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 Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>