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Open AccessArticle

Optimization Dubins Path of Multiple UAVs for Post-Earthquake Rapid-Assessment

by Moning Zhu 1,2,3, Xuehua Zhang 4, He Luo 1,2,3,*, Guoqiang Wang 1,2 and Binbin Zhang 5
School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Key Laboratory of Process Optimization & Intelligent Decision-making, Ministry of Education, Hefei 230009, China
Engineering Research Center for Intelligent Decision-making & Information Systems Technologies, Ministry of Education, Hefei 230009, China
National Earthquake Response Support Service, No. 1 Yuquan West Street, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, China
Anhui Keli Information Industry CO., LTD, Hefei 230088, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1388;
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 14 February 2020 / Published: 19 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs))
In the last decade, with the wide application of UAVs in post-earthquake relief operations, the images and videos of affected areas obtained by UAVs immediately after a seismic event have become an important source of information for post-earthquake rapid assessment, which is crucial for initiating effective emergency response operations. In this study, we first consider the kinematic constraints of UAV and the Dubins curve is introduced to fit the shortest flyable path for each UAV that meets the maximum curvature constraint. Second, based on the actual requirements of post-earthquake rapid assessment, heterogeneous UAVs, multi-depot launching, and targets allowed access to multiple times, the paper proposes a multi-UAV rapid-assessment routing problem (MURARP). The MURARP is modeled as the multi-depot revisit-allowed Dubins TOP with variable profit (MD-RDTOP-VP) which is a variant of the team orienteering problem (TOP). Third, a hybrid genetic simulated annealing (HGSA) algorithm is developed to solve the problem. The result of numerical experiments shows that the HGSA algorithm can quickly plan flyable paths for heterogeneous UAVs to maximize the expected profit. Finally, a case study based on real data of the 2017 Jiuzhaigou earthquake in China shows how the method can be applied in a post-earthquake scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: heterogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles; multi-depot; Dubins curve; team orienteering problem heterogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles; multi-depot; Dubins curve; team orienteering problem
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Zhu, M.; Zhang, X.; Luo, H.; Wang, G.; Zhang, B. Optimization Dubins Path of Multiple UAVs for Post-Earthquake Rapid-Assessment. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 1388.

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