Formation control for UAVs using a Flux Guided approach

Hartley, J., Shum, H. P. H., Ho, E. S. L. , Wang, H. and Ramamoorthy, S. (2022) Formation control for UAVs using a Flux Guided approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 205, 117665. (doi: 10.1016/j.eswa.2022.117665)

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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 1.5x 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:Articles
Additional 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: IES\R2\181024 and IES\R1\191147).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ho, Dr Edmond S. L
Creator Roles:
Ho, E. S.L.Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Writing – original draft, Supervision, Project administration
Authors: Hartley, J., Shum, H. P. H., Ho, E. S. L., Wang, H., and Ramamoorthy, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Expert Systems with Applications
ISSN (Online):1873-6793
Published Online:03 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Expert Systems with Applications 205: 117665
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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