consensus; cooperative control; Forest fires; micro UAVs; perimeter control
This research was supported by NASA under STTR contract No. NNA04AA19C to Scientific Systems Company, Inc (SSCI) and Brigham Young University (BYU), and by AFOSR grants F49620-01-1-0091 and F49620-02-C- 0094. The objective of this paper is to explore the feasibility of using multiple low-altitude, short endurance (LASE) unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to cooperatively monitor and track the propagation of large forest fires. A real-time algorithm for tracking the perimeter of a fire with an on-board infrared sensor is developed. Using this algorithm, we develop a decentralized multiple-UAV approach to monitoring the perimeter of the fire. The UAVs are assumed to have limited communication and sensing range. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated in simulation using a 6 DOF dynamic model for the UAV and numerical propagation model for the forest fire. Salient features of the approach include the ability to monitor a changing fire perimeter, the ability to systematically add and remove UAVs from the team, and the ability to supply time-critical information to forest fire fighters.
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