Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 22

22
10010226
Vision-Based Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Recurrent Neural Networks
Authors:
Abstract:
Due to the sensor technology, video surveillance has become the main way for security control in every big city in the world. Surveillance is usually used by governments for intelligence gathering, the prevention of crime, the protection of a process, person, group or object, or the investigation of crime. Many surveillance systems based on computer vision technology have been developed in recent years. Moving target tracking is the most common task for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to find and track objects of interest in mobile aerial surveillance for civilian applications. The paper is focused on vision-based collision avoidance for UAVs by recurrent neural networks. First, images from cameras on UAV were fused based on deep convolutional neural network. Then, a recurrent neural network was constructed to obtain high-level image features for object tracking and extracting low-level image features for noise reducing. The system distributed the calculation of the whole system to local and cloud platform to efficiently perform object detection, tracking and collision avoidance based on multiple UAVs. The experiments on several challenging datasets showed that the proposed algorithm outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.
21
10010290
Comparison of Data Reduction Algorithms for Image-Based Point Cloud Derived Digital Terrain Models
Abstract:

Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is a digital numerical representation of the Earth's surface. DTMs have been applied to a diverse field of tasks, such as urban planning, military, glacier mapping, disaster management. In the expression of the Earth' surface as a mathematical model, an infinite number of point measurements are needed. Because of the impossibility of this case, the points at regular intervals are measured to characterize the Earth's surface and DTM of the Earth is generated. Hitherto, the classical measurement techniques and photogrammetry method have widespread use in the construction of DTM. At present, RADAR, LiDAR, and stereo satellite images are also used for the construction of DTM. In recent years, especially because of its superiorities, Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has an increased use in DTM applications. A 3D point cloud is created with LiDAR technology by obtaining numerous point data. However recently, by the development in image mapping methods, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for photogrammetric data acquisition has increased DTM generation from image-based point cloud. The accuracy of the DTM depends on various factors such as data collection method, the distribution of elevation points, the point density, properties of the surface and interpolation methods. In this study, the random data reduction method is compared for DTMs generated from image based point cloud data. The original image based point cloud data set (100%) is reduced to a series of subsets by using random algorithm, representing the 75, 50, 25 and 5% of the original image based point cloud data set. Over the ANS campus of Afyon Kocatepe University as the test area, DTM constructed from the original image based point cloud data set is compared with DTMs interpolated from reduced data sets by Kriging interpolation method. The results show that the random data reduction method can be used to reduce the image based point cloud datasets to 50% density level while still maintaining the quality of DTM.

20
10008185
Topographic Mapping of Farmland by Integration of Multiple Sensors on Board Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System
Abstract:

This paper introduced a topographic mapping system with time-saving and simplicity advantages based on integration of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and Post Processing Kinematic Global Positioning System (PPK GPS) data. This topographic mapping system used a low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a platform to conduct land survey in a low-cost, efficient, and totally autonomous manner. An experiment in a small-scale sugarcane farmland was conducted in Queensland, Australia. Subsequently, we synchronized LiDAR distance measurements that were corrected by using attitude information from gyroscope with PPK GPS coordinates for generation of precision topographic maps, which could be further utilized for such applications like precise land leveling and drainage management. The results indicated that LiDAR distance measurements and PPK GPS altitude reached good accuracy of less than 0.015 m.

19
10007095
A Mini Radar System for Low Altitude Targets Detection
Abstract:

This paper deals with a mini radar system aimed at detecting small targets at the low latitude. The radar operates at Ku-band in the frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) mode with two receiving channels. The radar system has the characteristics of compactness, mobility, and low power consumption. This paper focuses on the implementation of the radar system, and the Block least mean square (Block LMS) algorithm is applied to minimize the fortuitous distortion. It is validated from a series of experiments that the track of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be easily distinguished with the radar system.

