Extending the Battery Life of Small Drones to Provide Continuous Live Monitoring

Gino Lim, PhD, proposes the use of drones with built-in wireless electrification line battery charging systems to extend flight time and patrol U.S. borders.

The battery limitation of small drones (they last about 30 minutes) is a major obstacle to continuous flight time.

To address this problem, Dr. Gino Lim from the University of Houston Department of Industrial Engineering proposes the use of drones with a built-in wireless electrification line (E-line) battery charging system. Lim pioneered that technology in 2017.  

The E-line system charges the drones during their surveillance, enables a continuous and seamless flight and eliminates the need for battery charging stations. Continuous monitoring sends live information about different locations to the designated control centers, helping enhance perimeter or border security and reducing the necessity of systems operated by people.

To control the maximum time interval between two consecutive flights to a particular section of the border, a permitted revisiting gap is assigned to each location on the border based on its criticality. A multi-objective mixed-integer non-linear programming (MINLP) model is developed to minimize both the total length of the E-line system for the wireless charging system and the number of drones to satisfy the revisiting gap constraint for a secure border patrol.

In developing their model, the team reviewed a case study of a segment of the U.S.-Mexico borderline spanning 22.8 miles and located between two border crossings within the Cochise County limits in Arizona.

Smart border patrol using drones and wireless charging system under budget limitation. Computers & Industrial Engineering, February 2022.

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