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Tecnología de drones y métodos para la detección, localización y obtención imágenes de objetos enterrados y caracterización de la composición del suelo

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOES20160627001
Publicado:
04/07/2016
Caducidad:
04/07/2017
Resumen:
Dos equipos de investigación españoles han patentado un sistema que utiliza una unidad radar a bordo de uno o más drones y emite y recibe señales radar, y los elementos y estrategias para capturar y procesar la información e imágenes obtenidas de objetos enterrados, como explosivos, minas o restos arqueológicos. El sistema también está indicado para determinar la composición del suelo. Se buscan empresas en los sectores de arqueología, agricultura, minería y construcción con el fin de desarrollar aplicaciones mediante acuerdos de licencia.

Details

Tittle:
Drone technology and methods for detecting, locating and getting images of buried objects and for characterizing soil composition
Summary:
Two Spanish research groups have patented a system that uses a radar unit aboard one or more drones, that emits and receives radar signals, and the elements and strategies to get and process the information and images obtained of buried objects, such as explosives, mines or archaeological remains. The system is also suitable for determining soil composition. Companies in sectors such as archaeology, agriculture, mining and construction are sought to develop applications under license agreements.
Description:
Detecting hidden objects using non-invasive techniques is of great interest in many activities. These techniques allow detecting, locating and obtaining an image of the object without interacting with the object itself or its surroundings, thus saving time and resources as it is not necessary blind excavations in the area of interest to find the objects. They also ensure that, in the case of objects of a certain value, they do not suffer damage from the excavation. There are also scenarios in which surface inspection for detecting potentially hazardous objects hidden under them, such as weapons or explosives, is necessary. Under these conditions, the detection and identification must be carried out in safety to ensure the integrity of both the detection equipment and the operators.

Current systems have a number of drawbacks such as a high rate alarm (due to the large number of buried metallic objects that may be in a scenario); poor accuracy, poor resolution or low sensitivity of the systems; great complexity; high scan time or slowness to carry out the inspection process; or high operating and technology costs.

Researchers from two research groups from two Spanish universities have applied for a patent that describes two systems and their embodiments, a method for using the system to detect, locate and get images of buried objects and a method for determining the composition of soils using the system.

The main difference between the two patented systems is the use of one single emitting and receiving drone, or the use of two separated drones, one for emitting signals and the other for receiving them. In both cases there is also a terrain station for controlling the flight parameters (altitude, automated or handled flight path, etc.), for processing the radar signals and for showing in real time the processed information (images, location coordinates of buried objects, soil composition...) in real time.

The terrain station also comprises a drone position and guiding system based in GPS, real time Kinematik (RTK), inertial navigation (INS) and photogrammetry, which provides a very accurate drone three-dimensional position.

Signals proceeding from the drone/s are processed by at least a SAR processing algorithm combined with an algorithm for eliminating clutter.

The system with two drones also has communication means and protocols for coordinating the operation of both.

The researchers would like to reach license agreements with industrial partners in those sectors in which it is necessary to get and process information and images obtained of buried objects, such as explosives or archaeological remains; and also in mines, voids or cavities detection or pipeline inspection. The aim of the collaborations would be to develop applications of the described technology.
Advantages and Innovations:
- Drones are used to detect buried objects through innovative techniques in the field of signal processing.
- It can simultaneously characterize the subsurface composition and detect elements buried in it.
- It gets a clear picture of the subsoil and elements buried in it, thanks to the use of a SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) processing algorithm combined with an algorithm for eliminating clutter and an algorithm for correcting the focus of the radar image due to possible fluctuations of the drones.
- It emits and/or captures radar signals establishing its position at different heights relative to the ground. Thus, it has greater diversity of spatial information, as it gets a greater amount of three-dimensional subsurface images taken at different positions.
- The method for characterizing the subsurface composition works with any GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) system and it is not necessary to recalibrate the method, since the processing algorithm is independent of the system.
- The method for characterizing the composition of the subsoil is simple and fast to implement, and avoids both the use of electromagnetic models characterizing the subsurface and the use of minimization or inverse electromagnetic techniques, which would increase the computational complexity of the system.
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: Industry.

Specific area of activity of the partner: Companies in those sectors in which it is necessary to get and process information and images obtained of buried objects, such as explosives or archaeological remains; and also in mines, voids or cavities detection or pipeline inspection.

Task to be performed: Applications of the described invention.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
No
Languages Spoken:
English
Spanish

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
02011001 Aeronautical technology / Avionics
01003012 Imaging, Image Processing, Pattern Recognition
09001008 Otros ensayos no destructivos
01006006 Radar
10002010 Tecnología de sensores remotos