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AFrameworkandAnalysisforCooperativeSearchUsingUAVSwarms

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=967919

ABSTRACTWedesignandanalyzetheperformanceofcooperativesearchstrategiesforunmanned
aerialvehicles(UAVs)searchingfor moving,possiblyevading,targetsinahazardousenvironment.
Ratherthanengaginginindependentsensingmissions,thesensingagents(UAVswithsensors)work
togetherbyarrangingthemselvesintoaflightconfigurationthatoptimizestheirintegratedsensing
capability. If a UAV is shot down by enemy fire, the team adapts by reconfiguring its topology to
optimally continue the mission with the surviving assets. We present a cooperative search
methodologythatintegratesthemultipleagentsintoanadvantageousformationthatdistinctively
enhancesthesensinganddetectionoperationsofthesystemwhileminimizingthetransmissionof
excessivecontrolinformationforadaptationoftheteamstopology.Afteranalyzingourstrategyto
determinetheperformancetradeoffbetweensearchtimeandnumberofUAVsemployed,wepresent
analgorithmthatselectstheminimumnumberofUAVstodeployinordertomeetatargetedsearch
timewithinprobabilisticguarantees

Summary:
Targets:Onlythemaximumvelocity(v)ofthetargetisknown.Assumptionisthatoncethesensor
closesthetargettowithindetectionrange,thetargetcannotsuccessfullyhide.
UAV:Movingtargetsaretrackedusingsomesensorsuchascamera,orelectronicemissions.They
have GPS sensor to know their location and are deployed at slightly differing altitudes in order to
minimizetheriskofcollisions.EachUAVisawareofthegeographicboundariesofthesearchregion.
Ithasalimitedmaximumflightendurance.ItcancommunicatewithotherUAVs.
TargetRegion:AreaA=XYwhereX<Y.Areaisgreaterthanthesensorsweepwidth(W).
Goal:Detecttargetsbymaximizingtheprobabilityoftargetdetectionandminimizingtheexpected
search time while minimizing the number of UAVs required. The algorithm should adapt to UAV
failures.Theexecutionofthealgorithmshouldbeaccomplishedwithaminimumamountofcontrol
informationtobepassedbetweenUAVs.
Strategy:
Thekeypointisthattheswarmdoesnothavetoselectanewpatternfromtheinfinitenumberof
possible alternatives. User preplan and mandate the pattern shifts in advance, and place this
information in the dictionary held by each UAV. There will be potentially three types of control
messagesthatmightbeexchangedamongcooperativeUAVsemployingpredefinedpatterns:
PatternMaintenanceMessages(PMMs).Thesemessagesareperiodicallyexchangedto
allowUAVstomaintainproperstationkeeping,executemaneuversinunison,andtake
attendance.
PatternUpdateMessages(PUMs).OnceoneormoreUAVsarelost,theUAVsexchange
messagesinordertoreachagreementonanappropriatereconfiguredswarmpattern.
PatternReconfigurationMessages(PRMs).Onceanewswarmpatternisagreedupon,UAVs
exchangemessagestoensurethatthereconfigurationtakesplace.
PUMs are needed only to determine that a certain event has occurred which necessitates a
reconfigurationofthepatternusingPRMs.

The basic search pattern employed is a


parallelpath search with overlapping
(S) in successive sweeping search
determinedbythemaximumvelocity(v)
ofthetargettowardsalreadysweptclean
area (NW). This way it ensured that the
sweptcleanareaisnothavinganytarget
and the area remaining to sweep
decreasesineachpassultimatelyleading
totarget.
To determine the actions necessary to
guarantee detection, we assume the
worstcasescenario:thatatargetliesjust
beyondtheUAVsdetectionrangeatthe
regions boundary. For example, we
assume a target is at the leftmost
boundary (position T in Figure 3), and
races northward into the alreadyswept
regionassoonasthelineofUAVsarepast.Lettheamountofoverlapbetweenconsecutivesweeps
beS.ThentheroundtriptimeforaUAVtogofromtheleftedgebacktotheleftedgeis


,duringwhichtimethetargetcantraveladistanceof

Thus


IfN Nmin,thenthetime,t,tocompletetheparallelpathsearchisgivenby

Results:Figure4showsthetimetocompleteaparallelpathsearchforatargetlocatedina60,000
squaremileareaasafunctionofthenumberofUAVs.TheUAVs,eachwithasweepwidthof5miles,
moveat120mphwhilesearchingforatargetcapableofspeedsupto30mph.Notethattheminimum
numberofUAVsrequiredwhensweepsaredirectedalongthexaxisis21(tenlessthantheminimum
numberofUAVsrequiredhadsweepsbeendirectedalongtheyaxis).

ThenumberofUAVsthatcompletethesearchisarandomvariablewhichismodelledunderthe
followingassumptions:
TheprobabilitythatagivenUAVwillbedisabledincreaseslinearlywiththetimespentconducting
thesearch.ThelongeraUAVisoverthetargetarea,themoreopportunityanadversaryhastoshoot
itdown.
IftheUAVisdeployedoverthetargetregionforeverincreasingperiodsoftime,eventually,ifthe
searchtimeshouldreach,TmaxtheUAViscertain(withprobabilityone)tobecomedisabled.Note
thatthevalueofisgreaterthanthemaximumpossibleTmaxUAVdeploymenttime,basedonUAV
fueltankconsiderations.
EachUAVssuccessorfailureinsurvivingthesearchisindependentofthestatusofallotherUAVs.