Word-PID_99 - ICET2015 and PEC-11

The 7th International Conference on Engineering and Technology
ICET-2015, Phuket, June19-20, 2015
Prince of Songkla University, Faculty of Engineering
Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand 90112
System for assistance during evacuation
Srdjan Tegeltija1, Nikola Djukic1, Branislav Tejic1, Gordana Ostojic1*, Stevan
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad, Serbia
Email of corresponding author: goca@uns.ac.rs
Abstract: In this paper the system for assistance in
evacuation of threatened people is described. System
assists persons by guiding them to safe location using
UAV. UAV regulates its speed using communication
device which is dropped to the person. With continuous
monitoring of threatened persons, panic, injuries and
casualties could be avoided. Continuous monitoring of
endangered area, provides real time corrections of
evacuation route.
Key Words: UAV, assistance, evacuation process
Unmanned aircraft is aircraft without the presence of
the pilot. In the literature unmanned aircraft most often
could be found as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
UAV can be autonomous aircraft or aircraft controlled
by the operator using remote controls. For this reason,
these systems can be found in the literature as the RPV
(Remotely Piloted Vehicle). In the literature there are
other labels have been introduced for such systems, like
the Drone, ROA (Remotely Operated Aircraft), UVS
(Unmanned Vehicle System).
Although originally designed and developed for
military use, in recent years unmanned aircrafts have
been used in the civil sector [1]. Today in the market
there are UAVs designed for fun and can fit on the
human palm [2], as well as commercially available
unmanned aircraft that can carry large load and various
equipment weight of few kilograms to a several tens of
kilograms [3]. Equipment that can be mounted on UAVs
is diverse such as: cameras, various sensors, clamps and
many other components depending on the area of
application. Examples of application of unmanned
aircraft are monitoring and recording [4], the collection
of data on pollution [5] [6], chemical protection and
fertilization of agriculture crops (use of pesticides,
herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers) [7]. UAVs are
also used during natural disasters and accidents, such as
monitoring the situation [8] [9], detection of persons in
danger and delivery of first aid, food and water [10],
mapping the terrain providing rescuers insight into the
condition of the field [11]. Natural disasters or accidents
caused by human error, such as floods, forest fires, or
industrial accidents, often affect large populated areas,
threatening the lives and well-being of the entire
population. As one aspect of emergency response,
evacuation can be defined as the removal of residents
from the area that is considered dangerous to the security
zone as quickly as possible and with the highest reliability
[12]. Planning evacuation route is an important
component of disaster management in order to reduce
injuries and loss of life. Injuries are in this way reduced to
a minimum. Aggravating circumstance that occur during
the evacuation process is the panic in individuals who are
in danger [13], [14]. Various studies have dealt with the
two types of evacuation: evacuation of people in
buildings and regional evacuation. The specificity of the
evacuation of buildings is that the space for movement
restricted, stairs must be used by rescuers and people in
danger, various obstacles (walls, doors, smoke, fire, etc.).
Papers [15] - [17] present analysis of evacuations in
buildings. Specifics of regional evacuations are: it is
performed on large areas, include a very large number of
people (the problem of managing large crowds), weather
conditions (night, rain, wind, smoke and toxic gases in
case of large fires, etc.). Papers [18] - [21] present an
analysis of regional evacuations.
In this paper a system for assistance during evacuation
process is presented. UAV leads people from the danger
zone to a safe location. After arriving to a safe location,
other participants in the evacuation process takes
evacuees and transports them to the hospitals or shelters.
In order to avoid panic reactions it is necessary to
constantly monitor evacuees. In addition, it is necessary
to adjust the movement speed of UAV to the persons
movement speed, as well as giving a signal to people
when they need to change their movement speed in case
of need (to speed up due to the rise of water in case of
flooding, or intensified wind and smoke in the case of
fire). To enable communication between the persons and
the UAV hardware device is realized by using XBee ZB
PRO Series 2 communication module.
System for assisstance during evacuation process is
based on the usage of UAV. UAV leads people from the
danger zone to a safe location. After arriving to a safe
location, other participants in the evacuation process
(medical services, military and firefighters) takes
evacuees and transports them to the hospitals or shelters.
