MSc Thesis: Time-optimal UAV trajectory planning for full 3D aircraft coverage

  • Den Haag, Netherlands

MSc Thesis: Time-optimal UAV trajectory planning for full 3D aircraft coverage

Job description

Company description

Mainblades Inspections is on a mission to change the way inspections are performed for large commercial aircraft. Our company develops data-driven technology, focused on automation of the complete inspection process: from autonomous drone flight, to damage detection and assessment of visual data, all the way to automated reporting. Our automated drone inspections for aircraft allows for a more rapid and effective inspection on any location, enabling our customers to keep their aircraft off the ground.

Scope and objectives

A key aspect of the automated inspection is the ability to guarantee a full visual coverage of the aircraft’s surface by sweeping it completely with a camera sensor, providing pictures to the image recognition algorithm that meet their quality requirements. Coverage problems have received a lot of attention recently and many algorithms have been proposed. These largely rely on sampling-based, discrete, spatial waypoint generation. Deriving an analytical motion plan incorporating time optimality, dynamic and collision constraints significantly increases the quality of automated inspections. Most methods are only proven in 2D and are not readily applicable to 3D scenarios. In our use case, the inspected object - being a commertial jet - is non-convex, which poses an additional challenge. Ideally, the solution should be general enough to be used with other non-convex 3D inspection objects such as wind turbines. Using LiDAR data, our technology creates a point-cloud and subsequently a mesh representation of the inspected object. Thus, your algorithm will be developed using real aircraft data. Furthermore, there is a possibility to test the proposed method in a real-life environment with our autonomous quadcopters. For inspiration, see the following related works:

Job requirements

What you bring to the table

For this 6 to 9-month thesis work, we are looking for a talented and enthusiastic MSc student (or BSc student with suitable experience), with programming experience in Python and a solid background in mathematics. Furthermore, we are looking for people who like to be seriously challenged and easily adapt to change. You contribute with innovative ideas to the company and have a shared responsibility to make our vision a reality. Above all, we are looking for someone with a dedication for mastering new topics and a willingness to learn.

What we bring to the table

A comfortable and fun working environment:

  • Collaborating with a young, dynamic and multidisciplinary team in an innovative start-up.
  • Testing of your research on an available drone inspection platform in a real-world application.
  • Data and computational resources to conduct your research.
  • Unique chance to be part of a high-growth, successful start-up.

If you think you got what it takes, and you are up for the challenge, take the first step and apply now! If we're interested, we'll reach out and take you through our recruitment process.

Up for the challenge?

If you think you got what it takes, and you are up for the challenge, take the first step and apply now! If we're interested, we'll reach out and take you through our recruitment process.