This paper investigates the impacts of using an automatic zoom lens-equipped camera system on increasing UAVs' flight time in search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. The superzoom digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera system mounted on multi-rotor UAVs can capture high-quality photos of SAR targets from a long distance. An automatic lens calibration algorithm is proposed to control the camera lens intelligently. A benefit of this approach is that UAVs' battery life and flying range can be improved because the UAV can utilize the zoom capability to identify the target from a far distance without the need of flying closer to them. Experimental results have demonstrated that if a multi-rotor UAV is equipped with the proposed camera system, shorter travel distance and flight time can be achieved.
Available online: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3321454.3321456