (1) the real-time zoom lens distortion correction method; (2) a recursive least squares (RLS) filtering method based on UAV dead reckoning...
December 25, 2016: Sensors
Jan Tožička, Antonín Komenda
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...
December 21, 2016: Sensors
Tommaso Francesco Villa, Farhad Salimi, Kye Morton, Lidia Morawska, Felipe Gonzalez
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...
December 21, 2016: Sensors
Douglas G Macharet, Héctor I A Perez-Imaz, Paulo A F Rezeck, Guilherme A Potje, Luiz C C Benyosef, André Wiermann, Gustavo M Freitas, Luis G U Garcia, Mario F M Campos
Recent advances in the research of autonomous vehicles have showed a vast range of applications, such as exploration, surveillance and environmental monitoring. Considering the mining industry, it is possible to use such vehicles in the prospection of minerals of commercial interest beneath the ground. However, tasks such as geophysical surveys are highly dependent on specific sensors, which mostly are not designed to be used in these new range of autonomous vehicles. In this work, we propose a novel magnetic survey pipeline that aims to increase versatility, speed and robustness by using autonomous rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)...
December 17, 2016: Sensors
Duo-Neng Liu, Zhong-Xi Hou, Zheng Guo, Xi-Xiang Yang, Xian-Zhong Gao
Albatrosses can make use of the dynamic soaring technique extracting energy from the wind field to achieve large-scale movement without a flap, which stimulates interests in effortless flight with small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, mechanisms of energy harvesting in terms of the energy transfer from the wind to the flyer (albatross or UAV) are still indeterminate and controversial when using different reference frames in previous studies. In this paper, the classical four-phase Rayleigh cycle, includes sequentially upwind climb, downwind turn, downwind dive and upwind turn, is introduced in analyses of energy gain with the albatross's equation of motions and the simulated trajectory in dynamic soaring...
December 19, 2016: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Xu Ma, Yongmei Cheng, Shuai Hao
Automatic classification of terrain surfaces from an aerial image is essential for an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing at an unprepared site by using vision. Diverse terrain surfaces may show similar spectral properties due to the illumination and noise that easily cause poor classification performance. To address this issue, a multi-stage classification algorithm based on low-rank recovery and multi-feature fusion sparse representation is proposed. First, color moments and Gabor texture feature are extracted from training data and stacked as column vectors of a dictionary...
December 10, 2016: Applied Optics
Igor S G Campos, Erickson R Nascimento, Gustavo M Freitas, Luiz Chaimowicz
In this paper, we present a monocular vision-based height estimation algorithm for terrain following flights. The impressive growth of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) usage, notably in mapping applications, will soon require the creation of new technologies to enable these systems to better perceive their surroundings. Specifically, we chose to tackle the terrain following problem, as it is still unresolved for consumer available systems. Virtually every mapping aircraft carries a camera; therefore, we chose to exploit this in order to use presently available hardware to extract the height information toward performing terrain following flights...
December 6, 2016: Sensors
Haiyang Xu, Ping Wang
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...
2016: PloS One
Huanyu Li, Linfeng Wu, Yingjie Li, Chunwen Li, Hangyu Li
Acceleration is of great importance in motion control for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), especially during the takeoff and landing stages. However, the measured acceleration is inevitably polluted by severe noise. Therefore, a proper noise suppression procedure is required. This paper presents a novel method to reduce the noise in the measured vertical acceleration for a thrust-vectored tail-sitter vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV. In the new procedure, a Kalman filter is first applied to estimate the UAV mass by using the information in the vertical thrust and measured acceleration...
December 2, 2016: Sensors
Stephen L Goldson, Barbara I P Barratt, Karen F Armstrong
To protect productive grasslands from pests and diseases, effective pre- and at-border planning and interventions are necessary. Biosecurity failure inevitably requires expensive and difficult eradication, or long-term and often quite ineffective management strategies. This is compared to the early intervention more likely for sectors where there is public and political interest in plants of immediate economic and/or social value, and where associated pests are typically located above-ground on host plantings of relatively limited distribution...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Alireza Abbaspour, Payam Aboutalebi, Kang K Yen, Arman Sargolzaei
A new online detection strategy is developed to detect faults in sensors and actuators of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. In this design, the weighting parameters of the Neural Network (NN) are updated by using the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). Online adaptation of these weighting parameters helps to detect abrupt, intermittent, and incipient faults accurately. We apply the proposed fault detection system to a nonlinear dynamic model of the WVU YF-22 unmanned aircraft for its evaluation. The simulation results show that the new method has better performance in comparison with conventional recurrent neural network-based fault detection strategies...
November 24, 2016: ISA Transactions
Shen Li, Qiaojun Xiang, Yongfeng Ma, Xin Gu, Han Li
This paper evaluates the traffic safety of freeway interchange merging areas based on the traffic conflict technique. The hourly composite risk indexes (HCRI) was defined. By the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography and video processing techniques, the conflict type and severity was judged. Time to collision (TTC) was determined with the traffic conflict evaluation index. Then, the TTC severity threshold was determined. Quantizing the weight of the conflict by direct losses of different severities of freeway traffic accidents, the calculated weight of the HCRI can be obtained...
November 19, 2016: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Timothy Amukele, Paul M Ness, Aaron A R Tobian, Joan Boyd, Jeff Street
BACKGROUND: Small civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are a novel way to transport small goods. To the best of our knowledge there are no studies examining the impact of drone transport on blood products, describing approaches to maintaining temperature control, or component physical characteristics during drone transport. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Six leukoreduced red blood cell (RBC) and six apheresis platelet (PLT) units were split using sterile techniques...
November 11, 2016: Transfusion
Mason Itkin, Mihui Kim, Younghee Park
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...
November 15, 2016: Sensors
Xiaoting Ji, Yifeng Niu, Lincheng Shen
This paper presents a robust satisficing decision-making method for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) executing complex missions in an uncertain environment. Motivated by the info-gap decision theory, we formulate this problem as a novel robust satisficing optimization problem, of which the objective is to maximize the robustness while satisfying some desired mission requirements. Specifically, a new info-gap based Markov Decision Process (IMDP) is constructed to abstract the uncertain UAV system and specify the complex mission requirements with the Linear Temporal Logic (LTL)...
2016: PloS One
Jianchen Liu, Bingxuan Guo, Wanshou Jiang, Weishu Gong, Xiongwu Xiao
Epipolar rectification is of great importance for 3D modeling by using UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) images; however, the existing methods seldom consider the perspective distortion relative to surface planes. Therefore, an algorithm for the rectification of oblique images is proposed and implemented in detail. The basic principle is to minimize the rectified images' perspective distortion relative to the reference planes. First, this minimization problem is formulated as a cost function that is constructed by the tangent value of angle deformation; second, it provides a great deal of flexibility on using different reference planes, such as roofs and the façades of buildings, to generate rectified images...
November 7, 2016: Sensors
Sarantis Kyristsis, Angelos Antonopoulos, Theofilos Chanialakis, Emmanouel Stefanakis, Christos Linardos, Achilles Tripolitsiotis, Panagiotis Partsinevelos
Nowadays, various unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications become increasingly demanding since they require real-time, autonomous and intelligent functions. Towards this end, in the present study, a fully autonomous UAV scenario is implemented, including the tasks of area scanning, target recognition, geo-location, monitoring, following and finally landing on a high speed moving platform. The underlying methodology includes AprilTag target identification through Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) parallelized processing, image processing and several optimized locations and approach algorithms employing gimbal movement, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) readings and UAV navigation...
November 3, 2016: Sensors
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