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 Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>