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Multi-UAV cooperative target tracking via consensus-based guidance vector fields and fuzzy MRAC

Tagir Z. Muslimov (Ufa State Aviation Technical University, Ufa, Russian Federation)
Rustem A. Munasypov (Ufa State Aviation Technical University, Ufa, Russian Federation)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 7 August 2021

Issue publication date: 6 September 2021




This paper aims to propose a multi-agent approach to adaptive control of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) tracking a moving ground target. The approach implies that the UAVs in a single group must maintain preset phase shift angles while rotating around the target so as to evaluate the target’s movement more accurately. Thus, the controls should ensure that the UAV swarm follows a moving circular path whose center is the target while also attaining and maintaining a circular formation of a specific geometric shape; and the formation control system is capable of self-tuning because the UAV dynamics is uncertain.


This paper considers two interaction architectures: an open-chain where each UAV only interacts with its neighbors; and a cooperative leader, where the leading UAV is involved in attaining the formation. The cooperative controllers are self-tuned by fuzzy model reference adaptive control (MRAC).


Using open-chain decentralized architecture allows to have an unlimited number of aircraft in a formation, which is in line with the swarm behavior concept. The approach was tested for efficiency and performance in various scenarios using complete nonlinear flying-wing UAV models equipped with configured standard autopilot models.

Research limitations/implications

Assume the target follows a rectilinear trajectory at a constant speed. The speed is supposed to be known in advance. Another assumption is that the weather is windless.


In contrast to known studies, this one uses Lyapunov guidance vector fields that are direction- and magnitude-nonuniform. The overall cooperative controller structure is based on a decentralized and centralized consensus.



Funding: The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project No. 18-08-01299.


Muslimov, T.Z. and Munasypov, R.A. (2021), "Multi-UAV cooperative target tracking via consensus-based guidance vector fields and fuzzy MRAC", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 7, pp. 1204-1212.



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