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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 6827414, 14 pages
Research Article

Gradient Compressive Sensing for Image Data Reduction in UAV Based Search and Rescue in the Wild

1Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split, Ruđera Boškovića 32, 21000 Split, Croatia
2Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Montenegro, Džordža Vašingtona bb, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro

Received 1 April 2016; Revised 30 September 2016; Accepted 11 October 2016

Academic Editor: Agathoklis Giaralis

Copyright © 2016 Josip Musić et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Search and rescue operations usually require significant resources, personnel, equipment, and time. In order to optimize the resources and expenses and to increase the efficiency of operations, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aerial photography is considered for fast reconnaissance of large and unreachable terrains. The images are then transmitted to control center for automatic processing and pattern recognition. Furthermore, due to the limited transmission capacities and significant battery consumption for recording high resolution images, in this paper we consider the use of smart acquisition strategy with decreased amount of image pixels following the compressive sensing paradigm. The images are completely reconstructed in the control center prior to the application of image processing for suspicious objects detection. The efficiency of this combined approach depends on the amount of acquired data and also on the complexity of the scenery observed. The proposed approach is tested on various high resolution aerial images, while the achieved results are analyzed using different quality metrics and validation tests. Additionally, a user study is performed on the original images to provide the baseline object detection performance.