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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1144; doi:10.3390/s17051144

A Two-Echelon Cooperated Routing Problem for a Ground Vehicle and Its Carried Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Science and Technology on Information System Engineering Laboratory, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
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Academic Editor: Felipe Gonzalez Toro
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

In this paper, a two-echelon cooperated routing problem for the ground vehicle (GV) and its carried unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is investigated, where the GV travels on the road network and its UAV travels in areas beyond the road to visit a number of targets unreached by the GV. In contrast to the classical two-echelon routing problem, the UAV has to launch and land on the GV frequently to change or charge its battery while the GV is moving on the road network. A new 0–1 integer programming model is developed to formulate the problem, where the constraints on the spatial and temporal cooperation of GV and UAV routes are included. Two heuristics are proposed to solve the model: the first heuristic (H1) constructs a complete tour for all targets and splits it by GV routes, while the second heuristic (H2) constructs the GV tour and assigns UAV flights to it. Random instances with six different sizes (25–200 targets, 12–80 rendezvous nodes) are used to test the algorithms. Computational results show that H1 performs slightly better than H2, while H2 uses less time and is more stable. View Full-Text
Keywords: vehicle routing; two-echelon routing; vehicle-carried UAVs; unmanned aerial vehicle routing vehicle routing; two-echelon routing; vehicle-carried UAVs; unmanned aerial vehicle routing
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Luo, Z.; Liu, Z.; Shi, J. A Two-Echelon Cooperated Routing Problem for a Ground Vehicle and Its Carried Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Sensors 2017, 17, 1144.

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