18
10007158
Advantages of Neural Network Based Air Data Estimation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Abstract:
Redundancy requirements for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are hardly faced due to the generally restricted amount of available space and allowable weight for the aircraft systems, limiting their exploitation. Essential equipment as the Air Data, Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (ADAHRS) require several external probes to measure significant data as the Angle of Attack or the Sideslip Angle. Previous research focused on the analysis of a patented technology named Smart-ADAHRS (Smart Air Data, Attitude and Heading Reference System) as an alternative method to obtain reliable and accurate estimates of the aerodynamic angles. This solution is based on an innovative sensor fusion algorithm implementing soft computing techniques and it allows to obtain a simplified inertial and air data system reducing external devices. In fact, only one external source of dynamic and static pressures is needed. This paper focuses on the benefits which would be gained by the implementation of this system in UAV applications. A simplification of the entire ADAHRS architecture will bring to reduce the overall cost together with improved safety performance. Smart-ADAHRS has currently reached Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. Real flight tests took place on ultralight aircraft equipped with a suitable Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI). The output of the algorithm using the flight test measurements demonstrates the capability for this fusion algorithm to embed in a single device multiple physical and virtual sensors. Any source of dynamic and static pressure can be integrated with this system gaining a significant improvement in terms of versatility.
17
10006375
Feasibility Study of the Quadcopter Propeller Vibrations for the Energy Production
Abstract:
The concept of converting the kinetic energy of quadcopter propellers into electrical energy is considered in this contribution following the feasibility study of the propeller vibrations, theoretical energy conversion, and simulation techniques. Analysis of the propeller vibration performance is presented via graphical representation of calculated and simulated parameters, in order to demonstrate the possibility of recovering the harvested energy from the propeller vibrations of the quadcopter while the quadcopter is in operation. Consideration of using piezoelectric materials in such concept, converting the mechanical energy of the propeller into the electrical energy, is given. Photographic evidence of the propeller in operation is presented and discussed together with experimental results to validate the theoretical concept.
16
10006715
Implementing Delivery Drones in Logistics Business Process: Case of Pharmaceutical Industry
Abstract:

In this paper, we will present a research about feasibility of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as 'drones', in logistics. Research is based on available information about current incentives and experiments in application of delivery drones in commercial use. Overview of current pilot projects and literature, as well as an overview of detected challenges, will be compiled and presented. Based on these findings, we will present a conceptual model of business process that implements delivery drones in business to business logistic operations. Business scenario is based on a pharmaceutical supply chain. Simulation modeling will be used to create models for running experiments and collecting performance data. Comparative study of the presented conceptual model will be given. The work will outline the main advantages and disadvantages of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles in delivery services as a supplementary distribution channel along the supply chain.

15
10003444
Autonomous Flight Performance Improvement of Load-Carrying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Active Morphing
Abstract:
In this paper, it is aimed to improve autonomous flight performance of a load-carrying (payload: 3 kg and total: 6kg) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) through active wing and horizontal tail active morphing and also integrated autopilot system parameters (i.e. P, I, D gains) and UAV parameters (i.e. extension ratios of wing and horizontal tail during flight) design. For this purpose, a loadcarrying UAV (i.e. ZANKA-II) is manufactured in Erciyes University, College of Aviation, Model Aircraft Laboratory is benefited. Optimum values of UAV parameters and autopilot parameters are obtained using a stochastic optimization method. Using this approach autonomous flight performance of UAV is substantially improved and also in some adverse weather conditions an opportunity for safe flight is satisfied. Active morphing and integrated design approach gives confidence, high performance and easy-utility request of UAV users.
14
10002886
Three-Dimensional Off-Line Path Planning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Using Modified Particle Swarm Optimization
Abstract:
This paper addresses the problem of offline path planning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in complex threedimensional environment with obstacles, which is modelled by 3D Cartesian grid system. Path planning for UAVs require the computational intelligence methods to move aerial vehicles along the flight path effectively to target while avoiding obstacles. In this paper Modified Particle Swarm Optimization (MPSO) algorithm is applied to generate the optimal collision free 3D flight path for UAV. The simulations results clearly demonstrate effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in guiding UAV to the final destination by providing optimal feasible path quickly and effectively.
13
9999545
3D Guidance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using Sliding Mode Approach
Abstract:

This paper presents a 3D guidance scheme for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The proposed guidance scheme is based on the sliding mode approach using nonlinear sliding manifolds. Generalized 3D kinematic equations are considered here during the design process to cater for the coupling between longitudinal and lateral motions. Sliding mode based guidance scheme is then derived for the multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system using the proposed nonlinear manifolds. Instead of traditional sliding surfaces, nonlinear sliding surfaces are proposed here for performance and stability in all flight conditions. In the reaching phase control inputs, the bang-bang terms with signum functions are accompanied with proportional terms in order to reduce the chattering amplitudes. The Proposed 3D guidance scheme is implemented on a 6-degrees-of-freedom (6-dof) simulation of a UAV and simulation results are presented here for different 3D trajectories with and without disturbances.

12
9998114
Navigation and Guidance System Architectures for Small Unmanned Aircraft Applications
Abstract:

