Miniaturized unmanned flying robots, also referred to as MUAV (Miniature Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) open up completely new fields of innovative applications in the areas of civil security as well as cellular networks, surveying, entertainment and media. The AVIGLE project bases on the vision of a novel, widely applicable avionic service platform which supports different high-tech services by using open interfaces.
The aim of AVIGLE with respect to the flying platform is the development of a swarm of partly autonomous, interconnected flying robots which can address the specific tasks by using innovative team strategies. The flying robots must be able to carry heavy payloads for a long duration even under difficult climatic conditions. Therefore different optimized energy supplies are investigated for the project as well as aerodynamically optimized designs and the use of novel carbon fiber materials. For the coordinated movement of the flying robots (transmission) field strength – oder- radio sensitive dynamic team strategies as well as novel network planning algorithms are necessary to allow for real time signaling of the collected data. For team strategies bio-inspired interconnection strategies and control mechanisms of innovative swarming intelligence concepts are investigated. The acquisition of 3D aerial pictures is achieved by novel miniaturized cameras, which are developed during the project. The devices applied in this context are so called scannerless Time-of-Flight 3D cameras which are based on the “Flash”-principle and therefore do not need expensive high-precision mechanics for capturing 3D pictures from different perspectives. The generated pictures are disseminated using web- and internet technologies.
For the ad-hoc on demand cellular network provisioning highly integrated 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) base stations are developed. For the compensation of temporary bottlenecks in cellular networks AVIGLE flying robots are autonomously positioning themselves above a significant Point of Event (PoE) in a way that allows for a complete cellular coverage with sufficient traffic capacity at the ground.
Until now it is common practice for media broadcasting companies to use helicopters for taking pictures and videos from different perspectives of major events (e.g. open air concerts, soccer matches). Afterwards this footage is post-processed for 3D-virtualizations. This technology for instance was used during the soccer world championship 2006. Furthermore aerial images are often used to compose 3D virtualizations which are used in the fields of civil protection, entertainment and architecture as well as construction site surveillance. The costs for such a helicopter or plane operation and the subsequent offline-processing of the footage are considerable and the process is not efficient. Additionally there are different approaches for 3D-modelling in the area of web-engineering (web3D) which address the entertainment market.
Besides the 3D visualization aspect AVIGLE also focuses on avionic cellular network coverage. Currently large events as mentioned above are a great challenge for mobile network providers. The networks are often not designed to handle the extra capacity demands. To prevent the network from collapsing sometimes mobile base stations are installed to support the network infrastructure. This approach however does not always lead to satisfactory results, especially during demonstrations were people are changing locations.
The aim of AVIGLE is to overcome the existing technical and economical challenges in both of these applications.