Technical Comittee on: Agricultural Robotics and Automation
Program February, 2015

Abubakr Muhammad, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan: Inspecting Large Irrigation Networks in the Indus Basin: Challenges and Prospects

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Silt accumulation and sedimentation in canal beds leads to deterioration of watercourses over time. Every year a forced closure of the canals in Indus Basin (Pakistan) is inevitable for canal cleaning, entailing a very large scale and costly operation. Silt removal precision is prone to inefficiencies due to subjective decision making in the cleaning process. In a joint research project between CYPHYNETS Lab at LUMS and RRLab at Univ of Kaiserslautern, we are exploring the mapping of canal channel geometries with an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for quantitative inspection of deposited silt. In this talk, we will try to look at the challenges and prospects of making such a profiling system. The proposed system envisages efficient, cost effective cleaning, reduced water discharge variability, and enhanced agricultural productivity. The project is part of a wider initiative in which we are working closely with organizations like Punjab Irrigation Department to look at various systems engineering aspects of water management, canal telemetry systems and decision support systems.


Dr. Abubakr Muhammad is the founding director of CYPHYNETS Lab and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at LUMS, Pakistan. He is a Jr. Associate Fellow of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy and the Secretary NMO in Pakistan for the Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2005 from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA where his PhD thesis won the Sigma Xi Best PhD Dissertation Award. He also received masters degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He was a postdoctoral researcher first at the University of Pennsylvania and then at McGill University. In 2008, he established the Laboratory for Cyber Physical Networks and Systems (CYPHYNETS) at LUMS. The Lab does fundamental and applied research in robotics, cyber physical systems and water systems engineering. During his research career, he has spent time as a visiting researcher at UIUC, Stanford, ETH Zurich, KAUST, TU Kaiserslautern, University of Melbourne and ICTP.

Last modified: mrt. 2015 by Eldert van Henten and Sam Blaauw