The UAV Continuous Coverage Problem
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH DEPT OF OPERATIONAL SCIENCES
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of this research is to develop a method to find an optimal UAV cyclic schedule to provide maximum coverage over a target area to support an ISR mission. The goal is to reach continuous coverage. UAV continuous coverage of a target area is crucial for the success of an ISR mission. Even the smallest coverage gap may jeopardize the success of the mission. Ideally it is desirable to obtain continuous coverage of a target area but the stochastic nature of the problem makes continuous coverage without gaps unlikely. However, it is still possible to obtain a high coverage rate. Coverage gaps may occur at handoff from one UAV to another. We first study a deterministic model with identical UAVs and derive the minimum number of required UAVs to ensure continuous coverage. Continuous coverage is possible only in the deterministic setting. The model provides valuable insights on the parameters driving the UAV performance coverage. It is shown that the loitering and the roundtrip times are the most impacting parameters driving the performance coverage of the UAVs. It is proved that the number of UAVs is an increasing function of the roundtrip time and a decreasing function of the loitering time. The results obtained for the model with identical UAVs are then extended to the deterministic model with possibly non-identical UAVs. Conditions for continuous coverage are derived and used to formulate the continuous coverage problem as an integer linear program. When the UAV data is stochastic the problem is formulated as a chance constrained program and converted under suitable conditions to a deterministic integer linear program. Some numerical applications and extensions of the models are discussed.
- Numerical Mathematics