Panel-Method-Based Path Planning and Collaborative Target Tracking for Swarming Micro Air Vehicles

Uzol O., Yavrucuk İ., Sezer Uzol N.

JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, vol.47, no.2, pp.544-550, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.2514/1.45469
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.544-550
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents an application of the potential field panel method commonly used in aerodynamics analysis to obtain streamlinelike trajectories and use them for path planning and collaborative target tracking for swarming micro air vehicles in an urban environment filled with complex shaped buildings and other architectural structures. In addition, we introduce a performance matching technique that relates the flu id velocities, which are obtained as a part of the panel method solution, to vehicle velocities along each trajectory. The approach is further extended to track moving targets yet avoid obstacles and collision between the vehicles. Because of the inherent nature of streamlines, obstacle avoidance is automatically guaranteed. To make the micro air vehicles follow and track a moving target, dynamically changing streamline patterns are calculated for each and every one of the micro air vehicles within a swarm. To prevent vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, each micro air vehicle is represented using a point source singularity element within the potential field. The simulation results are quite encouraging, in the sense that micro air vehicle swarms quickly locate and track the assigned target in an environment filled with complex-shaped structures while avoiding obstacles and collisions among themselves. One benefit of the method is that the trajectory computations can be relatively fast and even have the potential to be applied in real time, depending on the number and complexity of the urban structures.