Our paper entitled “Drone Networks: Communications, Coordination, and Sensing” is accepted for publication in Ad Hoc Networks Journal.
In this paper, we describe a high-level architecture for the design of a collaborative aerial system consisting of drones with on-board sensors and embedded processing, sensing, coordination, and communication and networking capabilities. We implement a multi-drone system consisting of quadcopters and demonstrate its potential in disaster assistance and area monitoring scenarios. Furthermore, we illustrate design challenges and present potential solutions based on the lessons learned so far.
Our research at Klagenfurt focuses on many civil applications of drones. The following video illustrates the functionalities we can enable on quadrotor platforms tailored for disaster response. Specifically, we show multi-drone coordination supporting aerial surveillance, target detection, video streaming, delivery, navigation under forest canopy and human-drone interaction.
Our paper “Information Merging in Multi-UAV Cooperative Search,” is accepted in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2014.
The paper investigates probabilistic information merging strategies for cooperative search using multiple UAVs. The objective is to determine the impact of cooperation and type/amount of information exchange on search time and detection errors. Local occupancy grids are used to represent target existence, to update its belief with local observations and to merge information from other UAVs. Our merging strategies perform Bayes updates of the occupancy probabilities while considering realistic limitations in
sensing, communication and UAV movement—all of which are important for small-scale UAVs.
Christian Bettstetter and I have organized the Sixth Lakeside Research Days on Multi-UAV Systems. The event was hosted by Lakeside Labs and the University of Klagenfurt in Klagenfurt, Austria, from July 8 to 12, 2013.
We have demonstrated a multi-UAV coverage scenario with three quadrotors working together to make an overview image of a large area. The vehicles were equipped with cameras and they followed pre-computed flight paths, taking high-quality pictures at certain points. The collected images were immediately transmitted to a ground station, where the mission progress could be readily overseen and changed if necessary.
Check out our multi-UAV system in action! The video was nominated for Best Student Video in AAAI (http://www.aaaivideos.org/2013/) and was awarded second place.