Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 1–2, pp 303–316 | Cite as

Distributed UAV Loss Detection and Auto-replacement Protocol with Guaranteed Properties

  • Sunan HuangEmail author
  • Rodney Swee Huat Teo
  • Jennifer Lai Pheng Kwan
  • Wenqi Liu
  • Siarhei Michailovich Dymkou


Multi-UAV systems are becoming a true reality. They have wide applications in surveillance, search, hazardous rescue and other civil services. Currently, an important challenge is the robust control against UAV failures. In this paper, the distributed UAV loss detection and auto-replacement scheme is discussed. The basic idea is to use the cooperative method to control the multi-UAV system to accomplish the missions. This is achieved by exchanging heartbeats (HBs) and information fusion. We first use the obtained information to detect if one UAV is lost. Subsequently, an auto-replacement logic is used to send a UAV with low priority to occupy the target position or task which was assigned to the lost UAV. Next, a recovery algorithm is proposed when a newly inserted UAV or a lost UAV is recovered from failures. Finally, the proposed scheme is tested by computer simulations and real experiments.


Cooperative control Distributed control Unmanned aerial vehicles 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Temasek LaboratoriesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.DSO National LaboratoriesSingaporeSingapore

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