An Interview with Jesús Garcia 

In this interview, we talk to Jesús Garcia, author of the book, Engineering UAS Applications: Sensor Fusion, Machine Vision and Mission Management. We discuss the motivation behind writing the book, the target audience, the most useful aspects of the book, the challenges of writing the book, and advice for other engineers who are considering writing a book. 

Jesús Garcia is full professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. He joined the Computer Science Department of that university in 1999. His main research interests are computational intelligence, sensor and information fusion, machine vision, traffic management systems and autonomous vehicles. Within these areas, including theoretical and applied aspects, he has co-authored more than 10 book chapters, 70 journal papers and 200 conference papers. He has served on several advisory and programming committees in organizations IEEE, ISIF and NATO. He has been chair of the Spanish IEEE Chapter on Aerospace and Electronic Systems (2013-2018) appointed Spanish member of several NATO-STO Research Groups (2011-2021).

1. What was your main motivation behind writing your book?

Applications of Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have quickly expanded for diverse tasks such as inspection, surveillance, event detection, scene reconstruction, etc. This is a very interesting field requiring the knowledge of different techniques and tools and calls for attention of many students and researchers from diverse areas. To get started in this field, it is required introductory material which summarize the main principles and techniques behind these systems and at the same time practical guides about the available tools, hardware and applications to get introduced in development. We the authors had collected and prepared references and tutorial materials to help students and colleagues in getting used to the development and testing this type of systems, and decided to take advantage of this material as starting point to prepare a book.

2. Who is the main target audience for your book and what will they appreciate the most about the book?

The book is intended for students and practitioners interested in the design, development, and testing of UAS, requiring a general knowledge of the techniques, tools and software usually employed to develop real projects and how to test them both in real and simulated conditions. One of the main goals of the book is to show how to use a simulator to develop and test different real problems. Besides, some of the main advanced algorithms used in these platforms are introduced, which come from diverse fields such as Artificial Intelligence, sensor and information fusion or mission management.

3. What do you see your book being most useful for?

The book is aimed at transferring theoretical concepts to concrete applications using low-cost, open-source flight control systems, facilitating the readers both in understanding the theory and also the replication of the applications. Therefore, the book is useful for getting introduced to the UAS topics with real examples to know techniques, problems and evaluation procedures in order to achieve a detailed idea of the main functions and the way to test them. The material can be also used to organize a course on drones techniques and practical examples requiring software tools.

4. How did you find the writing of the book? Do you have a specific process or are you quite methodical in your writing approach?

As mentioned, we started from collected material prepared to work with students and practitioners. We dedicated time to select, summarize, explain, increase reference material, and then revise, share with colleagues and students and then use their feedback to refine the material to focus the chapters.

5. What challenges did you face when writing the book and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge was selecting the material with a good balance between theoretical techniques and applications to be easily developed as illustrative examples. We selected the most important aspects and summarized the basis of techniques, leaving in the bibliography the details for readers interested in looking for more detailed analysis behind of the solutions presented. Regarding practical examples, we prepared the material so that in a short space there were enough material for readers to reproduce them (install, analyze and evaluate the solutions), leaving the full coded examples in an available repository.

6. What advice would you give to other engineers who are considering writing a book?

Use the experience gained to learn the basis and develop examples of real solutions, organize the material prepared to learn or share with colleagues and students, and think in which ways an extended text would help the readers in going faster through the learning process, thinking in the main difficulties and aspects in which the text will let them to save time having useful information on hands.

7. What are you working on next?

For next publications in the area of autonomous vehicles, the team is focuses in some specific techniques for certain applications like SLAM for indoor missions, decentralized coordination in drone swarms or heuristic search and mission planning.

Learn more about the book on our websites

ARTECH HOUSE USA : Engineering UAS Applications: Sensor Fusion, Machine Vision and Mission Management

ARTECH HOUSE U.K.: Engineering UAS Applications: Sensor Fusion, Machine Vision and Mission Management

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