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Smart multi drone inspection system for critical energy Infrastructures

The overall goal of the AUTOPSY project is the design and development of an innovative robotic system applied for critical energy infrastructure inspection, in order to identify and prevent failures at the external infrastructures of power plant network of Public Power Corporation (PPC). Specific aims of the project are:

  • To develop smart concerted and synergistic Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles, UAVs (i.e. drones) for autonomous supervision of large-scale power infrastructures and installations.
  • To equip the “swarm” of UAV with an advanced system for perception, manipulation and modeling of the surveillance area. A multi-sensor system for environment perception will be implemented and integrated into each UAV, consisting of color and thermal cameras and 360° Lidar sensors.
  • To develop machine learning techniques, which will allow wide range damage identification caused from different points of external spaces.
  • To integrate autonomous and collaborative navigation techniques into each UAV in order to maximize flight duration and ensure maximum possible surveillance coverage of the examined area.
  • To develop a decision-making system for fault prediction and for prompt updating of the maintenance team via cyber-secure user interfaces.

The successful implementation of this research project is expected to create high potential for economic exploitation of the results, by assuring and improving the regular operation of critical infrastructures and successively by contributing to the efficiency of business-consumers regarding power electricity. The increased ability to prevent disasters or faults due to infrastructure failures, provided by the proposed system, offers the possibility of minimizing potential risks both for human and for the environment. The application domain of critical infrastructures is very broad and includes electric power plants, transmission lines, cooling towers, dams, or even lignite mines.

The role of TWI Hellas is the development of the swarm coordination and navigation algorithms for optimal coverage of the area under inspection, the development of autopilot techniques and algorithms for docking on the charging station, and the adaptation and integration of the UAV system with the multimodal sensor system.

Partners: Centre for Research and Technology Hellas - Information Technologies Institute (CERTH / ITI), Testing Research & Standards Center - Public Power Corporation S.A. (TRSC / PPC)


AUTOPSY is co-funded by the Operational Programme for Competitiveness Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Greece (EPAnEK 2014 – 2020).