Micro Air Vehicles

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "A:Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 28362

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Department of Industrial Engineering, Turkish Naval Academy, National Defense University, Istanbul 34940, Turkey
Interests: operations research; industrial engineering; decision sciences; optimization; location science
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are gaining significant attention in research groups and industries all over the world, due to the blooming number of military and civilian applications, including industrial inspection, search and rescue, commodity transportation, resource exploration, civilian surveillance, and precision agriculture. Over the past decade, multitudes of research contributions have been made to deploy MAVs in dynamic, confined, and unstructured environments. MAVs can be deployed in those remote or areas inaccessible by humans, such as disaster sites and forests. MAVs can significantly reduce the risks to human life, increase the system’s efficiency, and reduce the execution time as compared to conventional techniques. The profound capabilities of MAVs range from fixed wing surveillance MAVs to advanced MAVs with the capability of hovering and navigation along with carrying multiple sensors. MAVs are small enough to fit on palm of a hand, operate over several kilometers, and can transmit data to a portable base station. The agility and simplicity of MAVs put them in the forefront of robotic developments. Apart from these appealing benefits, challenges with respect to the embedded system (e.g., memory, processing power, energy, etc.) are usually present. MAVs operate with several inter-linked constraints, such as processing, flight time, battery endurance, weight, size, and communication bandwidth. The use of MAVs is also restricted by limited operational endurance and lack of flexible cooperation between multiple MAVs. Another limitation of MAVs arises from the onboard power supply for computation, sensing, or actuation, which can be insubstantial due to restrictions on energy with existing of-the-shelf energy resources. The selection of mechanical design also determines the permissible energy payload, which ultimately dictates the onboard computation, sensing, or actuation. In addition, MAVs control and perception has a strong relation. Therefore, researchers should take sensor and processor availability and design constraint along with optimized algorithms into account to ensure perception on MAVs. Similarly, the flight control and navigation of MAVs require careful modeling of vehicle’s dynamics and operation characteristics, e.g., sensor saturation and actuation. Thus, researchers have to design efficient algorithms for detection, tracking, navigation, trajectory planning, adaptive and robust feedback control strategies, swarm collaboration, mapping, and exploration.

This Special Issue focuses on the technological advancements of MAVs. It welcomes high-quality scientific contributions based on theory and experiments in the domains of novel designs for MAVs, innovative strategies for aerial manipulation, localization, control mechanisms for guidance and navigation of single and multi-MAVs, multi-MAVs collaboration, propulsion mechanisms of MAVs,  trajectory planning and tracking, stability characteristics, aerodynamic aspects, and charging methods. Our objective is to gather high-quality and original contributions which address the breakthrough novelties of MAVs.  Surveys and reviews are equally welcome. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following subject areas:

  • Integration of MAVs with other key enabling technologies;
  • Dexterous aerial manipulation;
  • Propulsion mechanisms of MAVs;
  • Mapping, localization, and autonomous navigation;
  • Trajectory planning and coverage strategies;
  • Obstacles avoidance mechanisms;
  • Object detection and tracking, 3D vision methods;
  • Reinforcement learning to perform autonomous task;
  • Flight test, control, guidance, and stability;
  • Robust and adaptive control of MAVs;
  • Machine learning for MAVs;
  • Structural analysis of MAVs;
  • Charging techniques for MAVs;
  • Aerodynamic optimization;
  • Sensitivity and performance analysis; 
  • Applications, challenges, and security issues of MAVs.

Dr. Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan
Dr. Mumtaz Karatas
Dr. Muhammad Asghar Khan
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • micro aerial vehicles
  • flight control
  • trajectory planning
  • aerial manipulation
  • design optimization
  • robust control
  • adaptive control
  • reinforcement learning
  • machine learning for MAVs
  • cooperative control of MAVs
  • mapping and localization methods

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 162 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Micro Air Vehicles
by Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Muhammad Asghar Khan and Mumtaz Karatas
Micromachines 2023, 14(4), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14040721 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 888
Abstract
Recently, Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) have been receiving a significant amount of attention from research organizations and businesses worldwide due to their unique characteristics, including high mobility, three-dimensional (3D) movement, and ease of deployment [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)

