Path planning and coordinated guidance of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles

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2013
Ergezer, Halit
In this thesis, both off-line and online coordinated path planning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are studied. These problems have emerged due to the increasing needs for UAVs in both military and civil applications. To accomplish a certain objective, both the path planning for a single UAV and for multiple UAVs have been examined. Although there are previous studies in this field, we focus on maximizing the collected information instead of minimizing the total mission time. Studies carried out in this thesis can be divided into two main headings as offline route planning and online route planning. Under offline path planning, path planning problem is studied for a single UAV, firstly. Along the designed path, the objectives are to maximize the collected information from Desired Regions (DR) while avoiding flying over Forbidden Regions (FR) and reaching the destination. So as to realize this objective, a novel off-line path planning algorithm is proposed. This algorithm, unlike the methods proposed in the literature to date, covers operators that mimic the behavior of the human path planner. The obtained results provide the need for identification of problem-specific operators for further studies in task planning. In addition, the algorithm produces nearly global optimum solution through the intermediate steps, providing a path-search-space reduction. Secondly, the proposed algorithm has been developed for off-line path planning of multiple UAVs and path planning in 3D environment. Development for methods of reducing the search space are at the basis of these studies as with the proposed algorithm for a single UAV. The problem of path planning for multiple UAVs is modeled as multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (mTSP), then the problem is considered as multiple single-UAV-Path-Planning-Problem. The other problem studied is the online path planning for multiple UAVs. In this problem, how to plan the paths of each UAV to maximize the instantaneous collected amount information from desired regions is examined. Maximization of information is accomplisehed by the coordinated guidance of multiple UAVs. The coordination is performed by assignment of regions to UAVs, instantaneously. Assignment process is realized by the designation of centralized decision maker.

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Citation Formats
H. Ergezer, “Path planning and coordinated guidance of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.