Topic Editors

Dr. Andrzej Łukaszewicz
Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Bialystok University of Technology, Wiejska 45a Street, 15-351 Bialystok, Poland
Prof. Dr. Wojciech Giernacki
Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence, Faculty of Control, Robotics and Electrical Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, 60-965 Poznan, Poland
Prof. Dr. Zbigniew Kulesza
Department of Automatic Control and Robotics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Bialystok University of Technology, Wiejska 45D street, 15-351 Bialystok, Poland
Prof. Dr. Jaroslaw Pytka
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Lublin University of Technology, Lublin, Poland
Dr. Andriy Holovatyy
Department of Computer-Aided Design Systems, Lviv Polytechnic National University, 5 Mytropolyta Andreya St., building 4, 79013 Lviv, Ukraine

Design, Simulation and New Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Abstract submission deadline
31 December 2022
Manuscript submission deadline
31 March 2023
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7165

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the Editor of the Special Issue “Design, Simulation and New Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”, I would like to invite you to submit a paper on this subject. Recently, we have experienced a huge increase in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Every month brings new scientific papers pertaining to UAVs, which have become an even stronger accelerator for research in this field. This Special Issue aims to contribute to the development of unmanned aerial vehicles in many areas. Particular attention will be given to high-quality papers that address significant advances in the design, modeling, and control of UAVs, as well as novel applications. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • UAV design;
  • CAx systems in UAV design;
  • Efficiency of UAV platform;
  • FEA in UAV design;
  • CFD analysis of UAV;
  • Fiber composites in UAV;
  • MEMS in UAS;
  • Sensors in UAV;
  • UGV and UAV collaboration;
  • Multirotor UAV;
  • UAV navigation;
  • Machine learning for UAV autonomous control;
  • UAV dynamics, control and simulation;
  • New applications for UAVs;
  • Embedded systems design for UAVs;
  • UAS electronics design;
  • Algorithms and software for UAV/UAS.

Dr. Andrzej Łukaszewicz
Prof. Dr. Wojciech Giernacki
Prof. Dr. Zbigniew Kulesza
Prof. Dr. Jaroslaw Pytka
Dr. Andriy Holovatyy
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • UAV design
  • UAV airframe
  • UAV strength analysis
  • CAx systems in UAV design
  • efficiency of UAV platform
  • FEA in UAV design
  • CFD analysis of UAV
  • smart materials in UAV
  • fiber composites in UAV
  • MEMS in UAS
  • sensors in UAV
  • UGV and UAV collaboration
  • multirotor UAV
  • UAV navigation
  • dynamics of UAVs
  • machine learning for UAV autonomous control
  • UAV control and simulation
  • new application for UAVs
  • MEMS sensors design for UAVs
  • embedded systems design for UAVs
  • UAS electronics design
  • algorithms and software for UAV/UAS

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.679 3.0 2011 17.7 Days 2300 CHF Submit
Drones
drones
- 5.4 2017 16.3 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Energies
energies
3.004 4.7 2008 17.8 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Machines
machines
2.428 4.5 2013 16.7 Days 1800 CHF Submit
Materials
materials
3.623 4.2 2008 16.5 Days 2300 CHF Submit
Sensors
sensors
3.576 5.8 2001 17.4 Days 2400 CHF Submit

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Article
User Preferences in Drone Design and Operation
Drones 2022, 6(5), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6050133 - 23 May 2022
Abstract
Drones, which were first used in military applications, are now widely used by civilians for various purposes such as for deliveries and as cameras. There has been a lack of research into what drone users expect in terms of drone design and operation [...] Read more.
