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One challenge facing coordination and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) today is the amount of human involvement needed to carry out a successful mission. Currently, control and coordination of UAVs typically involves multiple operators to control a single agent. The aim of this article is to invert this relationship, enabling a single pilot to control and coordinate a group of UAVs. Furthermore, decision support is provided to the pilot to facilitate effective control of the UAV team. In the scenario envisioned in this article, the human operator (the pilot) is operating along-side a team of UAVs. The pilot communicates with the UAV team remotely and controls the UAV team to execute a surveillance mission.
Date of Publication: June 2009