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We present a stable control strategy for groups of vehicles to move and reconfigure cooperatively in response to a sensed, distributed environment. Each vehicle in the group serves as a mobile sensor and the vehicle network as a mobile and reconfigurable sensor array. Our control strategy decouples, in part, the cooperative management of the network formation from the network maneuvers. The underlying coordination framework uses virtual bodies and artificial potentials. We focus on gradient climbing missions in which the mobile sensor network seeks out local maxima or minima in the environmental field. The network can adapt its configuration in response to the sensed environment in order to optimize its gradient climb.