Multipurpose UAV for search and rescue operations in mountain avalanche events

Mario Silvagni, Andrea Tonoli, Enrico Zenerino, Marcello Chiaberge
2016 Geomatics, Natural Hazards & Risk  
This paper presents a multipurpose UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) for mountain rescue operations. The multi-rotors based flying platform and its embedded avionics are designed to meet environmental requirements for mountainous terrain such as low temperatures, high altitude and strong winds, assuring the capability of carrying different payloads (separately or together) such as: avalanche beacon (ARTVA) with automatic signal recognition and path following algorithms for the rapid location of
more » ... covered body; camera (visible and thermal) for search and rescue of missing persons on snow and in woods during the day or night; payload deployment to drop emergency kits or specific explosive cartridge for controlled avalanche detachment. The resulting small (less than 5 kg) UAV is capable of full autonomous flight (including take-off and landing) of a pre-programmed, or easily configurable, custom mission. Furthermore, the autopilot manages the sensors measurements (i.e. beacons or cameras) to update the flying mission automatically in flight. Specific functionalities such as terrain following were developed and implemented. Ground station programming of the UAV is not needed, except compulsory monitoring, as the rescue mission can be accomplished in a full automatic mode.
doi:10.1080/19475705.2016.1238852 fatcat:7nn32uce3vfqlczhmjnfsubdvm