Drones, which were first used in military applications, are now widely used by civilians for various purposes such as for deliveries and as cameras. There has been a lack of research into what drone users expect in terms of drone design and operation from a user perspective. In order to figure out what users want from drones, it is necessary to investigate the perception and design preferences of users with regard to drones. Surveys were conducted to collect data on preferences for various aspects of the design and operation of drone technology. Features relevant to the design and operation of drones were considered. We have identified the underlying factor structures of drone design and operation: outdoor mission type, user interface, military mission type, usefulness, risk, special mission type, and concern. The most important factors that contribute to all the dependent variables are the user interface and usefulness. The fact that drones will be increasingly used in the future is clear; however, the purpose of this study was to find out the areas on which to focus and pay further attention. Full article
Article
Flight Test of Autonomous Formation Management for Multiple Fixed-Wing UAVs Based on Missile Parallel Method
Drones 2022, 6(5), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6050099 - 19 Apr 2022
Abstract
This paper reports on the formation and transformation of multiple fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in three-dimensional space. A cooperative guidance law based on the classic missile-type parallel-approach method is designed for the multi-UAV formation control problem. Additionally, formation transformation strategies for multi-UAV [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the formation and transformation of multiple fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in three-dimensional space. A cooperative guidance law based on the classic missile-type parallel-approach method is designed for the multi-UAV formation control problem. Additionally, formation transformation strategies for multi-UAV autonomous assembly, disbandment, and special circumstances are formed, effective for managing and controlling the formation. When formulating the management strategy for formation establishment, its process is divided into three steps: (i) selecting and allocating target points, (ii) forming loose formations, and (iii) forming short-range formations. The management of disbanding the formation is formulated through reverse thinking: the assembly process is split and recombined in reverse, and a formation disbanding strategy that can achieve a smooth transition from close to lose formation is proposed. Additionally, a strategy is given for adjusting the formation transformation in special cases, and the formation adjustment is completed using the adjacency matrix. Finally, a hardware-in-the-loop simulation and measured flight verification using a simulator show the practicality of the guidance law in meeting the control requirements of UAV formation flight for specific flight tasks. Full article
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Article
Novel Drone Design Using an Optimization Software with 3D Model, Simulation, and Fabrication in Drone Systems Research
Drones 2022, 6(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6040097 - 14 Apr 2022
Abstract
This paper presents the design of a small size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) using the 3DEXPERIENCE software. The process of designing the frame parts involves many methods to ensure the parts can meet the requirements while conforming to safety and industry standards. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents the design of a small size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) using the 3DEXPERIENCE software. The process of designing the frame parts involves many methods to ensure the parts can meet the requirements while conforming to safety and industry standards. The design steps start with the selection of materials that can be used for the drone, which are polylactic acid (PLA), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The drone frame consists of four main parts, which are the center top cover (50 g), the side top cover (10 g), the middle cover (30 g), and the drone’s arm (80 g). A simulation was carried out to determine the stress, displacement, and weight of the drone’s parts. Additionally, a trade-off study was conducted to finalize the shapes of the parts and the various inputs based on their priorities. The outcome of this new design can be represented in design concepts, which involve the use of the snap hook function to assemble two body parts together, namely the middle cover and the center top cover, without the need of an additional fastener. Full article
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Article
Autonomous Unmanned Heterogeneous Vehicles for Persistent Monitoring
Drones 2022, 6(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6040094 - 10 Apr 2022
Abstract
Swarms of unmanned vehicles (air and ground) can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of military and law enforcement operations by enhancing situational awareness and allowing the persistent monitoring of multiple hostile targets. The key focus in the development of the enabling technologies for [...] Read more.
Swarms of unmanned vehicles (air and ground) can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of military and law enforcement operations by enhancing situational awareness and allowing the persistent monitoring of multiple hostile targets. The key focus in the development of the enabling technologies for swarm systems is the minimisation of uncertainties in situational awareness information for surveillance operations supported by ‘system of systems’ composed of static and mobile heterogeneous sensors. The identified critical enabling techniques and technologies for adaptive, informative and reconfigurable operations of unmanned swarm systems are robust static sensor network design, mobile sensor tasking (including re-allocation), sensor fusion and information fusion, including behaviour monitoring. The work presented in this paper describes one of the first attempts to integrate all swarm-related technologies into a prototype, demonstrating the benefits of swarms of heterogeneous vehicles for defence applications used for the persistent monitoring of high-value assets, such as military installations and camps. The key enabling swarm system technologies are analysed here, and novel algorithms are presented that can be implemented in available COTS-based unmanned vehicles. The algorithms have been designed and optimised to require small computational power, be flexible, be reconfigurable and be implemented in a large range of commercially available unmanned vehicles (air and ground). Full article
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Article
Research on UAV Robust Adaptive Positioning Algorithm Based on IMU/GNSS/VO in Complex Scenes
Sensors 2022, 22(8), 2832; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22082832 - 07 Apr 2022
Abstract
As an important component of autonomous intelligent systems, the research on autonomous positioning algorithms used by UAVs is of great significance. In order to resolve the problem whereby the GNSS signal is interrupted, and the visual sensor lacks sufficient feature points in complex [...] Read more.
