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unmanned aerial vehicle

Boyang Li, Yifan Jiang, Jingxuan Sun, Lingfeng Cai, Chih-Yung Wen
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...
October 13, 2016: Sensors
Yukihisa Sanada, Tadashi Orita, Tatsuo Torii
Aerial radiological survey using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was applied to measurement surface contamination around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS). An unmanned helicopter monitoring system (UHMS) was developed to survey the environmental effect of radioactive cesium scattered as a result of the FDNPS accident. The UHMS was used to monitor the area surrounding the FDNPS six times from 2012 to 2015. Quantitative changes in the radioactivity distribution trend were revealed from the results of these monitoring runs...
October 3, 2016: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
A Claesson, D Fredman, L Svensson, M Ringh, J Hollenberg, P Nordberg, M Rosenqvist, T Djarv, S Österberg, J Lennartsson, Y Ban
BACKGROUND: The use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) prior to EMS arrival can increase 30-day survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) significantly. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can fly with high velocity and potentially transport devices such as AEDs to the site of OHCAs. The aim of this explorative study was to investigate the feasibility of a drone system in decreasing response time and delivering an AED. METHODS: Data of Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates from historical OHCA in Stockholm County was used in a model using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to find suitable placements and visualize response times for the use of an AED equipped drone...
October 12, 2016: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Eric M Wilcox, Rick M Thomas, Puppala S Praveen, Kristina Pistone, Frida A-M Bender, Veerabhadran Ramanathan
The introduction of cloud condensation nuclei and radiative heating by sunlight-absorbing aerosols can modify the thickness and coverage of low clouds, yielding significant radiative forcing of climate. The magnitude and sign of changes in cloud coverage and depth in response to changing aerosols are impacted by turbulent dynamics of the cloudy atmosphere, but integrated measurements of aerosol solar absorption and turbulent fluxes have not been reported thus far. Here we report such integrated measurements made from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during the CARDEX (Cloud Aerosol Radiative Forcing and Dynamics Experiment) investigation conducted over the northern Indian Ocean...
October 4, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Mitchell B Cruzan, Ben G Weinstein, Monica R Grasty, Brendan F Kohrn, Elizabeth C Hendrickson, Tina M Arredondo, Pamela G Thompson
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Low-elevation surveys with small aerial drones (micro-unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs]) may be used for a wide variety of applications in plant ecology, including mapping vegetation over small- to medium-sized regions. We provide an overview of methods and procedures for conducting surveys and illustrate some of these applications. METHODS: Aerial images were obtained by flying a small drone along transects over the area of interest. Images were used to create a composite image (orthomosaic) and a digital surface model (DSM)...
September 2016: Applications in Plant Sciences
Hamed Jabbari Asl, Jungwon Yoon
In this paper, an image-based visual servo controller is designed for an unmanned aerial vehicle. The main objective is to use flow of image features as the velocity cue to compensate for the low quality of linear velocity information obtained from accelerometers. Nonlinear observers are designed to estimate this flow. The proposed controller is bounded, which can help to keep the target points in the field of view of the camera. The main advantages over the previous full dynamic observer-based methods are that, the controller is robust with respect to unknown image depth, and also no yaw information is required...
September 22, 2016: ISA Transactions
Herman Castañeda, Oscar S Salas-Peña, Jesús de León-Morales
This paper addresses the design of attitude and airspeed controllers for a fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle. An adaptive second order sliding mode control is proposed for improving performance under different operating conditions and is robust in presence of external disturbances. Moreover, this control does not require the knowledge of disturbance bounds and avoids overestimation of the control gains. Furthermore, in order to implement this controller, an extended observer is designed to estimate unmeasurable states as well as external disturbances...
September 22, 2016: ISA Transactions
Tianjiang Hu, Boxin Zhao, Dengqing Tang, Daibing Zhang, Weiwei Kong, Lincheng Shen
This article concentrates on open-source implementation on flying object detection in cluttered scenes. It is of significance for ground stereo-aided autonomous landing of unmanned aerial vehicles. The ground stereo vision guidance system is presented with details on system architecture and workflow. The Chan-Vese detection algorithm is further considered and implemented in the robot operating systems (ROS) environment. A data-driven interactive scheme is developed to collect datasets for parameter tuning and performance evaluating...
2016: Robotics and Biomimetics
Amy Hocraffer, Chang S Nam
A meta-analysis was conducted to systematically evaluate the current state of research on human-system interfaces for users controlling semi-autonomous swarms composed of groups of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAV swarms pose several human factors challenges, such as high cognitive demands, non-intuitive behavior, and serious consequences for errors. This article presents findings from a meta-analysis of 27 UAV swarm management papers focused on the human-system interface and human factors concerns, providing an overview of the advantages, challenges, and limitations of current UAV management interfaces, as well as information on how these interfaces are currently evaluated...
January 2017: Applied Ergonomics
Molly K Reif, Heather J Theel
Restoration monitoring is generally perceived as costly and time-consuming, given the assumptions of successfully restoring ecological functions and services of a particular ecosystem or habitat. Opportunities exist for remote sensing to bolster the restoration science associated with a wide variety of injured resources, including resources affected by fire, hydropower operations, chemical releases and oil spills, among others. In the last decade, the role of remote sensing to support restoration monitoring has increased, in part due to the advent of high resolution satellite sensors as well as other sensor technology, such as lidar...
