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Sensors 2015, 15(11), 27783-27803;

Multi-UAV Routing for Area Coverage and Remote Sensing with Minimum Time

Escola de Engenharia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, MG, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Felipe Gonzalez Toro
Received: 27 June 2015 / Revised: 17 September 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 2 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Sensors for Environmental Monitoring)
Full-Text   |   PDF [879 KB, uploaded 2 November 2015]   |  


This paper presents a solution for the problem of minimum time coverage of ground areas using a group of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) equipped with image sensors. The solution is divided into two parts: (i) the task modeling as a graph whose vertices are geographic coordinates determined in such a way that a single UAV would cover the area in minimum time; and (ii) the solution of a mixed integer linear programming problem, formulated according to the graph variables defined in the first part, to route the team of UAVs over the area. The main contribution of the proposed methodology, when compared with the traditional vehicle routing problem’s (VRP) solutions, is the fact that our method solves some practical problems only encountered during the execution of the task with actual UAVs. In this line, one of the main contributions of the paper is that the number of UAVs used to cover the area is automatically selected by solving the optimization problem. The number of UAVs is influenced by the vehicles’ maximum flight time and by the setup time, which is the time needed to prepare and launch a UAV. To illustrate the methodology, the paper presents experimental results obtained with two hand-launched, fixed-wing UAVs. View Full-Text
Keywords: coverage path planning; UAVs; vehicle routing problem coverage path planning; UAVs; vehicle routing problem

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Supplementary material

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    Description: The algorithm presented in this paper was implemented in Matlab and open sourced. The code can be download in the following link:
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Avellar, G.S.C.; Pereira, G.A.S.; Pimenta, L.C.A.; Iscold, P. Multi-UAV Routing for Area Coverage and Remote Sensing with Minimum Time. Sensors 2015, 15, 27783-27803.

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