Maintenance of the Photovolatic Plants Using UAV Equipped with Low-cost GNSS RTK Receiver


  • Bilal Muhammad Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Ramjee Prasad Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Marco Nisi2 Sistematica S.p.a, Italy
  • Fabio Menichetti2 Sistematica S.p.a, Italy
  • Ernestina Cianca CTIF Section, Department of Electronics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
  • Alberto Mennella TopView srl, Italy
  • Graziano Gagliarde TopView srl, Italy
  • Davide Marenchino Entec S.p.a, Italy



Photovoltaic, UAV, GNSS, RTK


Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Real Time Kinematic (RTK) employs high-end dual-frequency receivers and antennas to deliver precise positioning that, in some way, restricts the use of GNSSRTKto a subset of user market due to very high cost. The emerging mass-market user applications, however, require centimeter-positioning accuracy considering a cost-effective solution. This calls for low-cost GNSS RTK solutions to create new possibilities for mass-market user applications to make use of GNSS high accuracy positioning in a variety of ways. One of the applications, which makes use of low-cost GNSS RTK receiver, is the maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) plants using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This paper proposes a solution that aims at automating the maintenance of PV plant with enhanced reliability in a time and cost effective manner, which otherwise requires intermediate human intervention. The paper presents the architectural concept, system design, and end-to-end algorithm that plays a pivotal role in enabling the automatic report generation of PV plant status. Preliminary results of the proof-of-concept shows the feasibility of the proposed solution.



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