Title

Autonomous UAV System for Agricultural Aerial Application

Lead Author Major

Mechanical Engineering

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Kyle Watson

Faculty Mentor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Abstract/Artist Statement

Crop dusting is a notoriously dangerous profession. Statistically, there are 67 deaths per 100,000 employees each year in professional aviation. This danger can be expelled with the design of a fully autonomous UAV system capable of carrying a liter of fluid to be dispensed precisely over a destination. For testing purposes, this fluid is water. In professional application, pesticides will be used. The system includes an automated docking station that allows the UAV to land, change out the batteries, and refill the fluid tank completely autonomously. The system uses a combination of GPS, cameras, IR depth sensors, and Wi-Fi triangulation for position finding. The project has proven to be successful. The eight motors provide enough lift to carry the payload at less than fifty percent throttle, which is critical to preserving battery life. The fluid delivery system is capable of dispensing fluid along a three foot path which is perpendicular to the flight path. The greatest setback has been the inability to accurately determine the location of the UAV using GPS. The docking station requires the UAV to land within a foot of the center of the docking station, but an error of up to six feet can cause a failure within the system.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

2-5-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

2-5-2015 4:30 PM

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May 2nd, 2:30 PM May 2nd, 4:30 PM

Autonomous UAV System for Agricultural Aerial Application

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Crop dusting is a notoriously dangerous profession. Statistically, there are 67 deaths per 100,000 employees each year in professional aviation. This danger can be expelled with the design of a fully autonomous UAV system capable of carrying a liter of fluid to be dispensed precisely over a destination. For testing purposes, this fluid is water. In professional application, pesticides will be used. The system includes an automated docking station that allows the UAV to land, change out the batteries, and refill the fluid tank completely autonomously. The system uses a combination of GPS, cameras, IR depth sensors, and Wi-Fi triangulation for position finding. The project has proven to be successful. The eight motors provide enough lift to carry the payload at less than fifty percent throttle, which is critical to preserving battery life. The fluid delivery system is capable of dispensing fluid along a three foot path which is perpendicular to the flight path. The greatest setback has been the inability to accurately determine the location of the UAV using GPS. The docking station requires the UAV to land within a foot of the center of the docking station, but an error of up to six feet can cause a failure within the system.