The frequent inspection of railway tracks is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation of trains. EREVOS will deliver a novel full-fledged solution for aerial monitoring of railways using drones for vegetation management and boundary structure inspection.
The EREVOS project will develop a UAV system for quick inspection and monitoring of vegetation growth within the boundaries of a railway system in an autonomous unsupervised manner and will be able to follow a railway track for a large distance, inspect boundary structure and vegetation, detect and identify anomalies along the railway (objects, fallen trees/leaves, sun kinks, etc.), and trigger further actions, onthe-fly. The navigation of the drone in an autonomous non-supervised manner, even in GPS-denied areas, employs Deep-Learning and Computer Vision techniques with advanced image processing capabilities, adaptive route planning in the 3D space, adaptive routing decision based on advanced flying capabilities, including collision-avoidance, object detection and target proximity estimation.
The project will also develop a large-payload hexacopter to carry and apply herbicides using a targeted spraying system for the control of vegetation along the railway. The drone shall receive the coordinates for spraying from the inspection drone or a human operator, navigate to the desired place(s) and spray the herbicide at controlled volumes and areas to minimize environmental impact.