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"Improving Endurance of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles through Intelligent Service-Station Placement" accepted for ICRA 2012

A paper entitled "Improving Endurance of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles through
Intelligent Service-Station Placement" by Roy Godzdanker, myself, and Kimon Valavanis has been accepted for publication / presentation at
the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (http://www.icra2012.org/) in St. Paul, MN in May.

Roy Godzdanker successfully completes Ph.D. defense.

Roy Godzdanker successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "AN INTEGRATED PLATFORM TO INCREASE THE RANGE/ENDURANCE OF UNMANNED HELICOPTERS." Abstract follows:

Class I (<150 kg) autonomous helicopters are becoming increasingly popular for a wide range of non-military applications such as, surveillance, reconnaissance, traffic monitoring, emergency response, agricultural spraying, and many other “eye in the sky” missions. However, an efficient refueling/recharging system has not yet been developed to increase the flight time and decrease the cost for Class I helicopters. This dissertation presents a three-prong approach for increasing the endurance of Class I autonomous helicopter which will then spur demand by non-military organizations wanting to take advantage of these systems capabilities and therefore drop their price. The Intelligent Self-Leveling and Nodal Docking System (ISLANDS) is developed as a mobile refueling/recharging station, which is one part of a three-pronged approach proposed. ISLANDS is an electro-mechanical system that provides a safe landing surface for helicopters on gradients of up to 60%. ISLANDS operates “off the grid” and therefore must provide its own energy sources for the refueling/recharging tasks it performs. A method for determining ISLANDS’ energy needs for refueling/recharging an arbitrary number of gas and/or electric helicopters for an arbitrary number of days is provided as the second part of the three-pronged approach. The final step for increasing autonomous helicopter endurance is a way of determining placement of ISLANDS nodes in the area to be serviced that ensures the helicopters can achieve their goals.

Paper entitled "Radar-Based Detection and Identification for Miniature Air Vehicles" accepted for publication at IEEE MSC 2011

A paper entitled "Radar-Based Detection and Identification for Miniature Air Vehicles" by Allistair Moses, myself, and Kimon Valavanis has been accepted for publication at the 2011 IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control (MSC 2011). The abstract follows:

It is claimed that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAVs) used for civilian/public domain applications will be dominant
in the near future. Compared to UAVs used by the military,
civilian UAVs are often operated by pilots without formal
training, and hence they require increased levels of autonomy
and intelligence, especially with regard to reducing threats to
public safety. UAV integration into the National Air Space will
require that the UAVs support multiple, complementary senseand-
avoid mechanisms, including detection and identification
of other UAV-sized targets. Currently, the majority of available
sensors are based on infrared detectors, focal plane arrays,
optical and ultrasonic rangefinders. These sensors are generally
not able to detect or identify other UAV-sized targets and,
when detection is possible, considerable computational power
may be required for successful identification. By contrast, this
paper describes the design of a light weight, X-Band (10.5GHz)
radar system for use on a small-scale (< 25 kg) rotorcraft. The
prototype radar implementation is small enough to be carried
by any miniature UAV, and it is capable of differentiating other
miniature rotorcraft by their doppler signature. In addition
to the overall hardware and software design of the prototype
system, a performance analysis of various signature matching
algorithms is presented demonstrating the capabilities of the
system in a laboratory setting.

Roy Godzdanker to present "ISLANDS: A Self-Leveling Landing Platform for Autonomous Miniature UAVs" at AIM 2011.

Roy Godzdanker will be presenting a paper authored with myself and Kimon Valavanis at the upcoming IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM). The paper is entitled "ISLANDS: A Self-Leveling Landing Platform for Autonomous Miniature UAVs," the abstract is:

The Intelligent Self-Leveling and Nodal Docking
System (ISLANDS) is a mobile recharging/refueling station
designed and built to enhance endurance and range of smallscale,
autonomous, unmanned helicopters, which are becoming
increasingly popular for a wide range of non-military applications
such as, surveillance, reconnaissance, traffic monitoring,
emergency response, agricultural spraying, and many other
“eye in the sky” missions. The primary function of ISLANDS
is to provide a safe, level landing platform for such helicopters.
Additionally, in order to provide the maximum benefit in terms
of increased range and flight-time, ISLANDS must be strategically
located in the work field of the helicopter. In this paper,
we discuss both the design of the individual ISLANDS “node,”
and the use of ISLANDS within a larger systems context. At
the node level, the mechanical subsystems implementing these
ISLANDS are described. At the system level, we report on
initial results tackling the ISLANDS placement problem with
a genetic search algorithm. In combination, these contributions
provide a complete solution to enable longer and more complex
missions for small autonomous helicopters.

Presentation slides attached.

AttachmentSize
AIM presentation.pdf1.67 MB

Dr. Valavanis to present at the MED 2011 Workshop on Micro and Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Dr. Kimon Valavanis will present a talk entitled "A Miniature UAV Radar System" at the MED 2011 Workshop on Micro and Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Design, Sensor - Based Control and Applications, on June 20th, 2011 in Corfu, Greece.

This is work done by Allistair Moses, myself, Michail Konstitis and Dr. Valavanis.

Slides are attached.

AttachmentSize
MED11-RadarPreso.pdf1.82 MB