Formation control for UAVs using a Flux Guided approach

Hartley, John, Shum, Hubert, Ho, Edmond, Wang, He and Ramamoorthy, Subramanian (2022) Formation control for UAVs using a Flux Guided approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 205. p. 117665. ISSN 0957-4174

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Existing studies on formation control for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have not considered encircling targets where an optimum coverage of the target is required at all times. Such coverage plays a critical role in many real-world applications such as tracking hostile UAVs. This paper proposes a new path planning approach called the Flux Guided (FG) method, which generates collision-free trajectories for multiple UAVs while maximising the coverage of target(s). Our method enables UAVs to track directly toward a target whilst maintaining maximum coverage. Furthermore, multiple scattered targets can be tracked by scaling the formation during flight. FG is highly scalable since it only requires communication between sub-set of UAVs on the open boundary of the formation's surface. Experimental results further validate that FG generates UAV trajectories 1.5× shorter than previous work and that trajectory planning for 9 leader/follower UAVs to surround a target in two different scenarios only requires 0.52 s and 0.88 s, respectively. The resulting trajectories are suitable for robotic controls after time-optimal parameterisation; we demonstrate this using a 3d dynamic particle system that tracks the desired trajectories using a PID controller.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work is supported by the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser’s Research Programme, through the Defence and Security Accelerator, UK (Ref: DSTLX-1000140725 ), and the Royal Society, UK (Ref: IESR2181024 and IESR1191147 ).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artificial harmonic field, Electric flux, Formation encirclement, Multi-agent motion planning, Unmanned aerial vehicles
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G700 Artificial Intelligence
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 14:23
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2022 14:30

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