Research

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10 pages, 2958 KiB  
Article
Performance Test and Parameter Optimization of Trichogramma Delivery System
by Shengzheng Ji, Jinliang Gong, Kai Cui, Yanfei Zhang and Kazi Mostafa
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1996; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111996 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
Trichogramma is a small wasp that is a natural enemy of many agricultural pests. Although Trichogramma can be used in sustainable crop production, conventional methods of delivering Trichogramma to fields are expensive and may cause pollution. In this study, the feasibility of using [...] Read more.
Trichogramma is a small wasp that is a natural enemy of many agricultural pests. Although Trichogramma can be used in sustainable crop production, conventional methods of delivering Trichogramma to fields are expensive and may cause pollution. In this study, the feasibility of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for Trichogramma delivery was investigated. A six-rotor plant protection UAV was equipped with a Trichogramma delivery device, and a Box-Behnken experimental design was carried out with the Trichogramma pills as the test material, the launch height, the launch speed and the launch interval as the experimental factors, and the Trichogramma pills’ landing accuracy as the test index. The data were analyzed by ANOVA using the Design-Expert software, and the influence of each experimental factor on the accuracy of the Trichogramma pills bolus landing was explored through response surface analysis. The regression model between the experimental factors and the experimental indicators was established, and the parameters were optimized based on the response surface method, and the optimal combination parameters were obtained. The ANOVA revealed that the launch height A had the greatest effect on the accuracy, followed by launch interval C and launch velocity B. The results demonstrated that the optimal parameter combination of the Trichogramma delivery system is the launch height of 147.95 cm, the launch speed of 3.7745 m/s, and the launch interval of 2.98 s. At this moment, the accuracy of Trichogramma pills’ bolus landing was the highest, with an accuracy of 93.29%. The average relative error between the experimental value and the optimization result was 1.71%, indicating that the Trichogramma delivery system could meet the requirements of delivery. This study provides theoretical references and technical support for verifying the feasibility of the Trichogramma delivery system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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13 pages, 1633 KiB  
Article
A Conditional Privacy Preserving Generalized Ring Signcryption Scheme for Micro Aerial Vehicles
by Insaf Ullah, Muhammad Asghar Khan, Ako Muhammad Abdullah, Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Fazal Noor, Fahad Algarni and Nisreen Innab
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111926 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) are a type of UAV that are both small and fully autonomous, making them ideal for both civilian and military applications. Modern MAVs can hover and navigate while carrying several sensors, operate over long distances, and send data to [...] Read more.
Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) are a type of UAV that are both small and fully autonomous, making them ideal for both civilian and military applications. Modern MAVs can hover and navigate while carrying several sensors, operate over long distances, and send data to a portable base station. Despite their many benefits, MAVs often encounter obstacles due to limitations in the embedded system (such as memory, processing power, energy, etc.). Due to these obstacles and the use of open wireless communication channels, MAVs are vulnerable to a variety of cyber-physical attacks. Consequently, MAVs cannot execute complex cryptographic algorithms due to their limited computing power. In light of these considerations, this article proposes a conditional privacy-preserving generalized ring signcryption scheme for MAVs using an identity-based cryptosystem. Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), with a key size of 160 bits, is used in the proposed scheme. The proposed scheme’s security robustness has been analyzed using the Random Oracle Model (ROM), a formal security evaluation method. The proposed scheme is also compared in terms of computation cost, communication cost and memory overhead against relevant existing schemes. The total computation cost of the proposed scheme is 7.76 ms, which is 8.14%, 5.20%, and 11.40% schemes. The results show that the proposed scheme is both efficient and secure, proving its viability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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14 pages, 2812 KiB  
Article
Efficient and Secure WiFi Signal Booster via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles WiFi Repeater Based on Intelligence Based Localization Swarm and Blockchain
by Gehad Abdullah Amran, Shuang Wang, Mohammed A. A. Al-qaness, Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Rizwan Abbas, Eissa Ghaleb, Samah Alshathri and Mohamed Abd Elaziz
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111924 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3309
Abstract
Recently, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart cities and emerging communities have become the focus of the academic and industrial science community. On this basis, UAVs have been used in many military and [...] Read more.
Recently, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart cities and emerging communities have become the focus of the academic and industrial science community. On this basis, UAVs have been used in many military and commercial systems as emergency transport and air support during natural disasters and epidemics. In such previous scenarios, boosting wireless signals in remote or isolated areas would need a mobile signal booster placed on UAVs, and, at the same time, the data would be secured by a secure decentralized database. This paper contributes to investigating the possibility of using a wireless repeater placed on a UAV as a mobile booster for weak wireless signals in isolated or rural areas in emergency situations and that the transmitted information is protected from external interference and manipulation. The working mechanism is as follows: one of the UAVs detect a human presence in a predetermined area with the thermal camera and then directs the UAVs to the location to enhance the weak signal and protect the transmitted data. The methodology of localization and clusterization of the UAVs is represented by a swarm intelligence localization (SIL) optimization algorithm. At the same time, the information sent by UAV is protected by blockchain technology as a decentralization database. According to realistic studies and analyses of UAVs localization and clusterization, the proposed idea can improve the amplitude of the wireless signals in far regions. In comparison, this database technique is difficult to attack. The research ultimately supports emergency transport networks, blockchain, and IoT services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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12 pages, 1813 KiB  
