Balancing Mission Requirement for Networked Autonomous Rotorcrafts Performing Video Reconnaissance
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EGLIN AFB FL
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Current and emerging missions, including active surveillance and tracking, terminal guidance and search and rescue, require image-feedback from camera-equipped vehicles. Certain mission scenarios and sensor restrictions may require the collaboration of assets over an ad-hoc network. The development in this paper extends efforts to balance trade-offs between assetsensor cone positioning to satisfy mission requirements and network requirements such as maintaining network connectivity. To address the trade-offs between asset positioning and network connectivity, a prioritized task-function based guidance law is developed for a simple scenario containing three assets tracking teams of mobile targets. One developed task-function maintains a communication network by ensuring the distance between the UAV s does not exceed a critical threshold. Additional task-functions enable assets to keep targets of interest in the image cone by regulating image features derived from the camera view. The UAV s are modeled as rotorcraft using an LTI model equipped with a gimbaled camera. Early simulation results are provided to examine the behavior of the assets for different configurations of objects observed by the asset cameras. Future efforts will seek to improve performance by modifying the control law, possibly adding time varying tasks shaped by trajectory planning techniques.