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Robotics 2019, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8010002

Persistent Multi-Agent Search and Tracking with Flight Endurance Constraints

Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering Department, United States Naval Academy, 105 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, MD 21402, USA
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This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Gainer Jr., J.J.; DeVries, L.D.; Kutzer, M.D. Persistent Target Detection and Tracking By an Autonomous Swarm. In Proceedings of the ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Quebec, QC, Canada, 26–29 August 2018.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract

A large group of small, limited endurance autonomous vehicles working cooperatively may be more effective in target search and track operations when compared with a long endurance vehicle. For a persistent search and track task, a need exists for coordination algorithms that account for limited agent endurance. This paper presents a multi-agent persistent search and track algorithm incorporating endurance constraints in a high-level algorithm that deploys and recovers vehicles from a stationary base station. Agents are assigned to search, track, return, and deploy modes using on-board sensor and battery measurements. Simulations and experiments show the relationship between the number of agents, battery capacity, search performance, and target tracking performance. The measures used to quantify these relationships include spatiotemporal coverage, target tracking effectiveness, and the usage of available aircraft. Hardware experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: persistent surveillance; autonomous vehicles; multi-vehicle persistent surveillance; autonomous vehicles; multi-vehicle
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gainer Jr., J.J.; Dawkins, J.J.; DeVries, L.D.; Kutzer, M.D.M. Persistent Multi-Agent Search and Tracking with Flight Endurance Constraints. Robotics 2019, 8, 2.

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