As an important component of autonomous intelligent systems, the research on autonomous positioning algorithms used by UAVs is of great significance. In order to resolve the problem whereby the GNSS signal is interrupted, and the visual sensor lacks sufficient feature points in complex scenes, which leads to difficulties in autonomous positioning, this paper proposes a new robust adaptive positioning algorithm that ensures the robustness and accuracy of autonomous navigation and positioning in UAVs. On the basis of the combined navigation model of vision/inertial navigation and satellite/inertial navigation, based on ESKF, a multi-source fusion model based on a federated Kalman filter is here established. Furthermore, a robust adaptive localization algorithm is proposed, which uses robust equivalent weights to estimate the sub-filters, and then uses the sub-filter state covariance to adaptively assign information sharing coefficients. After simulation experiments and dataset verification, the results show that the robust adaptive algorithm can effectively limit the impact of gross errors in observations and mathematical model deviations and can automatically update the information sharing coefficient online according to the sub-filter equivalent state covariance. Compared with the classical federated Kalman algorithm and the adaptive federated Kalman algorithm, our algorithm can meet the real-time requirements of navigation, and the accuracy of position, velocity, and attitude measurement is improved by 2–3 times. The robust adaptive localization algorithm proposed in this paper can effectively improve the reliability and accuracy of autonomous navigation systems in complex scenes. Moreover, the algorithm is general—it is not intended for a specific scene or a specific sensor combination– and is applicable to individual scenes with varied sensor combinations. Full article
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Article
Investigation of Rotor Efficiency with Varying Rotor Pitch Angle for a Coaxial Drone
Drones 2022, 6(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6040091 - 04 Apr 2022
Abstract
Coaxial rotor systems are appealing for multirotor drones, as they increase thrust without increasing the vehicle’s footprint. However, the thrust of a coaxial rotor system is reduced compared to having the rotors in line. It is of interest to increase the efficiency of [...] Read more.
Coaxial rotor systems are appealing for multirotor drones, as they increase thrust without increasing the vehicle’s footprint. However, the thrust of a coaxial rotor system is reduced compared to having the rotors in line. It is of interest to increase the efficiency of coaxial systems, both to extend mission time and to enable new mission capabilities. While some parameters of a coaxial system have been explored, such as the rotor-to-rotor distance, the influence of rotor pitch is less understood. This work investigates how adjusting the pitch of the lower rotor relative to that of the upper one impacts the overall efficiency of the system. A methodology based on blade element momentum theory is extended to coaxial rotor systems, and in addition blade-resolved simulations using computational fluid dynamics are performed. A coaxial rotor system for a medium-sized drone with a rotor diameter of 71.12 cm is used for the study. Experiments are performed using a thrust stand to validate the methods. The results show that there exists a peak in total rotor efficiency (thrust-to-power ratio), and that the efficiency can be increased by 2% to 5% by increasing the pitch of the lower rotor. The work contributes to furthering our understanding of coaxial rotor systems, and the results can potentially lead to more efficient drones with increased mission time. Full article
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Article
Automatic Air-to-Ground Recognition of Outdoor Injured Human Targets Based on UAV Bimodal Information: The Explore Study
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3457; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073457 - 29 Mar 2022
Abstract
The rapid air-to-ground search of injured people in the outdoor environment has been a hot spot and a great challenge for public safety and emergency rescue medicine. Its crucial difficulties lie in the fact that small-scale human targets possess a low target-background contrast [...] Read more.
The rapid air-to-ground search of injured people in the outdoor environment has been a hot spot and a great challenge for public safety and emergency rescue medicine. Its crucial difficulties lie in the fact that small-scale human targets possess a low target-background contrast to the complex outdoor environment background and the human attribute of the target is hard to verify. Therefore, an automatic recognition method based on UAV bimodal information is proposed in this paper. First, suspected targets were accurately detected and separated from the background based on multispectral feature information only. Immediately after, the bio-radar module would be released and would try to detect their corresponding physiological information for accurate re-identification of the human target property. Both the suspected human target detection experiments and human target property re-identification experiments show that our proposed method could effectively realize accurate identification of ground injured in outdoor environments, which is meaningful for the research of rapid search and rescue of injured people in the outdoor environment. Full article
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Review
Ice Accretion on Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle—A Review Study
Drones 2022, 6(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6040086 - 28 Mar 2022
Abstract
Ice accretion on commercial aircraft operating at high Reynolds numbers has been extensively studied in the literature, but a direct transformation of these results to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operating at low Reynolds numbers is not straightforward. Changes in Reynolds number have [...] Read more.
Ice accretion on commercial aircraft operating at high Reynolds numbers has been extensively studied in the literature, but a direct transformation of these results to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operating at low Reynolds numbers is not straightforward. Changes in Reynolds number have a significant impact on the ice accretion physics. Previously, only a few researchers worked in this area, but it is now gaining more attention due to the increasing applications of UAVs in the modern world. As a result, an attempt is made to review existing scientific knowledge and identify the knowledge gaps in this field of research. Ice accretion can deteriorate the aerodynamic performance, structural integrity, and aircraft stability, necessitating optimal ice mitigation techniques. This paper provides a comprehensive review of ice accretion on fixed-wing UAVs. It includes various methodologies for studying and comprehending the physics of ice accretion on UAVs. The impact of various environmental and geometric factors on ice accretion physics is reviewed, and knowledge gaps are identified. The pros and cons of various ice detection and mitigation techniques developed for UAVs are also discussed. Full article
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Review
A Review of Counter-UAS Technologies for Cooperative Defensive Teams of Drones
Drones 2022, 6(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6030065 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, the drone market has had a significant expansion, with applications in various fields (surveillance, rescue operations, intelligent logistics, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, inspection and measuring in the construction industry). Given their increasing use, the issues related to safety, security and [...] Read more.
