Embry-Riddle University develops autonomous perimeter patrol system


26 September 2013

A team from Embry-Riddle University has successfully tested a fully autonomous perimeter patrol system at Daytona Beach International Airport, FL, believed to be the first use in the U.S. of a self-guiding ground vehicle for airport security. Without remote control or other human involvement, a Ford Escape Hybrid vehicle, equipped with a GrayMatter Autonomous Vehicle System, used GPS and a scanner with 64 lasers to identify its position and its environment. The vehicle is designed to track a loop around an airport, creating and comparing high-resolution images and scanner data to detect airport incursions, wildlife, and damage to fences and airport grounds, and then to alert human security patrols of potential problems. Project co-director Dr Sergey Drakunov, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies in Embry-Riddle’s College of Arts & Sciences, said: “While the test run at the airport was under tightly controlled conditions, we believe our work opens the door to many important applications of autonomous technology in support of airport operations.” This joint endeavour of the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics departments is sponsored by Ignite, the university’s undergraduate research initiative.

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