Low-altitude observation and volumetric air sampling will significantly improve the information gained over current environmental monitoring techniques. This project seeks to develop an autonomous airship that can remain aloft to collect enviromental data with high spatial and temporal resolution for through characterization a region. This project has investigated the used of solar energy as a power source for extended duration airship operation, developed a dynamic airship model, studied problems of control and path-planning for the airship (and other underactuated systems), and configured a 30-foot remote controlled airship for collection of environmental data. Initial airship test flights were conducted during the summer of 2001. This research is supported by the NSF under grant ECS-0086931.
For information contact:
Dr. George Kantor, or
Dr. Sanjiv Singh, or
Dr. David Wettergreen,
This work is in collaboration with Dr. Jim Ostrowski of the GRASP Lab and the STWing Blimp Team at the University of Pennsylvania.
This project is a participant in the NSF Research Experience for Teachers program for the summer of 2001 and the 2001-2002 academic year. This program has allowed us to work with robotics teacher Mr. Joe Abraham and his students at Taylor Alderdice High School here in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Abraham participated in the configuration of the 30 foot outdoor airship used in flight experiments during the summer of 2001. During the academic year, he and his students are developing an 8 foot robotic blimp for indoor use.