Fig. 1. shows the algorithm of the system.
After obtaining the information on which location are
endangered people, in order to determine optimal and
safe evacuation route it is necessary to carry out
photographing or the mapping of the area [22].
For the determination of the evacuation route two
approaches can be applied, manual routing and
automated routing. In the case of manual routing
operator, who controls UAV, have to manually
determine evacuation route in the dedicated software (to
determine the points through UAV should pass). In the
case of an automated approach for determining
evacuation route dedicated software would perform
processing of images and terrain mapping results, in
order to determine the safe and unsafe regions.
Evacuation route would go through a safe regions
(existing roads, meadows, etc), while the unsafe regions
should be avoided (forests, water, fire and smoke) [23] [26]. The evacuation route could be determined by
algorithms presented in [27] [28].
people, and if necesary UAV could deliver first aid kit,
water, food and instructions on how UAV will guide
people to safe location. To start an evacuation process
UAV waits for communication confirmation (people
must press button on communication device).
Management of UAVs could be performed manually by
the operator or automatically using dedicated flight
controller. During the flight the UAV continuously
measure the RSSI between communication devices, and
on the basis measured RSSI value the distance between
the UAV and the people is estimated. Depending on the
estimated distance correction of the UAV flying speed is
performed. The UAV at the same time sends a command
to the communication device for required correction of
people moving speed which is shown on LED indicators
and emitted as sound signal on buzzer. During the
evacuation process it is necessary to constantly monitor
the situation in the area. In case of an larger area one
UAV could be used to lead the people and other UAV, or
more of them, would be responsible for monitoring the
status of that area, so that in the event of unforeseen
circumstances correction of evacuation route could be
made. Examples for changes in the evacuation area can
be: sudden occurrence of landslides, in case of fire
changes in direction and strength of the wind that could
direct the fire and smoke to the evacuation route.
Fig. 2. Example of evacuation route
Using FPV (First Person View) system, which
presents surveillance system that sends video signal from
camera mounted on the UAV to the display on the
operator terminal, the operator can monitor the
movement of people and could, at any moment, take
control over UAV in the event of an unforeseen situation
(people are slowing down due to difficult conditions), in
case of automated flight. When UAV brings people to a
safe location evacuation process if finished. If there are
more groups of people that need to be evacuated,
evacuation process can be repeated.
Fig. 1. Algorithm of the system
After the automated determination of the evacuation
route (points through UAV should pass), it is necessary
that the operator make adjustments (if needed) and
confirm the evacuation route. Fig. 2. shows an example
of an evacuation route. Point A represents a danger zone,
point B is a safe zone. The arrows shows the path in
which UAV and persons should move.
After confirming the evacuation route, UAV is
positioned to the initial position. The initial position is
the position where are people, who needs to be guided to
a safe location, located. When came to the initial position
UAV will deliver communication device to endangered
"UVS International" [29] is an international
association of manufacturers of unmanned aircraft,
manufacturers of subsystems and key components and
related equipment for unmanned aerial vehicles, as well
as companies that provide services to or for unmanned
aerial vehicles. International Organization "UVS
International" conducted the categorization of unmanned
UAV to the range, altitude, flight autonomy and weight
[30]. Depending on the type of realizations there are
fixed wing UAVs and rotary wing UAVs. The wings are
shaped to make air move faster over the top of the wing.
When air moves faster, the pressure of the air decreases.
So the pressure on the top of the wing is less than the
pressure on the bottom of the wing. The difference in
pressure creates a force on the wing that lifts the wing up
into the air [31]. A typical representative of UAV with
fixed wings is plane. The air flow over the wings is
caused by the movement of the UAVwhich is enabled by
drive engine (a jet engine, the engine with the propeller).
If there is no movement of the UAV there is no lift force.
