The aim of the project is to develop a new payload for UAV, with a very low weigh (<4 kg) but with a complete sensors tool to permit an accurate remote sensing analysis.
In the framework, different sensors are integrated all together and a software for the data analysis is developed. The system is able to transmit the collected data to a ground segment and at the same time to store the information collected on board for future data elaboration.
The system can be considered segmented in three main blocks:
A) The integrated opto-electronic camera subsystem
B) The data transmission and storage subsystem
C) The data analysis SW package
The activity of the project framework has to bring at the development of these three main parts of the final system
Flyby is the coordinator of the project and it has to design the integrated opto-electronic camera subsystem and the data analysis SW package. The partner, TDM is responsible for the data transmission and storage subsystem
The first phase of the project is based on the identification of the camera's sensors to be integrated. The sensors cover the visible bands, the Infrared Band and the Ultraviolet band. The spectral bands have to be chosen to maximize the typologies of possible analysis with the new payload. The system will be designed principally for maritime scenarios, so the sensors bands have been chosen in this view. For example this multispectral payload will easily utilized to estimate many environmental parameters like chlorophyll concentration, yellow substance concentration, transparency estimation and batimetry estimation. In the same time the system will be capable to detect oil spills and of simultaneously mosaicking the total extent of the oil spill (layer thickness > 0.01 micron) as well as areas of intermediate (2 to 70 micron) and large oil layer thickness (> 50 micron).
The electronics for the sensors integration have to connect the sensors together to permit a simultaneous data capture. At the same time the opto-electronic susbsystem will integrate also a GPS and an IMU/AHRS (Inertial Measurement Unit)/ (Attitude Heading Reference System) module to allow for georeferencing and for orthorectification of the captured data.
The electronics for the data transmission and storage have to download the data from the sensors and to collect them in a SSD drive disk with the necessary data protection not to loose any information. The stored data is stamped with date & geolocalisation data. At the same time the data collected can be transferred to the ground segment utilizing two different communication systems.
The first communication system will be a standard UMTS link. This communication system can be used in all places were a UMTS-3G network is present and permits the communication with the ground station in the simplest way. The second communication system will be a simple RF video link to permit the video streaming of the collected data. Finally, on ground the data can be uploaded using a standard Gigabit Ethernet link.
The data analysis SW package will include all the software to analyze the data collected.
In particular the SW package will include a SW to stabilize the acquired images, a tool for environmental parameters estimation, and a tool to georeference the data collected and the estimated parameters. In the software will be included a tool for data classification and object detection, moreover the software will be able to perform a temporal analysis of the data collected.
For the software and hardware development the University of Pisa (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione, UNIPI-inf, and Dipartimento di sistemi elettrici e automazione, UNIPI-auto) is involved. In particular the University have to develop the stabilization algorithm for the video streaming and to assist Flyby in the development of the algorithm for the environmental parameters evaluation and object classification.