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Multiple-UAV coordination and communications in tactical edge networks

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6 Author(s)

Unmanned aerial vehicles are becoming prevalent in tactical networks as they are proving to be an extremely flexible platform for a variety of applications. Increasingly, UAVs need to cooperate with each other in order to perform complex tasks such as target monitoring and prosecution, information gathering and processing, and delivery between disconnected portions of the network. However, UAV cooperation in tactical scenarios represents a major challenge from both the coordination and communication perspectives. In fact, cooperating UAVs must achieve a high degree of coordination in order to accomplish complex tasks in a dynamic and uncertain environment. In turn, as UAVs interact with other entities, the effective coordination of multiple-UAV operations requires specific support in terms of efficient communication protocols and mechanisms exploiting UAVs as mobile assets that facilitate and hasten critical information flows. This article presents a series of considerations and lessons learned that we have collected in our experience with multiple- UAV coordination and communications in tactical edge networks, and discusses some of the main components of a middleware we specifically designed to support multiple-UAV operations.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 10 )