Doctoral students Z. Liu and Y. Chen win silver medal at ACM Student Research Competition

Computer Science Ph.D. students Zhongli Liu and Yinjie Chen won the silver medal at the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) at ACM MobiCom 2011 with their work titled HAWK: An Unmanned Mini Helicopter-based Aerial Wireless Kit for Search, Rescue and Surveillance. Zhongli also won the ACM’s SRC Travel Award of $500. MobiCom is a top academic conference on wireless networks.

HAWK is a small programmable unmanned helicopter (Draganflyer X6) equipped with a wireless sniffer (a Nokia n900 smartphone). It is the first mini autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as an aerial wireless kit for search, rescue and surveillance, based on a mini helicopter, instead of a mini airplane. As a “warflying” tool, HAWK is more flexible than warwalking and wardriving tools in many situations.

HAWK was developed as a generic aerial surveillance tool. The project’s central contributions can be summarized as follows:

  1. The fully-functional HAWK helicopter flies using a simple mechanical dynamics model for Draganflyer X6, with customized PI-Control laws for pitch, roll and yaw maneuvers to control its movement. Waypoint functionality allows the X6 to take a planned route.
  2. A space-filling curve based flight route is used to survey a specific area without the help of any positioning infrastructure. To ensure that all target mobile devices are detected during flight, the minimum Moore curve level that is constrained by flight velocity and target packet transmission interval is derived and used.
  3. Real-world experiments to validate the feasibility of HAWK for localization were conducted. The experimental results match the theoretical analysis very well, and the team was able to achieve a localization accuracy of 5 meters on average.
At the conference, Zhongli Liu and Yinjie Chen first competed in a poster session, which is open to more than 300 conference participants on September 20, 2011 in Las Vegas. Then the ACM SRC committee selected three finalists to compete in a presentation session, in which Zhongli presented HAWK on the same day. At the MobiCom 2011 banquet on September 21, 2011, the winners were then announced.

(L-R) Prof. Benyuan Liu, CS Ph.D. students Xian Pan, Zhongli Liu, Yinjie Chen and Junwei Huang, and Prof. Xinwen Fu. Zhongli and Yinjie are holding their silver medal. Xian and Junwei helped them prepare the talk at the conference and manage the equipment shipped for demo. The adviser of these four students is Dr. Xinwen Fu. On far left: Prof. Benyuan Liu, a collaborator on the the project.

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This page contains a single entry by Martin, Fred published on September 22, 2011 2:07 PM.

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