Two multisensor system architectures for navigation and guidance of small Unmanned Aircraft (UA) are presented and compared. The main objective of our research is to design a compact, light and relatively inexpensive system capable of providing the required navigation performance in all phases of flight of small UA, with a special focus on precision approach and landing, where Vision Based Navigation (VBN) techniques can be fully exploited in a multisensor integrated architecture. Various existing techniques for VBN are compared and the Appearance-Based Navigation (ABN) approach is selected for implementation. Feature extraction and optical flow techniques are employed to estimate flight parameters such as roll angle, pitch angle, deviation from the runway centreline and body rates. Additionally, we address the possible synergies of VBN, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and MEMS-IMU (Micro-Electromechanical System Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors, and the use of Aircraft Dynamics Model (ADM) to provide additional information suitable to compensate for the shortcomings of VBN and MEMS-IMU sensors in high-dynamics attitude determination tasks. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is developed to fuse the information provided by the different sensors and to provide estimates of position, velocity and attitude of the UA platform in real-time. The key mathematical models describing the two architectures i.e., VBN-IMU-GNSS (VIG) system and VIGADM (VIGA) system are introduced. The first architecture uses VBN and GNSS to augment the MEMS-IMU. The second mode also includes the ADM to provide augmentation of the attitude channel. Simulation of these two modes is carried out and the performances of the two schemes are compared in a small UA integration scheme (i.e., AEROSONDE UA platform) exploring a representative cross-section of this UA operational flight envelope, including high dynamics manoeuvres and CAT-I to CAT-III precision approach tasks. Simulation of the first system architecture (i.e., VIG system) shows that the integrated system can reach position, velocity and attitude accuracies compatible with the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) requirements. Simulation of the VIGA system also shows promising results since the achieved attitude accuracy is higher using the VBN-IMU-ADM than using VBN-IMU only. A comparison of VIG and VIGA system is also performed and it shows that the position and attitude accuracy of the proposed VIG and VIGA systems are both compatible with the RNP specified in the various UA flight phases, including precision approach down to CAT-II.

11
17051
Target Tracking by Flying Drone with Fixed Camera
Abstract:

This paper presents the software conception of a quadrotor UAV, named SKYWATCHER, which is able to follow a target. This capacity can at a long turn time permit to follow another drone and combine their performance in order to military missions for example.

From a low-cost architecture constructed by five students we implemented a software and added a camera to create a visual servoing. This project demonstrates the possibility to associate the technology of stabilization and the technology of visual enslavement.

10
16191
Optimization Based Tuning of Autopilot Gains for a Fixed Wing UAV
Abstract:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have gained tremendous importance, in both Military and Civil, during first decade of this century. In a UAV, onboard computer (autopilot) autonomously controls the flight and navigation of the aircraft. Based on the aircraft role and flight envelope, basic to complex and sophisticated controllers are used to stabilize the aircraft flight parameters. These controllers constitute the autopilot system for UAVs. The autopilot systems, most commonly, provide lateral and longitudinal control through Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers or Phase-lead or Lag Compensators. Various techniques are commonly used to ‘tune’ gains of these controllers. Some techniques used are, in-flight step-by-step tuning, software-in-loop or hardware-in-loop tuning methods. Subsequently, numerous in-flight tests are required to actually ‘fine-tune’ these gains. However, an optimization-based tuning of these PID controllers or compensators, as presented in this paper, can greatly minimize the requirement of in-flight ‘tuning’ and substantially reduce the risks and cost involved in flight-testing.

9
14642
Optimal Design of Airfoil Platform Shapes with High Aspect Ratio Using Genetic Algorithm
Abstract:
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) performing their operations for a long time have been attracting much attention in military and civil aviation industries for the past decade. The applicable field of UAV is changing from the military purpose only to the civil one. Because of their low operation cost, high reliability and the necessity of various application areas, numerous development programs have been initiated around the world. To obtain the optimal solutions of the design variable (i.e., sectional airfoil profile, wing taper ratio and sweep) for high performance of UAVs, both the lift and lift-to-drag ratio are maximized whereas the pitching moment should be minimized, simultaneously. It is found that the lift force and lift-to-drag ratio are linearly dependent and a unique and dominant solution are existed. However, a trade-off phenomenon is observed between the lift-to-drag ratio and pitching moment. As the result of optimization, sixty-five (65) non-dominated Pareto individuals at the cutting edge of design spaces that are decided by airfoil shapes can be obtained.
8
5221
Ground System Software for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Android Device
Abstract:

A Ground Control System (GCS), which controls Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and monitors their missionrelated data, is one of the major components of UAVs. In fact, some traditional GCSs were built on an expensive, complicated hardware infrastructure with workstations and PCs. In contrast, a GCS on a portable device – such as an Android phone or tablet – takes advantage of its light-weight hardware and the rich User Interface supported by the Android Operating System. We implemented that kind of GCS and called it Ground System Software (GSS) in this paper. In operation, our GSS communicates with UAVs or other GSS via TCP/IP connection to get mission-related data, visualizes it on the device-s screen, and saves the data in its own database. Our study showed that this kind of system will become a potential instrument in UAV-related systems and this kind of topic will appear in many research studies in the near future.

