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Resilient Systems Lab Unmanned Vehicle Projects

Co-primary Investigator

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Project Timeline

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Reliable Coordination of Unmanned Vehicle Networks

The difficulty of controlling unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networks lies on the presence of physical, communication, and computation constraints, as well as different types of uncertainties. The limitation of communication and computation resources may bring in serious cyber effects, such as task jitters, delays, and packet loss. Modeling errors, exogenous disturbances, and potential physical failures raise uncertainties inside the system. Both of these factors diminish the system predictability. As a result, the real system behavior may be far away from the ideal model and therefore violate the physical constraints of the system. Thus, the question is how to ensure reliable, predictable, and safe operation of UAV networks with limited resources in unpredictable and unstructured environments. The project aims at reliable and cost-efficient methods to manage such systems.


Co-primary Investigator

Title. Last Name, Middle Initial. First Name if applicable

Sponsor

Sponsor here, if applicable

Project Timeline

Project Inception Date - Current / End Date

Unmanned vehicle path planning and risk evaluation

Path and mission planning plays an important role in improving vehicle’s availability, sustainability, survivability, and safety, reducing operating cost, guaranteeing mission success, and enabling tasks in harsh, restricted, and remote environments. Research in this area has drawn extensive interests from military, civilian, and commercial communities.

It is worth noting that planning problems are multi-objective in nature; i.e. the planner’s cost function includes several individual objectives.  The cost functions for optimality are typically terrain (for non-uniform environments), mission time, energy consumption, or the combination of these factors. 

Most mission planning algorithms are designed for healthy systems. When faults occur in a system, it is advantageous to optimize the mission plan by taking the system health condition into consideration.  In our research, a mission planning scheme is developed to integrate real-time diagnostics and prognostics in path planning framework to accommodate the system fault.

Weather support is an important aspect of navigation, control, mission planning, asset safety, execution and risk management for UAV applications at all echelons. Adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms, icing, turbulence, and wind, are of great influence to the success of UAV and aircraft missions. It is therefore imperative to incorporate weather forecasting into the UAV/aircraft mission planning and risk management.

During the vehicle mission of an unmanned vehicle, it is critical to control the risk of mission failure. We developed a UAV mission planning and risk analysis based on weather forecasting data. The weather condition along the routes are depicted in real-time and the mission planning is conducted to find the optimal route to avoid unfavorable weather conditions and satisfy the constraints of mission time, fuel efficiency, and risk minimization.