MULTITETHER. Multiple ground-steered, virtually-tethered UAVs for corridor mapping

on .

MultiTether aims at enhancing mapKITE, the total 3D mapping concept based on a tandem UAV-plus-car in which the UAV follow the car by a virtual (waypoint-based) tether, with the capability of including multiple aerial nodes (i.e. UAVs) that cooperate in-flight for corridor mapping missions. This project will therefore research and rehearse on a novel aerial mapping paradigm.

The goals of MultiTether are the following:

  1. to build a demonstrator based on an extended mapKITE system i.e. double-UAV and a steering ground vehicle, to execute mission with different in-flight geometries for aerial image acquisition, depending on the particularities of the corridor segment being explored,
  2. to proof such configuration as a valid option within the mapKITE paradigm, that is, assessing the ability to provide high-accuracy, total-point-of-view 3D geodata as in a regular mapKITE one,
  3. to contribute to the RAWFIE ecosystem with a means to execute mapKITE-like operations (virtually tethered multiple UAVs), and
  4. to promote the contribution of RAWFIE as a supporter of real-world mapping applications for UAVs.

As a creator and patent-holder of mapKITE, GeoNumerics blends the necessary elements to materialize mapKITE operations and, in the MultiTether project, will contribute to RAWFIE with an experiment in which (at least) two UAVs and a terrestrial vehicle cooperate to acquire geodata and, later, post-process it to deliver 3D accurate geoinformation. MultiTether paves the way to RAWFIE’s primary goal of supporting domain-specific real-world applications for SMEs (in this case, aerial corridor mapping) and enables the promotion of RAWFIE within the geomatics, photogrammetry and mapping communities.

RAWFIE has organized three open calls to attract researchers from academia and industry, test bed operators and unmanned vehicles manufacturers, and MultiTether is framed in the 3rd RAWFIE Open Call, devoted to support cross-domain or domain-specific real-world applications and experiments.

GeoNumerics is a research and development (R&D) intensive small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) company specialised in geomatics and accurate navigation.

RAWFIE (Road-, Air-, and Water- based Future Internet Experimentation) is a project funded by the European Commission (Horizon H2020 programme) under the Future Internet Research Experimentation (FIRE+) initiative that aims at providing research facilities for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The project introduces a unique platform across the space and technology by integrating numerous test beds of unmanned vehicles for research experimentation in vehicular, aerial and maritime environments. The platform will support experimenters with smart tools to conduct and monitor experiments in the domains of IoT, networking, sensing and satellite navigation. The project that is bringing together thirteen partner organizations from eight EU countries.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It couples research and innovation with emphasis on excellent science and industrial leadership, and tackles the EU societal challenges. H2020 goal is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.


Acronym: MultiTether
Title: Multiple ground-steered, virtually-tethered UAVs for corridor mapping
Period: 2018-03-15 to 2018-12-31
Funding: European Commission (EC) - Horizon 2020 (H2020) through the RAWFIE project (ref. 645220)
Participants: GeoNumerics (ES)
Related links: Results of the RAWFIE Open Call no. 3

H2020 web:
RAWFIE website:

The project MultiTether has been awarded at the 3rd RAWFIE Open Call for projects, in the frame of the RAWFIE Research and Innovation Action (grant agreement. 645220) that has received funding from the European Community's Horizon 2020 Programme.