Collaboration Between Unmanned Aerial and Underwater Vehicles

  • Room: XPO Hall- Booth 1635
Wednesday, May 10, 2017: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM


Subodh Bhandari
Aerospace Engineering Dept., Cal Poly Pomona


This paper talks about the work being done at Cal Poly Pomona on the collaborative use of unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles. The goal is to increase the autonomy of unmanned vehicles so that they can share the information for various missions, reducing the human involvement and cost of operation. Such collaboration can be used for applications such as search and rescue missions, surveillance, detection of oil spill, border protection, marine research, without exposing human operators to dangerous environment (s). Another application is that the UAV can act as a communication relay for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used is an off-the-shelf multicopter, which is equipped with an autopilot for autonomous waypoint navigation, a camera for identification of objects on the water, and communication payload for communication with the UUV. A custom designed and built UUV was used for the project. The paper describes the sensor suite used on the UUV that includes sonars for obstacle avoidance, camera for object recognition, and inertial sensors. The paper also describes and presents the design of the communication system between the UAV and UUV, experiment design, experimental results, and issues encountered.

Who Should Attend

Industry, academia, and Government agencies working on or interested in the unmanned aerial systems, unmanned underwater vehicles, multi-vehicle collaboration and coordination, autonomous systems, communication systems, increased autonomy, and graduate and undergraduate students.