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Autonomous Patrol and Surveillance System (APSS) – A Student Project to Help Aid the Campus Police

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.237.1 - 23.237.16

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Paper Authors


Adeel Khalid Southern Polytechnic State University (ENG)

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Dr. Adeel Khalid is an assistant professor of Systems Engineering.

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Autonomous Patrol and Surveillance System (APSS) – A Student Project to Help Aid the Campus PoliceAbstractIn this project, the students design, develop and build an un-manned rotorcraft based Autonomous Patroland Surveillance System (APSS). The work in progress is presented in this paper. The purpose of thesystem is to patrol the Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) campus and provide live videosurveillance to the campus police. Currently, the police department has a few dispatch officers. Their jobis the patrol the campus during the school hours and often during the night. They maintain the securityand safety of the campus. Over time, their job could become monotonous. They also serve to respond toemergency calls. Even though the campus is rather small, the average response time to an emergency callis 5-7 minutes. Because of this delay, by the time the officer gets to the location of interest, the emergencymay escalate or may no longer be an issue. The timeliness of the first response may be crucial dependingon the nature of the emergency. After analyzing the situation, the officer then takes the subsequent action,for example they call for backup, call the ambulance, fire brigade, or decide that the emergency is overand no further action is necessary. There is room for efficiency improvement in this entire process.In this project, an autonomous aerial vehicle system is developed to fly along a set of pre-determined waypoints. The rotorcraft is fitted with high definition cameras. The live footage is transmitted to the groundstation located inside the police department building. The police officer, instead of having to patrol intheir car, will now be able to sit in the office and monitor the campus on a computer screen at a muchfaster speed. The GPS location of the rotorcraft and live video of the corresponding location will bedisplayed on the computer screen. Additionally, the APSS will be used as the first responder in the caseof an emergency. During the regular flight operation, when an emergency call comes in, the officer at theground station will be able to point the vehicle to the location of interest. The vehicle will fly a direct pathto the emergency location, which will help significantly reduce the response time. Since the vehicle isrotorcraft based, it has the capability to hover at geostationary points for extended periods of time. Duringits hover operation, the vehicle will continue to transmit the live video feedback to the ground station.This will help the campus police in their initial assessment of the situation. It will help them take theappropriate action in a timely manner. The APSS system is capable of being retrofitted with night visionand thermal imaging cameras for night operations. It is expected that the APSS will save the policedepartment 50-60% of their operational cost. If proved robust and successful, similar systems can bedeployed in the university and school campuses across the United States.

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