Characteristics of Indoor Disaster Environments for Small UASs Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2014 IEEE. This paper provides a formal analysis of indoor disaster environments that impact the design of small unmanned aerial systems (SUASs), their navigational algorithms, and their sensors. Four characteristics of a region of space: scale, degree of deconstruction, location of obstacles, and tortuosity are described. The analysis compares the value of these characteristics for Prop 133 at Disaster City® with twelve SUASs that have flown inside a disaster damaged building or other physical or computer simulated indoor space; the analysis normalizes the platform size. Eleven of the twelve systems were tested in more spacious regions (habitable) than the regions typified by Prop 133 (restricted maneuverability). Only one of the twelve systems was tested in a deconstructed environment; likewise only one testbed placed obstacles in equivalent configurations to those in Prop 133. The tortuosity of the testbeds was at best half of the tortuosity of Prop 133. The paper concludes that current obstacle avoidance and simultaneous localization and mapping algorithms vetted with those testbeds may not perform well in actual disaster environments.

author list (cited authors)

  • Agarwal, S., Murphy, R. R., & Adams, J. A.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • October 2014