Skip to Main Content
This paper presents an extension of our previous work on the persistent surveillance problem. An extended problem formulation incorporates real-time changes in agent capabilities as estimated by an onboard health monitoring system in addition to the existing communication constraints, stochastic sensor failure and fuel flow models, and the basic constraints of providing surveillance coverage using a team of autonomous agents. An approximate policy for the persistent surveillance problem is computed using a parallel, distributed implementation of the approximate dynamic programming algorithm known as Bellman Residual Elimination. This paper also presents flight test results which demonstrate that this approximate policy correctly coordinates the team to simultaneously provide reliable surveillance coverage and a communications link for the duration of the mission and appropriately retasks agents to maintain these services in the event of agent capability degradation.