Cyber-Physical Systems Enabled by Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Based Personal Remote Sensing

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

2011 Symposium on Emerging Topics in Control and Modeling Cyber-Physical Systems


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Urbana-Champaign, IL

Publication Date



Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are tightly coupled systems of hardware and software providing large-scale, closed-loop control or management of high-level, complex dynamical systems. Effective cyber-physical systems require data for operation. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including small UAS (SUAS), can acquire unique data about physical processes, allowing a CPS to efficiently accomplish real-time monitoring, management, or control and actuation tasks. In this chapter, several examples of SUAS sensing-enabled CPS scenarios are presented, enabling adaptive management and effective control of complex physical systems such as water distribution based on measurement of soil moisture and crop evapotranspiration, radio tag-based tracking of fish, alternative energy harvesting, mapping of invasive plant species, and airborne plume (pollution) tracking. This chapter serves as a motivator for potential wide-spreading UAS applications where UAS are used as mobile sensors and/or mobile actuators in large-scale, closed-loop CPS.

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