Automatic battery replacement system for UAVs: Analysis and design

Koji A.O. Suzuki, Paulo Kemper Filho, James R. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) are expected to be nearly autonomous and composed of heterogeneous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). While most of the current research focuses on UAV avionics and control algorithms, ground task automation has come to the attention of researchers during the past few years. Ground task automation not only relieves human operators, but may also expand the UAS operation area, improve system coverage and enable operation in risky environments without posing a threat to humans. We propose a model to evaluate the coverage of a given UAS. We also compare different solutions for various modules of an automated battery replacement system for UAVs. In addition, we propose a ground station capable of swapping a UAV's batteries, followed by a discussion of prototype components and tests of some of the prototype modules. The proposed platform is well-suited for high-coverage requirements and is capable of handling a heterogeneous UAV fleet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-586
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Autonomous consumable replacement
  • Autonomy
  • Enabling technologies
  • Service station
  • UAVs
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles


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