Predicting the outcomes of integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the National Aerospace (NAS) is a complex problem which is required to be addressed by simulation studies before allowing the routine access of UAS into the NAS. This thesis focuses on providing 2D and 3D simulation frameworks using a game theoretical methodology to evaluate integration concepts in scenarios where manned and unmanned air vehicles co-exist. The fundamental gap in the literature is that the models of interaction between manned and unmanned vehicles are insufficient: a) they assume that pilot behavior is known a priori and b) they disregard decision making processes. The contribution of this work is to propose a modeling framework, in which, human pilot reactions are modeled using reinforcement learning and a game theoretical concept called level-k reasoning to fill this gap. The level-k reasoning concept is based on the assumption that humans have various levels of decision making. Reinforcement learning is a mathematical learning method that is rooted in human learning. In this work, a classical and an approximate reinforcement learning (Neural Fitted Q Iteration) methods are used to model time-extended decisions of pilots with 2D and 3D maneuvers. An analysis of UAS integration is conducted using example scenarios in the presence of manned aircraft and fully autonomous UAS equipped with sense and avoid algorithms.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have recently rapidly grown to facilitate a wide range of innovative applications that can fundamentally change the way cyber-physical systems (CPSs) are designed. CPSs are a modern generation of systems with synergic cooperation between computational and physical potentials that can interact with humans through several new mechanisms. The main advantages of using UAVs in CPS application is their exceptional features, including their mobility, dynamism, effortless deployment, adaptive altitude, agility, adjustability, and effective appraisal of real-world functions anytime and anywhere. Furthermore, from the technology perspective, UAVs are predicted to be a vital element of the development of advanced CPSs. Therefore, in this survey, we aim to pinpoint the most fundamental and important design challenges of multi-UAV systems for CPS applications. We highlight key and versatile aspects that span the coverage and tracking of targets and infrastructure objects, energy-efficient navigation, and image analysis using machine learning for fine-grained CPS applications. Key prototypes and testbeds are also investigated to show how these practical technologies can facilitate CPS applications. We present and propose state-of-the-art algorithms to address design challenges with both quantitative and qualitative methods and map these challenges with important CPS applications to draw insightful conclusions on the challenges of each application. Finally, we summarize potential new directions and ideas that could shape future research in these areas.
Smart and agile drones are fast becoming ubiquitous at the edge of the cloud. The usage of these drones are constrained by their limited power and compute capability. In this paper, we present a Transfer Learning (TL) based approach to reduce on-board computation required to train a deep neural network for autonomous navigation via Deep Reinforcement Learning for a target algorithmic performance. A library of 3D realistic meta-environments is manually designed using Unreal Gaming Engine and the network is trained end-to-end. These trained meta-weights are then used as initializers to the network in a test environment and fine-tuned for the last few fully connected layers. Variation in drone dynamics and environmental characteristics is carried out to show robustness of the approach. Using NVIDIA GPU profiler it was shown that the energy consumption and training latency is reduced by 3.7x and 1.8x respectively without significant degradation in the performance in terms of average distance traveled before crash i.e. Mean Safe Flight (MSF). The approach is also tested on a real environment using DJI Tello drone and similar results were reported.
In this paper, we study the problem of spectrum scarcity in a network of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during mission-critical applications such as disaster monitoring and public safety missions, where the pre-allocated spectrum is not sufficient to offer a high data transmission rate for real-time video-streaming. In such scenarios, the UAV network can lease part of the spectrum of a terrestrial licensed network in exchange for providing relaying service. In order to optimize the performance of the UAV network and prolong its lifetime, some of the UAVs will function as a relay for the primary network while the rest of the UAVs carry out their sensing tasks. Here, we propose a team reinforcement learning algorithm performed by the UAV's controller unit to determine the optimum allocation of sensing and relaying tasks among the UAVs as well as their relocation strategy at each time. We analyze the convergence of our algorithm and present simulation results to evaluate the system throughput in different scenarios.