The purpose of this paper is to propose a new algorithm for in‐mission trajectories and speed adjustment of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) participating in a mission that requires them to arrive at target location simultaneously with switching and imperfect communication among the vehicles.
This algorithm, programmed at each UAV level, is based on the repeated consensus seeking among the participating vehicles about the time‐on‐target (ToT) through an imperfect inter‐vehicle communication link. The vehicles exchange their individual ToT values repeatedly for a particular duration to pick the highest value among all the vehicles in communication. A consensus confidence flag is set high when consensus is successful. After every consensus cycle with high confidence value, the mission adjustment is carried out by computing difference value between ToT consensus and a threshold value. For the difference values higher than a certain limit, vehicle's trajectory is adjusted by in‐mission insertion of new waypoint (WP) and for lower values the vehicle's speed is varied under allowable limits. The consensus seeking followed by the mission adjustment is repeated periodically to quash the imperfect communication effects.
A mathematical analysis has been carried out to establish the conditions for convergence of the algorithm. The simultaneous arrival of the vehicles subjected to switching communication is achieved only when the union of the switching links during the consensus period enables a vehicle to receive information from all the other vehicles and the switching rate is sufficiently high. This algorithm has been tested in a 6‐degree‐of‐freedom (DoF) multiple UAV simulation environment and achieves simultaneous arrival of multiple fixed wing UAVs under imperfect communication links that meets the aforementioned conditions.
The presented algorithm and design strategy can be extended for other types of cooperative control missions where certain variable of interest is shared among all the vehicles over imperfect communication environment. The design is modular in functionality and can be incorporated into existing vehicles or simulations.
This research presents a new consensus algorithm that repeatedly performs polling of ToT among the vehicles through intermittent communication. The continual nature of consensus seeking covers the weakness of the imperfect communication. A two‐level mission adjustment provides better accuracy in simultaneous arrival at the target location.
Makhdoom, I. and Shi‐Yin, Q. (2012), "Simultaneous arrival of multiple UAVs under imperfect communication", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 84 No. 1, pp. 37-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/00022661211194960Download as .RIS
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