To fly, fixed wing UAV requires particular velocity that
depends on the shape and surface of the wings, the
maximum weight of the UAV, etc. For UAV with rotary
wing air flow over the wing is caused by the rotating the
wing (or propeller) powered by a drive engine. A typical
representative of the UAV with rotary wings is a
helicopter. To fly, rotary wing UAV requires a certain
rotation speed of propeller, which depends on the weight
of the UAV, shape and surface of propellers, etc. Both
types of UAVs have certain advantages and limitations,
which make them more or less suitable for different
applications [32]. For this system we used rotary wing
UAV, because they have possibility of vertical takeoff
and landing, the ability to hover (maintain a fixed
position in the air), to fly at very low speeds and perform
agile maneuvering, a Tarot TL960 hexacopter is used
(Fig. 3.)
Fig. 3. Tarot TL960 hexacopter
To be autonomous, it is necessary that UAV possess a
dedicated flight controller. One of the most famous flight
controller is "APM Autopilot Suite" [33]. "APM
Autopilot Suite" is a platform that includes hardware and
software used for managing unmanned aerial vehicles and
vehicles on the ground. In addition to the "APM
Autopilot Suite" platform, controllers for UAVs from
company DJI have wide application too (Naza series,
WooKong series, etc.) [34]. As flight controller Naza-M
Light is used.
In order to enable the connection between UAV and
endangered people two communication devices are
realized, one master and one slave communication
device. Master communication device is mounted on
UAV, connected to UAV control unit, and consists of
microcontroller and communication module. Slave
communication device is similar, but in addition it
consists of command buttons, LED indicators and
buzzer. Master communication device take power supply
from UAV, while slave communication device has a
battery power supply. Fig. 4. shows slave
communication device.
For powering the slave communication module a
standard battery 6LR61 with nominal voltage of 9V has
been used. A microcontroller is used for controlling
communication modul, for reading states of buttons, for
settings states of LED indicators, and to control a buzzer.
For realization of communication devices a
microcontroller Atmel ATmega 8 is used. Button are
used for sending commands to master communication
device (initial communication confirmation and start
communication between master and slave device, stoping
the UAV). LED indicators are used to inform people
about speed of movement (speed is correct, people must
speed up or people must slow down). Buzzer is used for
emmiting audio signal which tells people if is speed of
movement is correct, or if they must speed up or slow
Fig. 4. Communication device
As communication modul XBee Pro ZB Series 2
module is used. XBee Pro ZB Series 2 is based on
ZigBee technology. ZigBee is a wireless technology
developed as an open global standard to address the
unique needs of low-cost, low-power wireless M2M
(Machine to Machine) networks. The ZigBee standard
operates on the IEEE 802.15.4 physical radio
specification and operates in unlicensed bands including
2.4 GHz, 900 MHz and 868 MHz [35]-[37]. The
specification is a packet-based radio protocol intended for
low-cost, battery-operated devices. The protocol allows
devices to communicate in a variety of network
topologies and can have battery life lasting several years.
XBee-PRO ZB ZigBee modules provide cost-effective
wireless connectivity to devices in ZigBee mesh
networks. Utilizing the ZigBee PRO Feature Set, these
modules are interoperable with other ZigBee devices,
including devices from other vendors. Programmable
versions of the XBee-PRO ZB ZigBee Series 2 module
make customizing ZigBee applications easy, even
without wireless design expertise [38].
In this paper the system for assistance in the
evacuation process of endangered people is presented.
UAV would carry out photographing or mapping of the
area, in order to determine the evacuation route. During
the evacuation process UAV would lead endangered
people to a safe location. Depending on the situation the
person would follow the UAV on foot (inaccessible
mountainous terrain) or using some vehicle (boat in case
of flooded area). During the evacuation process people
would be constantly monitored in order to respond in a
timely manner (correction of UAV speed). In addition to
constantly monitoring of area status will provide
changing of evacuation route if necessary.
In future work a further development of the system
for assistance during evacuation process is planned.
Different types of UAVs will be examined in order to
realize which UAV would be optimal for evacuation
process on the basis of flight speed, flight autonomy,
max payload, etc. Different algorithms for image
processing and segmentation for recognition of water,
forest, fire, smoke, etc. will be examined, and different
algorithms for routing in order to efficiently and reliably
determine evacuation routes will be examined.
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