Automated battery hot swap system that integrates unmanned aerial vehicles with the autonomous surface vehicle SeaML:SeaLion in port environment

Vincent E. Schneider, Ching Nok Au, Akif Budak, Johannes Oeffner, James Riordan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

The applications of heavy-duty Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are as manifold as well-developed spanning from first response in emergencies to wildlife observations and inspection of infrastructure. The latter aspect is the focus of this work, allowing the time-intensive inspection of port-infrastructure to be done by means of UAV operating from an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) to increase mission range. To allow for continuously inspecting while additionally extending the mission duration, a Battery Hot Swap (BHS) station has been developed and the initial design and lab-tests validated. While previous works presented design criteria, development of the initial system as well as buoyancy testing on the ASV– this study presents the results of real-world testing within a port environment as well as the design improvements implemented. For the first time the system is installed on the custom-developed ASV ‘SeaML:SeaLion’ while being powered by the ships’ batteries and controlled remotely, therefore proving the capability of performing a complete hot swap without human intervention. The swapping routine could be successfully demonstrated and from landing to take off was completed within less than 3 minutes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOCEANS 2023 - Limerick
PublisherIEEE
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9798350332261
ISBN (Print)9798350332278
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • battery hot swap
  • infrastructure inspection
  • UAV
  • ASV
  • autonomous landing
  • flight time extension

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