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A Local Search Approach to Observation Planning with Multiple UAVs

AAAI Conferences

Observation planning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is a challenging task as it requires planning trajectories over a large continuous space and with motion models that can not be directly encoded into current planners. Furthermore, realistic problems often require complex objective functions that complicate problem decomposition. In this paper, we propose a local search approach to plan the trajectories of a fleet of UAVs on an observation mission. The strength of the approach lies in its loose coupling with domain specific requirements such as the UAV model or the objective function that are both used as black boxes. Furthermore, the Variable Neighborhood Search (VNS) procedure considered facilitates the adaptation of the algorithm to specific requirements through the addition of new neighborhoods. We demonstrate the feasibility and convenience of the method on a large joint observation task in which a fleet of fixed-wing UAVs maps wildfires over areas of a hundred square kilometers. The approach allows generating plans over tens of minutes for a handful of UAVs in matter of seconds, even when considering very short primitive maneuvers.


A Way to Facilitate Decision Making in a Mixed Group of Manned and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

A mixed group of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles is considered as a distributed system. A lattice of tasks which may be fulfilled by the system matches to it. An external multiplication operation is defined at the lattice, which defines correspondingly linear logic operations. Linear implication and tensor product are used to choose a system reconfiguration variant, i.e., to determine a new task executor choice. The task lattice structure (i.e., the system purpose) and the operation definitions largely define the choice. Thus, the choice is mainly the system purpose consequence. The suggested method is illustrated using an example of a mixed group control at forest fire compression. Keywords Multi-Agent Systems · Decision making · Mixed Group · Goal Lattice · Linear logic 1 Introduction At present, aviation surveillance systems in the emergency zone have received wide distribution [1]. Lately, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are actively used in these surveillance systems.


Real-Time Stochastic Optimal Control for Multi-Agent Quadrotor Systems

AAAI Conferences

This paper presents a novel method for controlling teams of unmanned aerial vehicles using Stochastic Optimal Control (SOC) theory. The approach consists of a centralized high-level planner that computes optimal state trajectories as velocity sequences, and a platform-specific low-level controller which ensures that these velocity sequences are met. The planning task is expressed as a centralized path-integral control problem, for which optimal control computation corresponds to a probabilistic inference problem that can be solved by efficient sampling methods. Through simulation we show that our SOC approach (a) has significant benefits compared to deterministic control and other SOC methods in multimodal problems with noise-dependent optimal solutions, (b) is capable of controlling a large number of platforms in real-time, and (c) yields collective emergent behaviour in the form of flight formations. Finally, we show that our approach works for real platforms, by controlling a team of three quadrotors in outdoor conditions.


Choosing Path Replanning Strategies for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

AAAI Conferences

Unmanned aircraft systems use a variety of techniques to plan collision-free flight paths given a map of obstacles and no-fly zones. However, maps are not perfect and obstacles may change over time or be detected during flight, which may invalidate paths that the aircraft is already following. Thus, dynamic in-flight replanning is required. Numerous strategies can be used for replanning, where the time requirements and the plan quality associated with each strategy depend on the environment around the original flight path. In this paper, we investigate the use of machine learning techniques, in particular support vector machines, to choose the best possible replanning strategy depending on the amount of time available. The system has been implemented, integrated and tested in hardware-in-the-loop simulation with a Yamaha RMAX helicopter platform.


An Autonomous Spectrum Management Scheme for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Networks in Disaster Relief Operations

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper studies the problem of spectrum shortage in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) network during critical missions such as wildfire monitoring, search and rescue, and disaster monitoring. Such applications involve a high demand for high-throughput data transmissions such as real-time video-, image-, and voice- streaming where the assigned spectrum to the UAV network may not be adequate to provide the desired Quality of Service (QoS). In these scenarios, the aerial network can borrow an additional spectrum from the available terrestrial networks in the trade of a relaying service for them. We propose a spectrum sharing model in which the UAVs are grouped into two classes of relaying UAVs that service the spectrum owner and the sensing UAVs that perform the disaster relief mission using the obtained spectrum. The operation of the UAV network is managed by a hierarchical mechanism in which a central controller assigns the tasks of the UAVs based on their resources and determine their operation region based on the level of priority of impacted areas and then the UAVs autonomously fine-tune their position using a model-free reinforcement learning algorithm to maximize the individual throughput and prolong their lifetime. We analyze the performance and the convergence for the proposed method analytically and with extensive simulations in different scenarios.