Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 25-5 - 23

An Embedded Instrument for
Online Condition Monitoring
of Unmanned and
Autonomous Systems
Benkuan Wang, Bo Chen, Datong Liu, and Xiyuan Peng
W
ith the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
and robots, unmanned and autonomous systems
(UAS) have been widely used both in
civil and military fields. However, the complexity of UAS increases
with the improvement of its autonomous ability, which
puts forward higher requirements for online condition monitoring
(OCM) to timely confirm the safety and availability of
UAS. To achieve UAS OCM, an embedded OCM instrument
combing perception, intelligent algorithms, and edge computing
should be developed, where perception is responsible
for collecting UAS operation data through sensors, the intelligent
algorithm uses the operation data to assess UAS status,
and the edge computing is utilized to support the online operation
of an intelligent algorithm. Since intelligent algorithms
such as deep learning usually have high time complexity, it
brings great challenges to assuring the timeliness of the embedded
OCM instrument, especially under the limitations of
size, weight, and power (SWaP). Therefore, in this paper, first,
the UAS OCM is introduced. Then, the design guidelines for
the embedded OCM instrument are given. Finally, the embedded
OCM instrument of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is
presented in detail as a case study.
Online Condition Monitoring of UAS
UAS are intelligent robots capable of travelling by air, land,
or sea without a pilot on board. With the rapid application
of advanced sensors, AI, and high-performance computing,
UAS can perform tasks autonomously through observation,
orientation, decision, and action in diverse and dangerous environments.
As shown in Fig. 1, generally, UAS may be UAV,
unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), unmanned surface vehicles
(USV), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), and robots
[1]. Among them, civil UAS can be used for mapping, surveying,
resource exploration, transportation, entertainment, life
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the UAS and its online condition monitoring.
Dr. Liu received the 2019 IMS Outstanding Young Engineer Award.
August 2022
IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine
1094-6969/22/$25.00©2022IEEE
23

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 25-5

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