Airborne Sensing of a Ground Area with a Team of Networked Robotic Drones


  1. Rabbath, C.A.
  2. Lechevin, N.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Research and development in unmanned vehicle systems technologies are expanding at an unprecedented rate. Unmanned systems offer enormous potential. Importantly, unmanned systems may save lives when replacing humans in harmful contexts. One of the main hypotheses supporting the development of cooperative unmanned systems is that the deployment of airborne sensors in groups is expected to result in a more effective mission than if conducted with a single sensor. This is the force multiplication effect expected from networks of sensors. This chapter presents a coverage control system enabling airborne sensing of a ground area, and the results of experiments in aerial coverage done with a network of collaborative micro air vehicles, or MAVs, handling, on their own, their positioning and motion. The proposed coverage control system is decentralized. Hence, no element of the system is a single point of failure. Computations of the coverage control system may be distributed. The computations can be done over the network by different resources. The coverage control system is thus robust and scalable. Results of experiments with a network of MAVs prove (1) the near optimal performance of the coverage control system under healthy conditions and with the loss of a sensor, subject to a type of degraded condition of operation, and (2) the feasibility of the integration of the coverage control system with low-cost commercial MAVs.
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2012-105 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jun 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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