I am an alumnus of the NIMBUS laboratory at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I was advised by Carrick Detweiler. Our research focused on how to use small aerial robots (UAVs) to monitor and interact with the environment. I completed my master's degree in computer science under the direction of Dr. Mehmet Can Vuran in Cyber-Physical Networking Lab. I developed cellular tracking sensors to monitor Sandhill Cranes during their migrations in my master's thesis. Currently, I am a research engineer at Southwest Research Institute , where I work on perception problems in a variety of robotics.


UAVs for environmental monitoring

Current generation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are revolutionizing how we monitor our environment. By flying high and taking aerial images, UAVs give scientists and agriculture producers novel insights into the underlying ecological system. We are expanding the capabilities of UAVs by flying close to these unstructured environments, which allows us to collect new types of data about the environment, use shorter range sensors, and smaller vehicles.

Flying close to and interacting with the environment is challenging, as the UAV must dynamically sense and respond to the unknown obstacles in the environment. My research focuses on providing novel localization techniques for navigating UAVs in mature fields with greater accuracy than traditional sensors, like GPS, provide. New localization techniques increase the spatial-temporal resolution of the data we collect about the environment.

Aerial sensor network installation

Small UAVs can give us a lot of information about an area, but power limits prevent them from carrying out persistent environmental monitoring over days or weeks. Collecting this type of information requires embedding small sensor networks in the environment to continuously collect data. Deploying these sensor networks is a labor intensive process, and in some cases, involves field personnel entering dangerous environments.

We perform controlled deployments of sensor nodes in unstructured environments with small UAVs. The UAVs use contact information from the environment to classify the underlying terrain, and deploy sensor nodes in stable areas where the node can be securely anchored for long term operation. This process exploits the high mobility and onboard sensor data to quickly deploy sensor networks in unknown environments.

Cellular tracking of migratory birds

Monitoring migratory birds, such as Sandhill Cranes, presents major challenges. The birds can travel hundreds of miles per day during migration periods. Tracking the birds and monitoring their behavior during these periods can yield insights into environmental stress on the birds and causes of mortality. We have developed small cellular based trackers that can be placed on the migratory birds to deliver timely information on the birds' locations and movement patterns.


Conferences and journals

  • D. Anthony and C. Detweiler. UAV Localization in Row Crops. Journal of Field Robotics. Volume 34, Issue 7, October 2017.
  • C. Detweiler, J.-P. Ore, D. Anthony, S. Elbaum, A. Burgin, A. Lorenz. ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND CASE STUDIES: Bringing Unmanned Aerial Systems Closer to the Environment. Cambridge Journal of Environmental Practice, 17, pp 188-200, 2015.
  • D. Anthony, E. Basha, J. Ostdiek, J.-P. Ore, and C. Detweiler. Surface Classification for Sensor Deployment from UAV Landings. Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Seattle, Washington, 2015.
  • D. Anthony, S. Elbaum, A. Lorenz, and C. Detweiler. On Crop Height Estimation with UAVs. Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems (IROS), Chicago, Illinois, 2014.
  • D. Anthony, and C. Detweiler. Towards GPS Free Localization in Row Crops. ICRA Workshop on Robotics in agriculture, 2015.
  • D. Anthony, J. Ore, E. Basha, and C. Detweiler. Controlled Sensor Network Installation with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Poster at ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys), Memphis, TN, 2014.
  • D. Anthony, J. Ore, and C. Detweiler. Sensor Installation via UAVs for Environmental Monitoring. Robot Science and Systems Workshop on Robotic Monitoring, Berkeley, California, 2014.
  • D. Anthony, W.P. Bennett, M.C. Vuran, M. Dwyer, S. Elbaum. Sensing through the Continent: Towards Monitoring Migratory Birds Using Cellular Sensor Networks. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), Beijing, China, 2012.
  • D. Anthony, W.P. Bennet, M.C. Vuran, M. Dwyer, S. Elbaum, F. Chavez-Ramirez. Simulating and Testing Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (MSWiM), Bodrum, Turkey, 2010.
  • D. Anthony, W. Srisa-an, M. Leung. An Emprical Study of the Code Pitching Mechanism in the .NET Framework. Journal of Object Technology, 2006.
  • D. Anthony, W. Srisa-an, M. Leung. To JIT or not to JIT: The Effect of Code Pitching on the Performance of .NET Framework. Proceedings of the Conference on .NET Technologies, Plzen, Czech Republic, 2005.


  • M.C. Vuran, X. Dong, D. Anthony. Antenna for wireless underground communication. U.S. Patent Application 14/415,455. 2013.

Technical Reports

  • D. Anthony, W.P. Bennett, M.C. Vuran, M. Dwyer, S. Elbaum. CraneTracker100 Platform Description. Technical report, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2012.


  • Othmer Fellowship, 2011-2014
  • UNL Computer Science and Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student, 2014
  • Mohr Fellowship, 2011-2012
  • Best Poster, W.P. Bennett, M. Fitzpatrick, D. Anthony, M.C. Vuran, A. Lacy. Crane Charades: Behavior Identification via Backpack Mounted Sensor Platforms. ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), Beijing, China, 2012.
  • Software Engineer, Garmin International. 2006-2009.
  • Engineering Intern, EF Johnson, 2005-2006
  • UNL Computer Science and Engineering Outstanding Senior, 2006


My office is in 219 Schorr Center. My email address is my first initial and last name at cse.unl.edu