7
6163
Intelligent Condition Monitoring Systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Robots
Abstract:
This paper presents the application of Intelligent Techniques to the various duties of Intelligent Condition Monitoring Systems (ICMS) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Robots. These Systems are intended to support these Intelligent Robots in the event of a Fault occurrence. Neural Networks are used for Diagnosis, whilst Fuzzy Logic is intended for Prognosis and Remedy. The ultimate goals of ICMS are to save large losses in financial cost, time and data.
6
9088
A Feasibility-study of a Micro- Communications Sonobuoy Deployable by UAV Robots
Abstract:
This paper describes a feasibility study that is included with the research, development and testing of a micro communications sonobuoy deployable by Maritime Fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (M-UAV) and rotor wing Quad Copters which are both currently being developed by the University of Adelaide. The micro communications sonobuoy is developed to act as a seamless communication relay between an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and an above water human operator some distance away. Development of such a device would eliminate the requirement of physical communication tethers attached to submersible vehicles for control and data retrieval.
5
4066
An Algorithm for Autonomous Aerial Navigation using MATLAB® Mapping Tool Box
Abstract:

In the present era of aviation technology, autonomous navigation and control have emerged as a prime area of active research. Owing to the tremendous developments in the field, autonomous controls have led today’s engineers to claim that future of aerospace vehicle is unmanned. Development of guidance and navigation algorithms for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an extremely challenging task, which requires efforts to meet strict, and at times, conflicting goals of guidance and control. In this paper, aircraft altitude and heading controllers and an efficient algorithm for self-governing navigation using MATLAB® mapping toolbox is presented which also enables loitering of a fixed wing UAV over a specified area. For this purpose, a nonlinear mathematical model of a UAV is used. The nonlinear model is linearized around a stable trim point and decoupled for controller design. The linear controllers are tested on the nonlinear aircraft model and navigation algorithm is subsequently developed for for autonomous flight of the UAV. The results are presented for trajectory controllers and waypoint based navigation. Our investigation reveals that MATLAB® mapping toolbox can be exploited to successfully deliver an efficient algorithm for autonomous aerial navigation for a UAV.

4
8026
Motion Control of TUAV having Eight Rotors for Enhanced Situational Awareness
Abstract:
This paper focuses on a critical component of the situational awareness (SA), the control of autonomous vertical flight for tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV). With the SA strategy, we proposed a two stage flight control procedure using two autonomous control subsystems to address the dynamics variation and performance requirement difference in initial and final stages of flight trajectory for a nontrivial nonlinear eight-rotor helicopter model. This control strategy for chosen model of mini-TUAV has been verified by simulation of hovering maneuvers using software package Simulink and demonstrated good performance for fast stabilization of engines in hovering, consequently, fast SA with economy in energy of batteries can be asserted during search-andrescue operations.
3
5209
Flight Control of a Trirotor Mini-UAV for Enhanced Situational Awareness
Abstract:

This paper focuses on a critical component of the situational awareness (SA), the control of autonomous vertical flight for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Autonomous vertical flight is a challenging but important task for tactical UAVs to achieve high level of autonomy under adverse conditions. With the SA strategy, we proposed a two stage flight control procedure using two autonomous control subsystems to address the dynamics variation and performance requirement difference in initial and final stages of flight trajectory for a nontrivial nonlinear trirotor mini-UAV model. This control strategy for chosen mini-UAV model has been verified by simulation of hovering maneuvers using software package Simulink and demonstrated good performance for fast SA in realtime search-and-rescue operations.

2
11529
Optimal Design of Airfoil with High Aspect Ratio in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Abstract:
Shape optimization of the airfoil with high aspect ratio of long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is performed by the multi-objective optimization technology coupled with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). For predicting the aerodynamic characteristics around the airfoil the high-fidelity Navier-Stokes solver is employed and SMOGA (Simple Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm), which is developed by authors, is used for solving the multi-objective optimization problem. To obtain the optimal solutions of the design variable (i.e., sectional airfoil profile, wing taper ratio and sweep) for high performance of UAVs, both the lift and lift-to-drag ratio are maximized whereas the pitching moment should be minimized, simultaneously. It is found that the lift force and lift-to-drag ratio are linearly dependent and a unique and dominant solution are existed. However, a trade-off phenomenon is observed between the lift-to-drag ratio and pitching moment. As the result of optimization, sixty-five (65) non-dominated Pareto individuals at the cutting edge of design spaces that is decided by airfoil shapes can be obtained.
1
1626
CQAR: Closed Quarter Aerial Robot Design for Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Tasks in Urban Areas
Abstract:
This paper describes a prototype aircraft that can fly slowly, safely and transmit wireless video for tasks like reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. The aircraft is designed to fly in closed quarters like forests, buildings, caves and tunnels which are often spacious but GPS reception is poor. Envisioned is that a small, safe and slow flying vehicle can assist in performing dull, dangerous and dirty tasks like disaster mitigation, search-and-rescue and structural damage assessment.
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