Thesis subject

Development of UAV user-friendly data science tools

UAVs are a rapid and efficient data gathering system when combined with Geographical information Systems (GIS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In agriculture this is very beneficial for farmers because it enables them to survey and assess large crop fields in an efficient time.

Nevertheless, this technology is not yet fully available for non-experts and it is typically delivered by advanced users. One of the hurdles that drone users face is with respect to the data acquisition and processing. The autopilots are often used without previous knowledge about the system parameters and requirements. Data is often collected onboard and need to be processed off-board in order to generate the desirable image products, e.g., Orthophoto. Then, advance techniques are used to extract crop physical traits that can be used for assessment. This process is still much done by experts through several manual steps.

Objectives
The aim of this project is to automatize the UAV data acquisition, processing and analysis workflow. This will be achieved within the main steps:

  1. Review of the state-of-the art in aerial surveying;
  2. Design an automatic UAV image workflow; and
  3. Experiments with different users, and
  4. Writing report

    Literature

    • Shi Y, Thomasson JA, Murray SC, Pugh NA, Rooney WL, Shafian S, et al. (2016) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for High-Throughput Phenotyping and Agronomic Research. PLoS ONE 11(7).
    • Massimiliano Pepe, Luigi Fregonese & Marco Scaioni (2018) Planning airborne photogrammetry and remote-sensing missions with modern platforms and sensors, European Journal of Remote Sensing, 51:1, 412-436
    • Chunhua Zhang, John M. Kovacs (2012) The application of small unmanned aerial systems for precision agriculture: a review Precision Agriculture 13:693–712.

      Requirements

      • Enthusiast about drones/UAV
      • Willing to learn more about open-source software
      • Excited to make tools to help people

        Theme(s): Sensing & measuring