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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 11 | Copyright

Special issue: The use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in monitoring...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1939-1946, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Brief communication 15 Nov 2017

Brief communication | 15 Nov 2017

Brief communication: Vehicle routing problem and UAV application in the post-earthquake scenario

Marco Cannioto1, Antonino D'Alessandro2, Giosuè Lo Bosco1, Salvatore Scudero2, and Giovanni Vitale2 Marco Cannioto et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università degli studi di Palermo, Palermo, Via Archirafi 34, 90123, Italy
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Centro Nazionale Terremoti, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143, Rome, Italy

Abstract. In this paper we simulate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recognition after a possible case of diffuse damage after a seismic event in the town of Acireale (Sicily, Italy). Given a set of sites (84 relevant buildings) and the range of the UAV, we are able to find a number of vehicles to employ and the shortest survey path. The problem of finding the shortest survey path is an operational research problem called the vehicle routing problem (VRP). which has a solution that is known to be computationally time-consuming. We used the simulated annealing (SA) heuristic, which is able to provide stable solutions in a relatively short computing time. We also examined the distribution of the cost of the solutions varying the depot on a regular grid in order to find the best area for executing the survey.

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Short summary
Immediately after an earthquake it is crucial to perform the fastest recognition of the damaged area to rescue as much people is possible and to assess and map the damage scenario. We apply the vehicle routing problem (VRP) to a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to find the shortest routes and the best take-off sites. The simulation, performed with different autonomy ranges, is carried out in the town of Acireale (Italy), where a real-time accelerometric network has been installed.
Immediately after an earthquake it is crucial to perform the fastest recognition of the damaged...