Opportunistic Data Collection Using Drones is a master's thesis which consists of developing an easy-to-use system with the primary purpose of collecting opportunistic data using an autonomous drone focusing on the use case of precision agriculture. The collected data is stored and acquired by probes spread across an agricultural field. They are equipped with measurement sensors like temperature, pressure, and relative humidity sensors.
For the data transmission between the equipment, extensive communication infrastructure, or a paid data transfer service are often used. To reduce costs and not need to install infrastructure, this system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit data between devices.
Based on the geographical location of the probes, a flight plan is created for the drone, taking into account the path that increases efficiency. With this flight plan, the drone navigates to the geographic point where the first probe is located and adjusts its altitude and position, based on the probe's signal strength, and remains overflying that location until the data transfer between the devices is complete. When the transfer is complete, the drone continues its route by navigating to the next desired point. At the end of the collection of all the data present on the probes, the drone returns to the place of departure. As soon as the drone completes its flight plan, all data stored in the drone is transferred to a computer where the collected data is presented to the end user, allowing more comfortable and more intuitive analysis.
Author: Vasco Carneiro
Type: MSc thesis
Partner: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto