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Stable Cooperative Surveillance With Information Flow Constraints

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3 Author(s)
Gil, A.E. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH ; Passino, K.M. ; Cruz, J.B.

We consider a cooperative surveillance problem for a group of autonomous air vehicles (AAVs) that periodically receives information on suspected locations of targets from a satellite and then must cooperate to decide which AAV should search for each target. This cooperation must be performed in spite of imperfect intervehicle communications (e.g., messages with random but bounded delays), less than full communication connectivity between vehicles, uncertainty in target locations, and imperfect vehicle search sensors. We represent the state of the search progress with a ldquosearch map,rdquo and use an invariant set to model the set of states where there is no useful information on target locations. Arrivals of new suspected target location information from the satellite corresponds to perturbations of the search map from this invariant set. A cooperation strategy that pursues a type of ldquopersistent area denialrdquo will try to force trajectories of the system into the invariant set by exploiting initial target information and search progress by the AAVs. We show that the invariant set is exponentially stable for a class of cooperative surveillance strategies. We provide a comparative analysis of cooperative and noncooperative strategies. Next, we show via simulations the impact of imperfect communications, imperfect vehicle search sensors, uncertainty in search locations, and pop-up suspected locations on performance.

Published in:

Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )