Experimental analysis of a UAV-based wireless power transfer localization system

Andrew Mittleider, Brent Griffin, Carrick Detweiler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


Sensors deployed in remote locations provide unprecedented amounts of data, but powering these sensors over long periods remains a challenge. In this paper, we develop and present a UAV-based wireless power transfer system.We discuss design considerations and present our system that allows a UAV to fly to remote locations to charge hard to access sensors. We analyze the impact of different materials on the wireless power transfer system. Since GPS does not provide sufficient accuracy, we develop and experimentally characterize a relative localization algorithm based on sensing the magnetic field of the power transfer system and optical flow that allows the UAV to localize the sensor with an average error of 15 cm to enable the transfer of on average 4.2W. These results overcome some of the practical challenges associated with wirelessly charging sensors with a UAV and show that UAVs with wireless power transfer systems can greatly extend the life of remotely deployed sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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