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MAE researchers use autonomous aerial vehicles as sensor platforms


CNN recently visited the UF campus and spoke with Prof. Kamran Mohseni about development of aerial and underwater hurricane drones, while Prof. Peter Ifju’s UAVs buzzed around in the background. Dr. Mohseni envisions using autonomous vehicles, or drones, as sensor platforms to create a new way of collecting hurricane data. Instead of piloting one large aircraft through a storm, the use of an increased number of inexpensive sensors - using an aggregate method of data collection - in the air and under water can paint a much more accurate and detailed picture of where and how hard a storm will hit. MAE faculty members Prof’s Peter Ifju, Rick Lind and Rafi Haftka are also involved with unmanned aerial vehicles, including applications for remote sensing such as wildlife management and precision agriculture.  Prof. Ifju works closely with the UF Institute for Food and Agricultural Science on a number of cooperative projects involving unmanned aircraft.  In 2000, Discovery magazine recognized Dr. Ifju with a Top Ten Technology Innovation Award for Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) development.