The Concept of Unmanned Systems Technologies


Unmanned systems use special technologies and strategies to determine motion parameters, recognize the surrounding space, and interact with it. Using these data, the system finds out its speed, coordinates, and distance to objects (Kyrkou, Timotheou, Kolios, Theocharides, & Panayiotou, 2019). Moreover, as a rule, a-priori information – a mathematical model of movement and a high-resolution map – is available to the system. Thus, the unmanned system receives feedback, which allows it to interact with the surrounding space with minimal errors. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a new maneuvering technique developed for unmanned aerial vehicles.

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Majeed and Lee (2019) have developed a new practical and effective algorithm for unmanned systems for navigating in the urban environment. In particular, the core of their approach lies in the planning of coverage flight paths using “footprints’ sweeps fitting and a sparse waypoint graph” (Majeed & Lee, 2019, p. 14). The technique is applicable to three-dimensional urban settings with fixed barriers. The authors suggested an interesting approach in which the realized trajectory becomes a sequence of segments in which the angle of deviation between any adjacent segments of the sequence does not exceed some fixed value. It is assumed that compliance with this condition guarantees the feasibility of the resulting trajectory, i.e., the ability to generate valid control signals to follow it.

The strategy is feasible for vehicles flying at low altitudes. The research team considers that the new technology minimizes computational time, helps in determining the minimum length path, and ensures the vehicle makes fewer turns. Researchers state that they have devised a new footprints’ sweeps fitting method. It implies “considering the sensor footprint as a coverage unit that guarantees complete coverage of the area of interest with fewer and longer sensor footprints’ sweeps” (Majeed & Lee, 2019, p. 14). Interestingly, the proposed algorithm can be easily modified to take into account different constraints. The development and implementation of this technology will increase the reliability of the aerial vehicle (which is the sum of the reliability of all its components).

Operational Environment and Weaknesses

The new maneuvering technique has been tested in a three-dimensional urban environment. It can be used on territories with varying degrees of obstacle density and on a regular-shaped area of interest. Importantly, the research team states that their technology can be used both indoors and outdoors; however, data on indoor performance is required. This technology may be particularly useful as applied to preventing falls via an unmanned system since falls occur in various settings (Ullah et al., 2019).

The investigators did not provide any information in regard to other parameters of the environment, such as temperature regimes, humidity, lighting, and so on (Adkins, 2019). Despite the potential of the proposed solution, in this approach, the team does not take into account restrictions on the dynamics of flight. Also, they do not consider restrictions on the maximum deflection angle (Oliveira, Tommaselli, & Honkavaara, 2019).

The proposed method can be used to solve the problem of constructing a flight path in urban conditions. However, not every task posed may have a solution given the limitations; in some cases, significant computing resources may be required.


Thus, it can be concluded that one of the main functions of an unmanned system is navigation in an indefinite space. Aerial systems benefit greatly from the emergence of new reliable maneuvering techniques. The novel technology discussed in this research essay is being developed to simplify the navigation algorithms for aerial vehicles flying at low altitudes. This method optimizes and expands the current capabilities of unmanned systems.

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Adkins, K. A. (2019). Urban flow and small unmanned aerial system operations in the built environment. International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace, 6(1), 1-21.

Kyrkou, C., Timotheou, S., Kolios, P., Theocharides, T., & Panayiotou, C. (2019). Drones: Augmenting our quality of life. IEEE Potentials, 38(1), 30-36.

Majeed, A., & Lee, S. (2019). A new coverage flight path planning algorithm based on footprint sweep fitting for unmanned aerial vehicle navigation in urban environments. Applied Sciences, 9(7), 1-17.

Oliveira, R. A., Tommaselli, A. M., & Honkavaara, E. (2019). Generating a hyperspectral digital surface model using a hyperspectral 2D frame camera. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 147, 345-360.

Ullah, S., Kim, K. I., Kim, K. H., Imran, M., Khan, P., Tovar, E., & Ali, F. (2019). UAV-enabled healthcare architecture: Issues and challenges. Future Generation Computer Systems, 97, 425-432.

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StudyCorgi. "The Concept of Unmanned Systems Technologies." June 24, 2021.


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