Uni. South Florida Master’s Thesis: “Analysis of VTOL MAV Use During Rescue and Recovery Operations Following Hurricane Katrina”

At long last, here are all the materials from my Master’s Thesis:


There can be little doubt that Hurricane Katrina will always be remembered for the damage and devastation it caused. But it also provided the first opportunity for MAVs to be used and evaluated during Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as recovery operations. Researchers from The Center for Robot-Assisted Search And Rescue (CRASAR) made two separate deployments to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina: one during initial SAR operations and a second deployment during recovery operations 90 days later. Using data and observations from both of these deployments, this work draws four key findings about semi-autonomous Miniature UAV (MAV) operations in urban environments. These findings are intended to guide future MAV research as well as serve as a roadmap for the evolution from semi-autonomous to fully autonomous MAV capabilities. These findings are as follows: the minimum useful standoff distance from inspected structures is 2-5 m, omni-directional sensor capabilities are needed for obstacle avoidance, GPS waypoint navigation is unnecessary, and that these operations currently require three operators for one MAV.

Link to the PDF: Master’s Thesis

And linked offsite to save space (so, email me if these links ever break):

The sources (LaTeX, BibTeX, style class, and images to build the pdf): Sources.zip

The Keynote presentation: Master’s Defense
PDF export of presentation + videos: Master’s Defense PDF
(there is a list of which video goes to what slide in the zip)

And finally, as with the thesis itself, all of this is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: CC 3.0 By-NC

One Response to “Uni. South Florida Master’s Thesis: “Analysis of VTOL MAV Use During Rescue and Recovery Operations Following Hurricane Katrina””

  1. Suicide Bots says:

    […] Congrats to Kevin Pratt, our homie down in sunny Florida, for convincing the University of South Florida that he will not, in fact, use his power for evil, and filing his thesis on robotic search and rescue! […]

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