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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 3, numbers 3 and 4, 2010 // View article soft_v3_n34_2010_3


Coordinated Exploration and Goal-Oriented Path Planning using Multiple UAVs

Authors:
Christoph Rasche
Claudius Stern
Lisa Kleinjohann
Bernd Kleinjohann

Keywords: Path Planning, Multiple UAVs, Exploration, Coordination, Potential Field Theory, Harmonic Functions

Abstract:
Successful rescue operations after big accidents or natural disasters require a fast and efficient overview of the overall situation. Using aircrafts is an efficient method to achieve such an overview in relatively short time. With recent advances, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are more and more a viable choice under such circumstances. With the number of employed UAVs, the problem of coordination arises as well as proper task allocation among possibly heterogeneous UAVs. Coordination has to be done so that redundant exploration and collision of UAVs with each other are avoided. This paper presents a hybrid approach for UAV coordination that covers the exploration of unknown terrains as well as goaloriented coordination and simultaneous task allocation. The approach combines the simplicity of the gradient method with informed A search and supports prioritized task assignment. It is based on the potential field theory using harmonic functions. Only one single configuration space for representing all relevant information, regarding the terrain and the UAVs is used. The system is suited for highly dynamic environments requiring frequent path recalculations.

Pages: 351 to 370

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2010. Used with permission.

Publication date: April 6, 2011

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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