3D Path Planning for UAVs for Maximum Information Collection

Ergezer H., Leblebicioglu M. K.

International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Georgia, United States Of America, 28 - 31 May 2013, pp.79-88 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/icuas.2013.6564676
  • City: Georgia
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.79-88
  • Keywords: Path planning, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Evolutionary Computation, Optimization, Maximum Information Collection, multiple-Travelling Salesman Problem (mTSP), EVOLUTIONARY, ALGORITHM
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper addresses the problem of path planning for multiple UAVs. The paths are planned to maximize collected amount of information from Desired Regions (DR) while avoiding Forbidden Regions (FR) violation and reaching the destination. The approach extends prior study for multiple UAVs by considering 3D environment constraints. The path planning problem is studied as an optimization problem. The problem has been solved by a Genetic Algorithm (GA) with the proposal of novel evolutionary operators. The initial populations have been generated from a seed-path for each UAV. The seed-paths have been obtained both by utilizing the Pattern Search method and solving the multiple-Traveling Salesman Problem (mTSP). Utilizing the mTSP solves both the visiting sequences of DRs and the assignment problem of "which DR should be visited by which UAV". It should be emphasized that all of the paths in population in any generation of the GA have been constructed using the dynamical mathematical model of an UAV equipped with the autopilot and guidance algorithms. Simulations are realized in the MATLAB/Simulink environment. The path planning algorithm has been tested with different scenarios, and the results are presented in Section V. Although there are previous studies in this field, this paper focuses on maximizing the collected information instead of minimizing the total mission time. Even though, a direct comparison of our results with those in the literature is not possible, it has been observed that the proposed methodology generates satisfactory and intuitively expected solutions.