Article
Monitoring Colonies of Large Gulls Using UAVs: From Individuals to Breeding Pairs
by Alejandro Corregidor-Castro, Marie Riddervold, Thomas Eske Holm and Thomas Bregnballe
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111844 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2735
Abstract
Measuring success or failure in the conservation of seabirds depends on reliable long-term monitoring. Traditionally, this monitoring has been based on line transects and total or point counts, all of which are sensitive to subjective interpretation. Such methods have proven to consistently record [...] Read more.
Measuring success or failure in the conservation of seabirds depends on reliable long-term monitoring. Traditionally, this monitoring has been based on line transects and total or point counts, all of which are sensitive to subjective interpretation. Such methods have proven to consistently record fewer individuals than intensive efforts, while requiring many hours of fieldwork and resulting in high disturbance. New technologies, such as drones, are potentially useful monitoring tools, as they can cover large areas in a short time, while providing high-resolution data about bird numbers and status. This study conducted two types of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveys in a big colony of multispecies breeding gulls. From a 25 m height, we photographed 30 circle plots where nests were also counted on the ground, showing that the number of occupied nests/breeding pairs could be estimated accurately by multiplying the number of counted individuals with a 0.7 conversion factor. A fixed-wing UAV was used to photograph the entire island to compare drone counts with counts conducted by traditional methods, were we counted a higher number of breeding pairs than the traditional count (1.7–2.2 times more individuals). It was concluded that UAVs provided improved estimates of colony size with much reduced monitoring effort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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16 pages, 1417 KiB  
Article
Design and Implementation of a Fully-Actuated Integrated Aerial Platform Based on Geometric Model Predictive Control
by Chuanbeibei Shi and Yushu Yu
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1822; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111822 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Unlike individual unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), integrated aerial platforms (IAPs) containing multiple UAVs do not suffer from underactuation and can move omnidirectionally in six dimensions, providing a basis for constructing aerial manipulation platforms. Compared to single UAVs, multi-UAV IAPs are also advantageous in [...] Read more.
Unlike individual unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), integrated aerial platforms (IAPs) containing multiple UAVs do not suffer from underactuation and can move omnidirectionally in six dimensions, providing a basis for constructing aerial manipulation platforms. Compared to single UAVs, multi-UAV IAPs are also advantageous in terms of payload and fault-tolerance capacity, making them promising candidates as platforms with integrated-response, observation, and strike capabilities. Herein, an IAP structure design containing three sub-UAVs connected in a star-like configuration is presented. This form of integration enables the IAP, as a whole, to simultaneously adjust its position and attitude in six dimensions. The dynamics of the overall system of the IAP are modeled. On this basis, an overall system controller is designed. To simplify control, based on stability of cascaded system, the rotational motion of the sub-UAVs is treated as a inner-loop subsystem, whereas the overall motion of the IAP is seen as a outer-loop subsystem. Because the configuration space of the sub-UAVs is non-Euclidean, a controller is designed for the outer-loop subsystem based on model predictive control on the manifold. Subsequently, the stability of the closed-loop system is demonstrated. Fieldbus technology is employed to design a real-time, scalable communication architecture for multiple sub-UAVs, followed by the development of a principle prototype of the multi-UAV IAP that consists of hardware and software systems. The effectiveness of the IAP design and control method is validated through simulation and real-world prototype-based tests. In the simulation and real-world tests, the proposed methodology can make the IAP system converge to the desired configuration at the presence of large initial configuration error. The same test scenario cannot be finished by a baseline PID controller. The advantage of the proposed control scheme in dealing with state and input constraints is shown via such tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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18 pages, 1803 KiB  
Article
A Privacy-Preserved Internet-of-Medical-Things Scheme for Eradication and Control of Dengue Using UAV
by Amir Ali, Shibli Nisar, Muhammad Asghar Khan, Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Fazal Noor, Hala Mostafa and Mohamed Marey
Micromachines 2022, 13(10), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13101702 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2006
Abstract
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Countries like Pakistan receive heavy rains annually resulting in floods in urban cities due to poor drainage systems. Currently, different cities of Pakistan are [...] Read more.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Countries like Pakistan receive heavy rains annually resulting in floods in urban cities due to poor drainage systems. Currently, different cities of Pakistan are at high risk of dengue outbreaks, as multiple dengue cases have been reported due to poor flood control and drainage systems. After heavy rain in urban areas, mosquitoes are provided with a favorable environment for their breeding and transmission through stagnant water due to poor maintenance of the drainage system. The history of the dengue virus in Pakistan shows that there is a closed relationship between dengue outbreaks and a rainfall. There is no specific treatment for dengue; however, the outbreak can be controlled through internet of medical things (IoMT). In this paper, we propose a novel privacy-preserved IoMT model to control dengue virus outbreaks by tracking dengue virus-infected patients based on bedding location extracted using call data record analysis (CDRA). Once the bedding location of the patient is identified, then the actual infected spot can be easily located by using geographic information system mapping. Once the targeted spots are identified, then it is very easy to eliminate the dengue by spraying the affected areas with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The proposed model identifies the targeted spots up to 100%, based on the bedding location of the patient using CDRA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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Review

