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BioAir: Bio-Inspired Airborne Infrastructure Reconfiguration

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Conference Paper

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Air Force Research Laboratory/RITF ROME United States

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Maintaining constant communication between mobile entities distributed across a large geographical area is a crucial task for many commercial and military applications. For example when troops are deployed in hostile or sensor deprived environments, maintaining radio contact with a base station would increase the efficiency of coordinating the deployment, yet maintaining communications should not interfere with the primary tasks of these entities. The BioAIR system was developed to coordinate airborne communication nodes such as unmanned aerial vehicles UAV in order to autonomously form and maintain a dynamic communication network. This system draws upon inspirations from biological cell differentiation through hormone based communication to coordinate a swarm of airborne nodes in a distributed manner by mapping the radio signals into digital hormones. BioAIR offers three primary capabilities, namely collaborative communication, sensing and navigation. BioAIR performs collaborative communication by autonomously creating a mobile ad-hoc network. This network connects several designated nodes by strategically positioning other nodes based on the desired communication signal quality between them. BioAIR performs collaborative sensing by autonomously reinforcing critical locations based on network traffic, detecting any damage to the formed network, and self-repairing. Additionally, BioAIR can coordinate the sensing effort of possibly heterogeneous sensors distributed amongst all nodes in the network to form a distributed sensor network. BioAIR performs collaborative navigation by following the motion of designated nodes while maintaining the formed communication network, provided that the nodes can react fast enough.

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