Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Getting closer than ever to real-life disasters

18.05.2004


In the battle against forest fires COMETS’ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) monitoring and evaluation capabilities may offer beleaguered emergency crews the lifeline they need to control the fire.



The COMETS project improved the capabilities of two helicopters and an airship to enable them to cooperate. These UAVs can be used in aerial missions including natural disasters remediation, traffic and environmental monitoring, surveillance, security and law enforcement, and terrain mapping. While the helicopter has more freedom to manoeuvre close to the situation, such as a forest fire, the airship can be used to give a more global view. Working together they provide different information on the same situation making it easier to evaluate and monitor.

The UAVs can either be programmed before they leave for a mission or information can be transmitted to them from a control centre. "The aerial vehicles in COMETS are also heterogeneous in terms of on-board processing capabilities, ranging from fully autonomous aerial systems to conventional radio controlled systems with minimal on-board capabilities required to record and transmit information," says Anibal Ollero, Scientific and Technical Coordinator of the IST programme-funded project.


The IST programme-funded project aimed to produce UAV teams that would be unique to those already existing on the market. "Instead of using a single expensive UAV, we address the application of several low cost aerial vehicles. Furthermore we exploit the complementarities of the different aerial vehicles," says Ollero. He adds that to his knowledge this is the first project implementing the coordination of heterogeneous autonomous aerial vehicles in Europe.

Although the vehicles can get closer than ever to the action, to get an overall picture of the situation, using more than one UAV at a time called other factors into play such as vision and coordination. COMETS dealt with these issues by developing tools for perception and planning merged operations between UAVs.

In order for the fleet of UAV to provide important information they first need to ’perceive’ the situation. In the monitoring activities rather than trying to get complex models of exact objects, the perception system of the UAVs picture robust features, which "means that it is possible to obtain features from the images even in the case of changing conditions, for example illumination changes and camera vibration," elaborates Ollero. For fire monitoring infrared vision has been added to overcome the problem of smoke. Another task of the COMETS perception system is terrain mapping with the UAVs.

Planning operations with multiple UAVs avoids collisions and also repeating work. The planning takes place using 3D cells to map the position of each UAV in time and space throughout the planned trajectory. Once each route has been planned, the mission can start.

The first general experiments for the project took place in May 2003 in Lousa, Portugal, one year after project began. Individual UAVs were tested, and coordination and fire detection experiments were carried out. "The results were very satisfactory because they provided a lot of information to guide the research and development in the second year of the project," comments Ollero.

The partners are currently undertaking local experiments with their single UAVs in Germany, France, Spain and Sweden. The next general experiments will take place in Portugal in May 2004.

The final demonstration is planned for May 2005 in Portugal. "We envisage different possibilities ranging from the general COMETS architecture to single components. The technology could be applied to existing UAVs or in the future to new aerial vehicles being developed," says Ollero.

Contacts:
Anibal Ollero
Scientific and Technical Coordinator of COMETS
Department of Systems Engineering and Automatic Control
Engineering School
University of Seville
E-41092 Seville
Spain
Tel: +34-95-4487349
Fax: +34-95-4487340
Email: aollero@cartuja.us.es

Luis Gonzalo Gutierrez.
Administrative and Financial Coordinator of COMETS
GMV, S.A.
E-28760 Madrid
Spain
Tel: +34-91-8072286
Fax: +34-91-8072199
Email: lgutierrez@gmv.es

Source: Based on information from COMETS

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=65138

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smarter robot vacuum cleaners for automated office cleaning
15.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Researchers 3-D print first truly microfluidic 'lab on a chipl devices
15.08.2017 | Brigham Young University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>