September 14, 2016: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
C Quintana, G Erry, A Gomez, Y Thueux, G E Faulkner, D C O'Brien
Weight reduction and low power consumption are key requirements in the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). To communicate with an operator, a secured link between the UAV and a ground-based station is desirable. To realize these links, retroreflecting free-space optics is potentially attractive as it offers light weight and low complexity at the UAV. However, the base station requires a high-performance tracking module to enable a steady illumination of the UAV retroreflector. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of a tracking system, which consists of coarse tracking and holographic fine tracking modules working cooperatively...
September 1, 2016: Applied Optics
Changhong Fu, Ran Duan, Dogan Kircali, Erdal Kayacan
In this paper, we present a novel onboard robust visual algorithm for long-term arbitrary 2D and 3D object tracking using a reliable global-local object model for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications, e.g., autonomous tracking and chasing a moving target. The first main approach in this novel algorithm is the use of a global matching and local tracking approach. In other words, the algorithm initially finds feature correspondences in a way that an improved binary descriptor is developed for global feature matching and an iterative Lucas-Kanade optical flow algorithm is employed for local feature tracking...
2016: Sensors
Pedro Pina, Gonçalo Vieira, Lourenço Bandeira, Carla Mora
The ice-free areas of Maritime Antarctica show complex mosaics of surface covers, with wide patches of diverse bare soils and rock, together with various vegetation communities dominated by lichens and mosses. The microscale variability is difficult to characterize and quantify, but is essential for ground-truthing and for defining classifiers for large areas using, for example high resolution satellite imagery, or even ultra-high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery. The main objective of this paper is to verify the ability and robustness of an automated approach to discriminate the variety of surface types in digital photographs acquired at ground level in ice-free regions of Maritime Antarctica...
August 25, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Yongzheng Xu, Guizhen Yu, Yunpeng Wang, Xinkai Wu, Yalong Ma
A new hybrid vehicle detection scheme which integrates the Viola-Jones (V-J) and linear SVM classifier with HOG feature (HOG + SVM) methods is proposed for vehicle detection from low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images. As both V-J and HOG + SVM are sensitive to on-road vehicles' in-plane rotation, the proposed scheme first adopts a roadway orientation adjustment method, which rotates each UAV image to align the roads with the horizontal direction so the original V-J or HOG + SVM method can be directly applied to achieve fast detection and high accuracy...
2016: Sensors
Maria Tattaris, Matthew P Reynolds, Scott C Chapman
Remote sensing (RS) of plant canopies permits non-intrusive, high-throughput monitoring of plant physiological characteristics. This study compared three RS approaches using a low flying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), with that of proximal sensing, and satellite-based imagery. Two physiological traits were considered, canopy temperature (CT) and a vegetation index (NDVI), to determine the most viable approaches for large scale crop genetic improvement. The UAV-based platform achieves plot-level resolution while measuring several hundred plots in one mission via high-resolution thermal and multispectral imagery measured at altitudes of 30-100 m...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Timothy K Amukele, Jeff Street, Karen Carroll, Heather Miller, Sean X Zhang
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could potentially be used to transport microbiological specimens. To examine the impact of UAVs on microbiological specimens, blood and sputum culture specimens were seeded with usual pathogens and flown in a UAV for 30 ± 2 min. Times to recovery, colony counts, morphologies, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)-based identifications of the flown and stationary specimens were similar for all microbes studied.
October 2016: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Emily L C Shepard, Cara Williamson, Shane P Windsor
Birds modulate their flight paths in relation to regional and global airflows in order to reduce their travel costs. Birds should also respond to fine-scale airflows, although the incidence and value of this remains largely unknown. We resolved the three-dimensional trajectories of gulls flying along a built-up coastline, and used computational fluid dynamic models to examine how gulls reacted to airflows around buildings. Birds systematically altered their flight trajectories with wind conditions to exploit updraughts over features as small as a row of low-rise buildings...
September 26, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Emily L C Shepard, Andrew N Ross, Steven J Portugal
One of the defining features of the aerial environment is its variability; air is almost never still. This has profound consequences for flying animals, affecting their flight stability, speed selection, energy expenditure and choice of flight path. All these factors have important implications for the ecology of flying animals, and the ecosystems they interact with, as well as providing bio-inspiration for the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. In this introduction, we touch on the factors that drive the variability in airflows, the scales of variability and the degree to which given airflows may be predictable...
September 26, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Max Messinger, Miles Silman
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer new opportunities to monitor pollution and provide valuable information to support remediation. Their low-cost, ease of use, and rapid deployment capability make them ideal for environmental emergency response. Here we present a UAV-based study of the third largest coal ash spill in the United States. Coal ash from coal combustion is a toxic industrial waste material present worldwide. Typically stored in settling ponds in close proximity to waterways, coal ash poses significant risk to the environment and drinking water supplies from both chronic contamination of surface and ground water and catastrophic pond failure...
November 2016: Environmental Pollution
Jesús Conesa-Muñoz, João Valente, Jaime Del Cerro, Antonio Barrientos, Angela Ribeiro
Many environmental incidents affect large areas, often in rough terrain constrained by natural obstacles, which makes intervention difficult. New technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, may help address this issue due to their suitability to reach and easily cover large areas. Thus, unmanned aerial vehicles may be used to inspect the terrain and make a first assessment of the affected areas; however, nowadays they do not have the capability to act. On the other hand, ground vehicles rely on enough power to perform the intervention but exhibit more mobility constraints...
2016: Sensors
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