Optimal Path Planning for Drone Inspections of Linear Infrastructures

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Abstract

Autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights represent a huge opportunity in the drone industrydue to their ability to monitor larger areas. Autonomous navigation and path planning are essential capabilities for BVLOS flights. In this paper, we introduce the routing component of a path planning system forinspecting linear infrastructures. We explore both a direct algorithm and a transformation algorithm. Thedirect algorithm is an extension of A* to allow limited routing through air as well as the use of non-logicintersections. The transformation algorithm pre-computes a graph that include edges for routing through airand nodes for non-logic intersections. We implemented both algorithms for routing along a particular type oflinear infrastructure, power lines, and validated them through an empirical evaluation at three different scales:the Danish power grid, the French power grid, and the entire European power grid. The test results show thatthe transformation algorithm allows for sub-second routing performance for a small-to-medium sized powergrid. Larger power grids can be routed in less than five seconds, and even an optimal route of more than sixthousand kilometers along linear infrastructures from Portugal to Sweden via Russia is found in less than halfa minute. All algorithms have been implemented and are available as an open-source Python package forLinear-infrastructure Mission Control (LiMiC).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date9. May 2020
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 9. May 2020
Event6th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems, Applications and Management -
Duration: 7. May 20209. May 2020
http://www.gistam.org/

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems, Applications and Management
Period07/05/202009/05/2020
Internet address

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Keywords

  • Path planning, routing, A* algorithm, Drone inspection

Cite this

Mehrooz, G., & Schneider-Kamp, P. (2020). Optimal Path Planning for Drone Inspections of Linear Infrastructures. Paper presented at 6th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems, Applications and Management, .