Drones: An open access journal led by the TIDOP Research Group

The TIDOP Research Group at the Higher Polytechnic School of Avila (University of Salamanca) will lead Drones, a new open access journal belonging to the prestigious editorial MDPI. 

During its public presentation, the vice rector Mr. Juan Manuel Corchado highlighted the compromise of the university regarding dissemination and scientific publication activities. He defined this initiative as “stimulating and distinguished” expressing an important recognition for the TIDOP Research Group.

Drones journal, as Diego González Aguilera (head of the TIDOP Research Group and director of the Department of Cartographic and Land Engineering) exposed, arose in order to enhance the intensive scientific activity carried out by the research group. Its large number of high impact scientific publications and patents developed during the last years demonstrates the great potential of TIDOP.  Another important aspect highlighted by Diego was the singularity of the journal because, so far, there is no specialized drones journals in the International Scientific Community.

In this journal we will find rigourous peer reviewed articles focused on desing and application of drones to different fields such as for example agriculture, architecture or security. Including different aerial platfroms: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) among others.

 

Take a look¡¡ at this journal¡¡…drones-logodrones_flyer

Photogrammetry: an useful tool for the investigation of traffic crashes

Research activity is a keystone in the Higher Polytechnic of Avila (University of Salamanca).

Result of their work, initiatives such as TCUE (knowledge transference between University and company) find a wide range of proposals from this part. In one of them, professors Diego González-Aguilera and Angel Luis Muñoz Nieto, and the Post-Doctoral researcher Pablo Rodriguez Gonzálvez, have built a software able to reconstruct in 3 dimensions and with metric properties the road accidents. Requiring only the use of conventional digital images, captured following a simple protocol (a general model of the scene and a detail model of the crash).

This project, built on the cloud, allows the reconstruction of road accidents in urban areas. Requiring only the acquisition of images with common devices such as smartphones or digital cameras. Said images are later upload to the cloud, where they are processed and turned on to a 3D model with metric properties.

This method can take part of the rigorous documentation required for the analysis of road accidents. Allowing the evaluation of evidences, without disturbing in any case the elements of the scene. Being especially important when there are victims involved in the accident.

Entities such as the USAL Science Institute of Security has focused on this project, on which the local police and the University are working together. Said collaboration allow not only the continuity of the project but also results of great importance. Taking into account that, at least in the urban area of Salamanca, 800 of accidents need to be evaluated by the local police.

This project have yet a large path of improvement, being possible not only to use with local police scenarios but also with scenarios on which the Civil Guard requires an objective and metric reconstruction of the scene. Also this tool will include energy equations allowing the automatic evaluation of certain parameters that nowadays are done manually.

To read the full new, please consult:Diary of Avila new

Science Week in the Higher Polytecnic School of Avila

¿Which are the roles of Geomatic engineers? ¿What is a Research Group? ¿Which type of works are carried out in a Research Group?. These questions are part of the wide range of queries done by our young students. Questions replied during the Science Week, here in the Higher Polytecnic of Avila, through conferences, practices and meetings carried out by the Polytechnic´s profesors and researchers. 

 

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For the second year, and during the last week (days 14 and 17 of November), took place in the Higher Polytecnic School of Avila the Science Week. This week included a total of 20 proposals (placing as the most active school in the Castilla y Leon region). Activities where the students saw the process carried out during the preparation of biodiesel, mathematical approaches used in crime scenes, the function of the drones in the inspections or buildings or cities or how we can recreate in 3D objects using only a smartphone.

 

The latter two activities are part of a wide range of events (such as Terrestrial Laser Scanners, Virtual Reality, etc.) developed by the Research Group TIDOP. Said events are focused in part of showing students the possibilities that can offer the engineerings of the School. Members of the Research Group TIDOP shown the engineering behind the 3D models, drones or Virtual Reality systems.

A total of 300 students participated in the events, from different high schools. For more details about the activities carried out during the Science Week in Avila please consult:

Science week in the media

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A PhD dissertation from the University of Salamanca (Spain) seeks to improve agroforestry productivity.

Can the productivity be improved at agroforestry field by low-cost and non-invasive techniques and securing a sustainable development? Yes, it can. It has  been demonstrated by Monica Herrero Huerta, PhD from the Polytechnic University of Avila (Spain), who opted for photogrammetric techniques to develop a work which earned Cum Laude “for its innovative challenge, properly raised under a clearly scientific vision” and with collaborations between Tidop group from the University of Salamanca (Spain), the Institute of Regional Development from Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) and the Remote Sensing Laboratory from the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands), where currently Herrero develops her work as a researcher.

 “The discussed issues were focused on the progress of the crop quality, the prediction of the yield, data integration to advance in forest  monitoring and the extraction of biological parameters of the vegetation in real time “, the doctor says.

As she recognized, “since the last decade of the twentieth century, research lines on the applicability of Geotechnology to Agroforestry Engineering have been developed, in order to optimize the agroforestry, environmental and economic management”. In this case, these research lines were focused on photogrammetry, a technique well-known in Avila campus and, according to the doctor, numerous information is available concerning to field monitoring, helping in decision making and traceability needs and represent an improvement in the intrinsic quality of the agricultural and forestry obtained products.

Within the various methodologies used, Herrero emphasizes in the multispectral aerial photogrammetry to agronomic analysis, “low-cost and close range by paramotor over large areas of crops” and she could develop on an experimental farm in Albacete (Spain).

As it regards terrestrial photogrammetry to estimate the agricultural production, she also talks about a methodology “low cost and close range by reflex and compact cameras”. In this case, the experiment was carried out in a vineyard of Logroño (Spain) in which thanks to this technology, different production variables associated to each cluster were estimated. Ideal, for example, to plan the harvest.

