Project AURORA : Development of an Autonomous Unmanned Remote Monitoring Robotic Airship

Alberto ElfesSamuel S. BuenoMarcel BergermanJosué Jr. G. RamosSérgio Bittencourt Varella Gomes

There exists an immense potential for the utilization of robotic airships as low speed, low altitude aerial vehicles in exploration, monitoring, and transportation tasks. This article discusses Project AURORA - Autonomous Unmanned Remote mOnitoring Robotic Airship which focuses on the development of the control, navigation, sensing, and inference technologies required for substantially autonomous robotic airships. Our target application areas include the use of robotic airships for environmental, biodiversity, and climate research and monitoring. Based on typical mission requirements, we present arguments that favor airships over airplanes and helicopters as the ideal platforms for such missions. We outline the overall system architecture of the AURORA robotic airship, discuss its main subsystems, and mention the research and development issues involved.

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