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Cooperative Control of UAVs for Localization of Intermittently Emitting Mobile Targets

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4 Author(s)
Pack, D.J. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs, CO ; DeLima, P. ; Toussaint, G.J. ; York, G.

Compared with a single platform, cooperative autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer efficiency and robustness in performing complex tasks. Focusing on ground mobile targets that intermittently emit radio frequency signals, this paper presents a decentralized control architecture for multiple UAVs, equipped only with rudimentary sensors, to search, detect, and locate targets over large areas. The proposed architecture has in its core a decision logic which governs the state of operation for each UAV based on sensor readings and communicated data. To support the findings, extensive simulation results are presented, focusing primarily on two success measures that the UAVs seek to minimize: overall time to search for a group of targets and the final target localization error achieved. The results of the simulations have provided support for hardware flight tests.

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Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 4 )