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Real-time indoor autonomous vehicle test environment

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5 Author(s)
How, J.P. ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge ; Bethke, B. ; Frank, A. ; Dale, D.
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To investigate and develop unmanned vehicle systems technologies for autonomous multiagent mission platforms, we are using an indoor multivehicle testbed called real-time indoor autonomous vehicle test environment (RAVEN) to study long-duration multivehicle missions in a controlled environment. Normally, demonstrations of multivehicle coordination and control technologies require that multiple human operators simultaneously manage flight hardware, navigation, control, and vehicle tasking. However, RAVEN simplifies all of these issues to allow researchers to focus, if desired, on the algorithms associated with high-level tasks. Alternatively, RAVEN provides a facility for testing low-level control algorithms on both fixed- and rotary-wing aerial platforms. RAVEN is also being used to analyze and implement techniques for embedding the fleet and vehicle health state (for instance, vehicle failures, refueling, and maintenance) into UAV mission planning. These characteristics facilitate the rapid prototyping of new vehicle configurations and algorithms without requiring a redesign of the vehicle hardware. This article describes the main components and architecture of RAVEN and presents recent flight test results illustrating the applications discussed above.

Published in:

Control Systems, IEEE  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 2 )