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In search and surveillance operations, a team of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can provide a robust solution that surpasses in efficiency what can be achieved by a single aircraft with comparatively superior mobility and sensors. The key to unlock such potential is in cooperative decentralized control strategies that allow each UAV to independently determine its actions while aiming at optimizing the team's objectives through collaboration. In this paper we present the results of a statistical analysis that demonstrates the efficacy of the distributed search technique proposed by the authors in P. DeLima, et al., (Mar 2007). Three metrics are used to measure the search performance: dynamic coverage, heterogeneity of the coverage, and energy consumption.
Date of Conference: 19-23 May 2008