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This paper presents a new data driven utility function for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mapping and exploiting a wind field. The proposed utility function provides a continuous scale between exploration and exploitation which is dependent on the difference between the current platform energy level and the uncertainty along a planned path. Tests were carried out in a VICON testbed using quadrotors programmed to emulate fixed-wing aircraft. Results show a 47.7% reduction in energy gain loitering time when compared to a pure information gain approach.