This paper proposes distributed control laws for a group of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to make and maintain a circular formation around a maneuvering target. The work considers usage of heterogeneous communication networks to achieve the desired formation. Two different scenarios are considered on velocity information. In both scenarios, it is assumed that each UAV has its own position and velocity measurements available to itself. However, the team is unable to exchange velocity information among themselves. In the first scenario, each agent uses its own position and velocity information in the consensus algorithm. In the second scenario, agents need only position information for the consensus algorithm. For both the approaches, each agent calculates a virtual estimate of target’s velocity from the received information and exchanges the estimate with its neighbors. The control algorithms are developed using heterogeneous communication networks to satisfy a communication bandwidth constraint. Three different communication networks are used to circulate position information, virtual estimates, and its time derivatives. The graphs representing communication networks are undirected and connected. Further, it is considered that there is at least one UAV (agent) receiving position, velocity, and acceleration information of the target. The agent receiving target’s position need not be the same agent which receives velocity and/or acceleration information of the maneuvering target. However, the target does not receive any information from any agent. Using Barbalat’s lemma, the stability of the target-centric formation of a group of UAVs is analyzed. The performance of the proposed laws are illustrated through numerical simulations.
Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 3, 2017
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