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Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Unmanned vehicles for environmental data collection

  • J. Borges de Sousa
  • G. Andrade Gonçalves
Original Paper

Abstract

Unmanned vehicles have already proved invaluable in environmental field studies by providing levels of spatial–temporal sampling resolution which could have not been attained before. Recent trends show that the levels of spatial–temporal sampling resolutions attained with individual vehicles are feasible for wide areas through the operation of persistent vehicle networks. The possibility of persistent sampling over wide areas has the potential to revolutionize environmental field studies. The roles of unmanned vehicle systems in future environmental field studies are discussed in the light of the recent technological developments and trends, along with the major challenges associated to this vision. The discussion is illustrated with examples of developments from the Underwater Systems and Technologies Laboratory from Porto University, Portugal.

Keywords

Environmental data collection Autonomous vehicles Network vehicle systems 

Abbreviations

ASV

Autonomous surface vehicle

AUV

Autonomous underwater vehicle

COTS

Commercial off-the-shelf

CTD

Conductivity, temperature and depth

DTN

Delay tolerant network

GPS

Global positioning system

GSM

Global system for mobile communications

JAUS

Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems

IMU

Inertial motion unit

ROV

Remotely operated vehicle

RPV

Remotely piloted vehicle

UAV

Unmanned air vehicle

UUV

Unmanned underwater vehicle

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research leading to this article has received funding from the Fundação para a Ciência and Tecnologia under grant agreement no. PTDCIEEA-ACR17524212006 and from INTERREG III B “ATLANTIC AREA” under the Maritime Incident Research and Innovation Network (Marine) project.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Engenharia Electrotécnica e ComputadoresFaculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Engenharia InformáticaFaculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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