Special Issue "Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Systems & Control Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sergio Montenegro

Informatik für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49 931 / 31-83715
Interests: real time dependable distributed control systems; aerospace applications; real time operating systems; real time communication protocols and middleware; UAS/UAV Drones/unmanned areal vehicles and systems; AUVs Under Autonomous Underwater vehicles; satellites and space vehicles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Systems (UAVs/UASs) and Drones, ranging from very few grams to several tons in weight, and prices from $10 to $100 M, with increasing autonomy and swarm behavior, brings tremendous new opportunities but also danger to the public. To remain competitive in this sector, and prevent wanted or unwanted danger, is a very large challenge. This is the first "Electronics journal" special issue that handles this challenges. It shall present innovations and trends in this sector, to scientists, developers, operators and users. We also welcome open questions and unsolved challenges that shall motivate our readers to be creative in finding solutions.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sergio Montenegro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Drones, Multicopter, Fix Wing
  • Control, Distributed Control
  • Navigation, Indoor and Outdoor
  • State Estimation, Sensor Fusion, Mathematical Models
  • Autonomy
  • Dependability
  • Obstacle Avoidance
  • Safety and Security Concerns
  • Communication Links
  • Remote Pilot Interfaces / Facilities
  • Sensors
  • Applications of UVSs / UAVs
  • Swarms and Formation Fly
  • Technology Transfer from/to other Disciplines

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Risk Analysis of the Future Implementation of a Safety Management System for Multiple RPAS Based on First Demonstration Flights
Electronics 2017, 6(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6030050
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
The modern aeronautical scenario has welcomed the massive diffusion of new key elements, including the Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), initially used for military purposes only. The current decade has seen RPAS ready to become a new airspace user in a large variety
[...] Read more.
The modern aeronautical scenario has welcomed the massive diffusion of new key elements, including the Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), initially used for military purposes only. The current decade has seen RPAS ready to become a new airspace user in a large variety of civilian applications. Although RPAS can currently only be flown into segregated airspaces, due to national and international Flight Aviation Authorities′ (FAAs) constraints, they represent a remarkable potential growth in terms of development and economic investments for aviation. Full RPAS development will only happen when flight into non-segregated airspaces is authorized, as for manned civil and military aircraft. The preliminary requirement for disclosing the airspace to RPAS is the implementation of an ad hoc Safety Management System (SMS), as prescribed by ICAO, for every aeronautical operator. This issue arises in the context of the ongoing restructuring of airspaces management, according to SESAR-JU in Europe and NextGen in the USA (SESAR-JU has defined how RPAS research should be conducted in SESAR 2020, all in accordance with the 2015 European ATM Master Plan). This paper provides the basis to implement a risk model and general procedures/methodologies to investigate RPAS safety, according to the operational scenarios defined by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). The study is based on results achieved by multiple-RPAS experimental flights, performed within the RAID (RPAS-ATM Integration Demonstration) project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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Open AccessArticle Using Competition to Control Congestion in Autonomous Drone Systems
Electronics 2017, 6(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6020031
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the number and variety of commercial drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) set to escalate, there will be high future demands on popular regions of airspace and communication bandwidths. This raises safety concerns and hence heightens the need for a generic quantitative
[...] Read more.
With the number and variety of commercial drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) set to escalate, there will be high future demands on popular regions of airspace and communication bandwidths. This raises safety concerns and hence heightens the need for a generic quantitative understanding of the real-time dynamics of multi-drone populations. Here, we explain how a simple system design built around system-level competition, as opposed to cooperation, can be used to control and ultimately reduce the fluctuations that ordinarily arise in such congestion situations, while simultaneously keeping the on-board processing requirements minimal. These benefits naturally arise from the collective competition to choose the less crowded option, using only previous outcomes and built-in algorithms. We provide explicit closed-form formulae that are applicable to any number of airborne drones N, and which show that the necessary on-board processing increases slower than N as N increases. This design therefore offers operational advantages over traditional cooperative schemes that require drone-to-drone communications that scale like N 2 , and also over optimization and control schemes that do not easily scale up to general N. In addition to populations of drones, the same mathematical analysis can be used to describe more complex individual drones that feature N adaptive sensor/actuator units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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Open AccessArticle Coupled GPS/MEMS IMU Attitude Determination of Small UAVs with COTS
Electronics 2017, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6010015
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes an attitude determination system for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with a weight limit of 5 kg and a small footprint of 0.5m x 0.5 m. The system is realized by coupling single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) code and carrier-phase
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes an attitude determination system for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with a weight limit of 5 kg and a small footprint of 0.5m x 0.5 m. The system is realized by coupling single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) code and carrier-phase measurements with the data acquired from a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) using consumer-grade Components-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) only. The sensor fusion is accomplished using two Extended Kalman Filters (EKF) that are coupled by exchanging information about the currently estimated baseline. With a baseline of 48 cm, the static heading accuracy of the proposed system is comparable to the one of a commercial single-frequency GPS heading system with an accuracy of approximately 0.25°/m. Flight testing shows that the proposed system is able to obtain a reliable and stable GPS heading estimation without an aiding magnetometer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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Open AccessArticle A Soft Sensor Development for the Rotational Speed Measurement of an Electric Propeller
Electronics 2016, 5(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics5040094
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract
In recent decades, micro air vehicles driven by electric propellers have become a hot topic, and developed quickly. The performance of the vehicles depends on the rotational speed of propellers, thus, improving the accuracy of rotational speed measurement is beneficial to the vehicle’s
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In recent decades, micro air vehicles driven by electric propellers have become a hot topic, and developed quickly. The performance of the vehicles depends on the rotational speed of propellers, thus, improving the accuracy of rotational speed measurement is beneficial to the vehicle’s performance. This paper presents the development of a soft sensor for the rotational speed measurement of an electric propeller. An adaptive learning algorithm is derived for the soft sensor by using Popov hyperstability theory, based on which a one-step-delay adaptive learning algorithm is further proposed to solve the implementation problem of the soft sensor. It is important to note that only the input signal and the commutation instant of the motor are employed as inputs in the algorithm, which makes it possible to be easily implemented in real-time. The experimental test results have demonstrated the learning performance and the accuracy of the soft sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Modelling and Daisy Chaining Control Allocation of a Multirotor Helicopter with a Single Tilting Rotor
Electronics 2016, 5(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics5040081
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper presents the development and implementation of a single tilting rotor multirotor helicopter. A single tilting rotor multirotor helicopter is proposed that allows for decoupled lateral acceleration and attitude states. A dynamics model of the proposed multirotor helicopter is established to enable
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the development and implementation of a single tilting rotor multirotor helicopter. A single tilting rotor multirotor helicopter is proposed that allows for decoupled lateral acceleration and attitude states. A dynamics model of the proposed multirotor helicopter is established to enable control system development. A control system architecture and daisy chaining-based control allocation scheme is developed and implemented. The control architecture facilitates the control of decoupled lateral accelerations and attitudes. Further, a computational and experimental analysis is undertaken and offers evidence that the proposed multirotor helicopter and control system architecture enables the multirotor helicopter to achieve lateral accelerations without requiring attitude actuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Systems/Vehicles (UAS/V) and Drones)
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Graphical abstract

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