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34 pages, 7966 KiB  
Review
Role of Drone Technology Helping in Alleviating the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Qurat ul Ain Zahra, Muhammad Asghar Khan, Mohammed H. Alsharif, Ismail A. Elhaty and Abu Jahid
Micromachines 2022, 13(10), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13101593 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5916
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a new coronavirus, has affected economic and social standards as governments and healthcare regulatory agencies throughout the world expressed worry and explored harsh preventative measures to counteract the disease’s spread and intensity. Several academics and experts are primarily [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a new coronavirus, has affected economic and social standards as governments and healthcare regulatory agencies throughout the world expressed worry and explored harsh preventative measures to counteract the disease’s spread and intensity. Several academics and experts are primarily concerned with halting the continuous spread of the unique virus. Social separation, the closing of borders, the avoidance of big gatherings, contactless transit, and quarantine are important methods. Multiple nations employ autonomous, digital, wireless, and other promising technologies to tackle this coronary pneumonia. This research examines a number of potential technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, deep learning (DL), the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, and virtual reality (VR), in an effort to mitigate the danger of COVID-19. Due to their ability to transport food and medical supplies to a specific location, UAVs are currently being utilized as an innovative method to combat this illness. This research intends to examine the possibilities of UAVs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic from several angles. UAVs offer intriguing options for delivering medical supplies, spraying disinfectants, broadcasting communications, conducting surveillance, inspecting, and screening patients for infection. This article examines the use of drones in healthcare as well as the advantages and disadvantages of strict adoption. Finally, challenges, opportunities, and future work are discussed to assist in adopting drone technology to tackle COVID-19-like diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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30 pages, 4435 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of Micro UAV Charging Techniques
by Syed Agha Hassnain Mohsan, Nawaf Qasem Hamood Othman, Muhammad Asghar Khan, Hussain Amjad and Justyna Żywiołek
Micromachines 2022, 13(6), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13060977 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 6727
Abstract
The groundbreaking Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology has gained significant attention from both academia and industrial experts due to several applications, such as military missions, power lines inspection, precision agriculture, remote sensing, delivery services, traffic monitoring and many more. UAVs are expected to [...] Read more.
The groundbreaking Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology has gained significant attention from both academia and industrial experts due to several applications, such as military missions, power lines inspection, precision agriculture, remote sensing, delivery services, traffic monitoring and many more. UAVs are expected to become a mainstream delivery element by 2040 to address the ever-increasing demand for delivery services. Similarly, UAV-assisted monitoring approaches will automate the inspection process, lowering mission costs, increasing access to remote locations and saving time and energy. Despite the fact that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are gaining popularity in both military and civilian applications, they have a number of limitations and critical problems that must be addressed in order for missions to be effective. One of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks is charging UAVs. UAVs’ mission length and travel distance are constrained by their low battery endurance. There is a need to study multi-UAV charging systems to overcome battery capacity limitations, allowing UAVs to be used for a variety of services while saving time and human resources. Wired and Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems have emerged as viable options to successfully solve this difficulty. In the past, several research surveys have focused on crucial aspects of wireless UAV charging. In this review, we have also examined the most emerging charging techniques for UAVs such as laser power transfer (LPT), distributed laser charging (DLC), simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT) and simultaneous light wave information and power transfer (SLIPT). The classification and types of UAVs, as well as various battery charging methods, are all discussed in this paper. We’ve also addressed a number of difficulties and solutions for safe operation. In the final section, we have briefly discussed future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Air Vehicles)
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