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Rovira-Mas F.,Universidad Politecnica de Ingenieria
Robotics and Autonomous Systems | Year: 2012

The presence of automation and information technology in agricultural environments seems no longer questionable; smart spraying, variable rate fertilizing, or automatic guidance are becoming usual management tools in modern farms. Yet, such techniques are still in their nascence and offer a lively hotbed for innovation. In particular, significant research efforts are being directed toward vehicle navigation and awareness in off-road environments. However, the majority of solutions being developed are based on occupancy grids referenced with odometry and dead-reckoning, or alternatively based on GPS waypoint following, but never based on both. Yet, navigation in off-road environments highly benefits from both approaches: perception data effectively condensed in regular grids, and global references for every cell of the grid. This research proposes a framework to build globally referenced navigation grids by combining three-dimensional stereo vision with satellite-based global positioning. The construction process entails the in-field recording of perceptual information plus the geodetic coordinates of the vehicle at every image acquisition position, in addition to other basic data as velocity, heading, or GPS quality indices. The creation of local grids occurs in real time right after the stereo images have been captured by the vehicle in the field, but the final assembly of universal grids takes place after finishing the acquisition phase. Vehicle-fixed individual grids are then superposed onto the global grid, transferring original perception data to universal cells expressed in Local Tangent Plane coordinates. Global referencing allows the discontinuous appendage of data to succeed in the completion and updating of navigation grids along the time over multiple mapping sessions. This methodology was validated in a commercial vineyard, where several universal grids of the crops were generated. Vine rows were correctly reconstructed, although some difficulties appeared around the headland turns as a consequence of unreliable heading estimations. Navigation information conveyed through globally referenced regular grids turned out to be a powerful tool for upcoming practical implementations within agricultural robotics. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Baselga S.,Universidad Politecnica de Ingenieria
Journal of Surveying Engineering | Year: 2011

The present paper focuses on the theory of outlier detection in least-squares adjustment. Although the case of a single outlier can be efficiently handled, extensions of the testing theory to the multiple outlier case seem questionable in rigor or applicability. This contribution is a demonstration that unambiguous determination of the vector of outliers from least-squares residuals is impossible without additional hypotheses. One such hypothesis, the single outlier hypothesis, is also proven to be sufficient (with just one exception) for the residual analysis to be conclusive in the process of outlier identification. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers. Source

Rovira-Mas F.,Universidad Politecnica de Ingenieria
Sensors | Year: 2010

The long time wish of endowing agricultural vehicles with an increasing degree of autonomy is becoming a reality thanks to two crucial facts: the broad diffusion of global positioning satellite systems and the inexorable progress of computers and electronics. Agricultural vehicles are currently the only self-propelled ground machines commonly integrating commercial automatic navigation systems. Farm equipment manufacturers and satellite-based navigation system providers, in a joint effort, have pushed this technology to unprecedented heights; yet there are many unresolved issues and an unlimited potential still to uncover. The complexity inherent to intelligent vehicles is rooted in the selection and coordination of the optimum sensors, the computer reasoning techniques to process the acquired data, and the resulting control strategies for automatic actuators. The advantageous design of the network of onboard sensors is necessary for the future deployment of advanced agricultural vehicles. This article analyzes a variety of typical environments and situations encountered in agricultural fields, and proposes a sensor architecture especially adapted to cope with them. The strategy proposed groups sensors into four specific subsystems: global localization, feedback control and vehicle pose, non-visual monitoring, and local perception. The designed architecture responds to vital vehicle tasks classified within three layers devoted to safety, operative information, and automatic actuation. The success of this architecture, implemented and tested in various agricultural vehicles over the last decade, rests on its capacity to integrate redundancy and incorporate new technologies in a practical way. © 2010 by the authors. Source

Quevedo D.E.,University of Newcastle | Jurado I.,Universidad Politecnica de Ingenieria
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2014

We study networked control of nonlinear systems where system states and tentative plant input sequences are transmitted over unreliable communication channels. The sequences are calculated recursively by using a pre-designed nominally stabilizing state-feedback control mapping to plant state predictions. The controller does not require receipt acknowledgments or knowledge of delay or dropout distributions. For the i.i.d. case, in which case the numbers of consecutive dropouts are geometrically distributed, we show how the resulting closed loop system can be modeled as a Markov nonlinear jump system and establish sufficient conditions for stochastic stability. © 1963-2012 IEEE. Source

Delgado-Torres A.M.,University of La Laguna | Garcia-Rodriguez L.,Universidad Politecnica de Ingenieria
Energy Conversion and Management | Year: 2010

Solar thermal driven reverse osmosis desalination is a promising renewable energy-driven desalination technology. A joint use of the solar thermal powered organic Rankine cycle (ORC) and the desalination technology of less energy consumption, reverse osmosis (RO), makes this combination interesting in some scarce water resource scenarios. However, prior to any practical experience with any new process, a comprehensive and rigorous theoretical study must be done in order to assess the performance of the new technology or combination of existing technologies. The main objective of the present paper is the expansion of the theoretical analysis done by the authors in previous works to the case in which the thermal energy required by a solar ORC is supplied by means of stationary solar collectors. Twelve substances are considered as working fluids of the ORC and four different models of stationary solar collectors (flat plate collectors, compound parabolic collectors and evacuated tube collectors) are also taken into account. Operating conditions of the solar ORC that minimizes the aperture area needed per unit of mechanical power output of the solar cycle are determined for every working fluid and every solar collector. The former is done considering a direct vapour generation configuration of the solar cycle and also the configuration with water as heat transfer fluid flowing inside the solar collector. This work is part of the theoretical analysis of the solar thermal driven seawater and brackish water reverse osmosis desalination technology. Nevertheless, the supplied information can be also used for the assessment of different applications of the solar ORC. In that case, results presented in this paper can be useful in techno-economic analysis, selection of working fluids of the Rankine cycle, sizing of systems and assessment of solar power cycle configuration. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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