Autonomously Coordinating Multiple Unmanned Vehicles for Data Communication Between Two Stations
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Unmanned ground/aerial vehicles (UGAVs) boosts many potential applications over past few years, but it is still challenging to autonomously coordinating multiple vehicles due to many unpredictable factors in real environments. Especially, it is difficult to make every UGAV keep staying in the communication range of the others all the time, as UGAVs are supposed to have various velocities and be applied in complicated environments. This paper investigates the research efforts related to data communication by using unmanned vehicles as data mules, and presents a theoretical model that derives the optimal message ferrying policy between two distant ground stations, even if the communication range of each vehicle cannot cover the working area directly. Flying paths of UGAVs are categorized into six kinds of typical path patterns and two policies for overcoming the unpredictability of the real environments are discussed. Analysis and simulation show that setting rendezvous points is an effective way for reducing the unpredictability of multiple unmanned vehicles.
KeywordsAutonomous agents Unmanned vehicles Delay-tolerant networking Path planning
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61273235, 61374189).
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