In recent years, the drone market has had a significant expansion, with applications in various fields (surveillance, rescue operations, intelligent logistics, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, inspection and measuring in the construction industry). Given their increasing use, the issues related to safety, security and privacy must be taken into consideration. Accordingly, the development of new concepts for countermeasures systems, able to identify and neutralize a single (or multiples) malicious drone(s) (i.e., classified as a threat), has become of primary importance. For this purpose, the paper evaluates the concept of a multiplatform counter-UAS system (CUS), based mainly on a team of mini drones acting as a cooperative defensive system. In order to provide the basis for implementing such a system, we present a review of the available technologies for sensing, mitigation and command and control systems that generally comprise a CUS, focusing on their applicability and suitability in the case of mini drones. Full article
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Article
Robust Resource Allocation and Trajectory Planning of UAV-Aided Mobile Edge Computing in Post-Disaster Areas
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12042226 - 21 Feb 2022
Abstract
When natural disasters strike, users in the disaster area may be isolated and unable to transmit disaster information to the outside due to the damage of communication facilities. Unmanned aerial vehicles can be exploited as mobile edge servers to provide emergency service for [...] Read more.
When natural disasters strike, users in the disaster area may be isolated and unable to transmit disaster information to the outside due to the damage of communication facilities. Unmanned aerial vehicles can be exploited as mobile edge servers to provide emergency service for ground users due to its mobility and flexibility. In this paper, a robust UAV-aided wireless-powered mobile edge computing (MEC) system in post disaster areas is proposed, where the UAV provides charging and computing service for users in the disaster area. Considering the estimation error of users’ locations, our target is to maximize the energy acquisition of each user by jointly optimizing the computing offloading process and the UAV trajectory. Due to the strongly coupled connectionbetween optimization variables and the non-convex nature for trajectory optimization, the problem is difficult to solve. Furthermore, the semi-infinity of the users’ possible location makes the problem even more intractable. To tackle these difficulties, we ignore the estimation error of users’ location firstly, and propose an iterative algorithm by using Lagrange dual method and successive convex approximation (SCA) technology. Then, we propose a cutting-set method to deal with the uncertainty of users’ location. In this method, we degrade the influence of location uncertainty by alternating between optimization step and pessimization step. Finally, simulation results show that the proposed robust algorithm can effectively improve the user energy acquisition. Full article
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Article
Application of Filters to Improve Flight Stability of Rotary Unmanned Aerial Objects
Sensors 2022, 22(4), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22041677 - 21 Feb 2022
Abstract
The most common filters used to determine the angular position of quadrotors are the Kalman filter and the complementary filter. The problem of angular position estimation consist is a result of the absence of direct data. The most common sensors on board UAVs [...] Read more.
The most common filters used to determine the angular position of quadrotors are the Kalman filter and the complementary filter. The problem of angular position estimation consist is a result of the absence of direct data. The most common sensors on board UAVs are micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) type sensors. The data acquired from the sensors are processed using digital filters. In the literature, the results of research conducted on the effectiveness of Kalman and complementary filters are known. A significant problem in evaluating the performance of the studied filters was the lack of an arbitrarily determined UAV position. The authors of this paper undertook the task of determining the best filter for a real object. The main objective of this research was to improve the stability of the physical quadrotor. For this purpose, we developed a research method using a laboratory station for testing quadrotor drones. Moreover, using the MATLAB environment, they determined the optimal parameters for the real filter applied using the PX4 software, which is new and has not been considered before in the available scientific literature. It should be mentioned that the authors of this work focused on the analysis of filters most commonly used for flight stabilization, without modifying the structure of these filters. By not modifying the filter structure, it is possible to optimize the existing flight controllers. The main contribution of this study lies in finding the most optimal filter, among those available in flight controllers, for angular position estimation. The special emphasis of our work was to develop a procedure for selecting the filter coefficients for a real object. The algorithm was designed so that other researchers could use it, provided they collected arbitrary data for their objects. Selected results of the research are presented in graphical form. The proposed procedure for improving the embedded filter can be used by other researchers on their subjects. Full article
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