Moreover, the thesis had its space for aerial photogrammetry for forest management, “low-cost and close range photogrammetry by paramotor over large extensions of forest applied to forestry inventory”. She could develop this study in Albacete (Spain), over a Pinus nigra area.

And finally, the work also analysed Mobile LiDAR data, for direct applications in the urban tree inventory in real time.  This study considers the automated extraction in a large scale of tree parameters through a system laser  mobile mapping” she explains.

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Original article: PhD dissertation in agronomy

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Análisis termográfico de edificios

 

El uso de la termografía infrarroja comMapaEnergeticoo técnica sobradamente provada para la inspección de edificios y localización de patologías como fugas de aire, humedades, etc. Nos permite realizar un examen visual “in-situ” de calidad de los objetos de estudio gracias a la posibilidad de visualizar en tiempo real los resultados pudiendo detectar sin dificultad los desperfectos o elementos característicos de estos. Estas técnicas de medición cualitativa nos proporcionan la posibilidad de realizar inspecciones rápidas y eficaces sin contacto directo con el objeto y de forma no destructiva, lo que disminuye tanto el riesgo de incidentes para los operarios como los daños producidos en los propios objetos de estudio ocasionados por otras técnicas intrusivas. Además, también se ha demostrado la utilidad de la termografía infrarroja como técnica puramente de medida a través de su utilización para el cálculo de propiedades termofísicas de materiales tales como difusividad y transmitancia térmica.

En el caso de termografía cualitativa, las publicaciones existentes tratan de estudios realizados in-situ, principalmente en edificios históricos o elementos del patrimonio cultural, mientras que los estudios cualitativos se realizan, en la mayor parte de los casos, en laboratorios sobre muestras de tamaño limitado. En aquellos casos en los que se han realizado estudios termográficos cuantitativos sobre edificios in-situ, los valores de temperatura son empleados con el objetivo de obtener propiedades termofísicas (conductancia térmica) reales del cerramiento, sin embargo su distribución espacial no es considerada.

Conjugar ambas aplicaciones permitirá la automatización del cálculo de pérdidas de calor a partir de las temperaturas medidas con una cámara termográfica. De este modo, no solo se usa la termografía para representar el estado de la pared, sino que también se usan los valores de temperatura contenidos en la termografía para la extracción de parámetros métricos del edificio en estudio, por lo que la hibridación de la información termográfica con el material cartográfico de precisión permitiría extraer la geometría real del objeto de estudio con textura termográfica, pudiendo así realizar mediciones precisas de los elementos de interés directamente sobre el resultado obtenido.

 

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Estudios como el publicado por EuroACE en 2010 colocan la mejora de la eficiencia energética en edificación en cabeza de las acciones necesarias para la reducción de emisiones de gases del efecto invernadero y gasto energético, así como para servir de empuje a la generación de empleo. Especial es el caso del parque de edificios ya construidos, la mayoría procedente de los años 1940-80, con normativa inexistente y recursos escasos. En ellos las obras de rehabilitación energética pueden suponer un ahorro de hasta el 75% en consumo de energía. En España existen 13 millones de viviendas susceptibles de intervención, cuya rehabilitación energética supondría una reducción de las emisiones del sector del 34% con respecto al año 2001.

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Building thermographic analysis

 

 

The use of infraMapaEnergeticored thermography as a widely tested technique for building inspection and location of pathologies such as air leakage and moisture allows the performance of  quality “in-situ” visual examination of the objects under study due to the possibility of obtaining real-time results, being able to detect without difficulty damages or material characteristics. This qualitative measurement technique provides the capability of doing quick, effective and non-destructive inspection without direct contact with the object under study, decreasing the risk of incidents to operators and the damage of the objects comparing with other intrusive techniques. Furthermore, the utility of infrared thermography as a measurement technique has been proved by its use for the determination of the thermophysical properties of materials such as diffusivity and thermal transmittance.

In the qualitative approach, some authors have performed in-situ studies, mainly in historical buildings or cultural heritage elements, whereas quantitative studies are performed mainly in laboratories with limited size samples. In those cases where quantitative thermography studies were performed in-situ, temperature values were employed in order to obtain the real thermophysical properties (thermal conductance) of the building envelope, but their spatial distribution is not considered.

Combine both applications will enable the automation of the heat loss computation from the measured temperatures with a thermographic camera. Thus, the thermography is not only used to represent the state of the wall, but also temperature values represented on the thermography for extracting the metric parameters of the study object so the hybridization of the thermographic information with precise cartographic material would  allow to extract the actual geometry of the object of study with thermal texture, being able to make accurate measurements of the elements of interest directly on the obtained results.

 

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Studies such as the one published by EuroACE in 2010, places improved energy efficiency in building construction at the top of the list of actions that need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs, in addition to acting as a stimulus to generate employment. In particular is the case of existing buildings stock, most of which dates back to the period 1940-80, constructed using non-existent standards and scarce resources. Here, energy refurbishment works could represent a saving of up to 75% in energy consumption. In Spain there are 13 million homes that could be the subject of intervention, where energy refurbishment could result in a reduction in sector emissions of 34% compared to 2001.

 

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Mobile Laser System (MLS) applied to urban tree inventory

In urbanized Western Europe trees are considered an important component of the built-up environment. This also means that there is an increasing demand for tree inventories. Laser mobile mapping systems provide an efficient and accurate way to sample the 3D road surrounding including notable roadside trees. In this research line, a processing chain aiming at the extraction of tree locations and tree sizes from laser mobile mapping data is reached.

  • Vegetation extraction

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  • Tree parameter extraction

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Such steps, in combination with code optimization are expected to be sufficient to reach the final goal of automatized estimation of features sampled by mobile mapping at a rate that matches the acquisition speed and at a quality that matches the result of a human operator.

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