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Interactive Robotics Laboratory
Yu Gu, Professor
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Cooperative UAV Navigation using Inter-Vehicle Range and Bearing Measurements

Sponsor: Air Force Research Laboratory

The objective of this research project is to enable groups of networked UAVs to perform robust relative and global navigation with sparsely distributed landmarks. The relative navigation solutions along with improved global navigation performance will be computed using individual UAV's sensor readings, inter-vehicle range and bearing measurements, and data exchanged among neighboring UAVs. The alignment of the relative navigation solutions to the global reference frame will be performed 'opportunistically' through spotting sporadic landmarks of known locations. This global reference information will then be propagated through the UAV network as aircraft groups encounter with each other. During the project, a large-scale UAV simulation including groups of heterogeneous UAVs will be developed. A locally centralized navigation filter will then be developed for each UAV group to perform relative navigation within the group and to achieve reduced position error growth in the global reference frame through combining inertial measurements from all neighboring vehicles. Landmark referencing from cooperative UAVs will also be performed to jointly estimate the UAV group location with respect to the landmark. Finally, a decentralized navigation method will be developed to exchange navigation information among interacting groups.

Diagram showing a lighthouse and multiple groups of aircraft over the water with paths showing where these groups will encounter each other.