Detecting structural anomalies of quadcopter UAVs based on LSTM autoencoder

Seunghyeok Jeon, Jaeyun Kang, Jiwon Kim, Hojung Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detecting a structural anomaly, such as a damaged propeller or motor, is crucial for mission-critical operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The existing solutions often fail to detect structural anomalies because the pre-defined parameters required for the solution are limited in reflecting the flight pattern or the external environment, such as wind conditions. In this paper, we propose a method for detecting structural anomalies in quadcopter UAVs, using only regular data and specifically considering flight patterns and runtime flight conditions. To this end, we employ a long short-term memory (LSTM) autoencoder model to learn complex features of regular flight data. While flying the UAV, the trained model estimates the degree of outlierness of the incoming data and assesses abnormal behavior of UAV by adaptively considering its movement. This way, the proposed method accurately detects structural anomalies in UAVs regardless of the runtime environment or flight mission. Our experiment results with an off-the-shelf UAV show that the proposed approach detects diverse structural anomalies by an average of 98.6% specificity and 90.3% sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101736
JournalPervasive and Mobile Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Institute of Information & communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP) grant funded by the Korea government(MSIT) (No. 2018-0-00532 , Development of High-Assurance (EAL6) Secure Microkernel)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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