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Sensors 2015, 15(7), 16688-16709;

Towards the Development of a Smart Flying Sensor: Illustration in the Field of Precision Agriculture

Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation (EeSA), Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Felipe Gonzalez Toro
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 25 June 2015 / Accepted: 3 July 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3240 KB, uploaded 10 July 2015]


Sensing is an important element to quantify productivity, product quality and to make decisions. Applications, such as mapping, surveillance, exploration and precision agriculture, require a reliable platform for remote sensing. This paper presents the first steps towards the development of a smart flying sensor based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The concept of smart remote sensing is illustrated and its performance tested for the task of mapping the volume of grain inside a trailer during forage harvesting. Novelty lies in: (1) the development of a position-estimation method with time delay compensation based on inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors and image processing; (2) a method to build a 3D map using information obtained from a regular camera; and (3) the design and implementation of a path-following control algorithm using model predictive control (MPC). Experimental results on a lab-scale system validate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; remote sensor; precision agriculture UAV; remote sensor; precision agriculture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hernandez, A.; Murcia, H.; Copot, C.; De Keyser, R. Towards the Development of a Smart Flying Sensor: Illustration in the Field of Precision Agriculture. Sensors 2015, 15, 16688-16709.

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