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Article

Wildlife Monitoring Using a Multi-UAV System with Optimal Transport Theory

Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Simone Morais
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4070; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094070
Received: 19 March 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 23 April 2021 / Published: 29 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutting-Edge Technologies of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs))
This paper addresses a wildlife monitoring problem using a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with the optimal transport theory. The state-of-the-art technology using UAVs has been an increasingly popular tool to monitor wildlife compared to the traditional methods such as satellite imagery-based sensing or GPS trackers. However, there still exist unsolved problems as to how the UAVs need to cover a spacious domain to detect animals as many as possible. In this paper, we propose the optimal transport-based wildlife monitoring strategy for a multi-UAV system, to prioritize monitoring areas while incorporating complementary information such as GPS trackers and satellite-based sensing. Through the proposed scheme, the UAVs can explore the large-size domain effectively and collaboratively with a given priority. The time-varying nature of wildlife due to their movements is modeled as a stochastic process, which is included in the proposed work to reflect the spatio-temporal evolution of their position estimation. In this way, the proposed monitoring plan can lead to wildlife monitoring with a high detection rate. Various simulation results including statistical data are provided to validate the proposed work. In all different simulations, it is shown that the proposed scheme significantly outperforms other UAV-based wildlife monitoring strategies in terms of the target detection rate up to 3.6 times. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; unmanned aerial vehicle; wildlife monitoring; multi-UAV exploration; collaborative monitoring; animal detection; time-varying estimation; optimal transport UAV; unmanned aerial vehicle; wildlife monitoring; multi-UAV exploration; collaborative monitoring; animal detection; time-varying estimation; optimal transport
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kabir, R.H.; Lee, K. Wildlife Monitoring Using a Multi-UAV System with Optimal Transport Theory. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4070. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094070

AMA Style

Kabir RH, Lee K. Wildlife Monitoring Using a Multi-UAV System with Optimal Transport Theory. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(9):4070. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094070

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kabir, Rabiul H., and Kooktae Lee. 2021. "Wildlife Monitoring Using a Multi-UAV System with Optimal Transport Theory" Applied Sciences 11, no. 9: 4070. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094070

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