Modeling Urban Environments for Communication-Aware UAV Swarm Path Planning
Christmann, Hans Claus
Johnson, Eric N.
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The presented work introduces a graph based approach to model urban (or otherwise cluttered) environments for UAS utilization beyond line-of-sight as well as out of direct R/F range of the operator's control station. Making the assumption that some a priori data of the environment is available, the proposed method uses a classification of obstacles with respect to their impact on UAV motion and R/F communication and generates continuously updateable graphs usable to compute traverseable paths for UAVs while maintaining R/F communication. Using a simulated urban scenario this work shows that the proposed modeling method allows to find reachable loiter or hover areas for UAVs in order to establish a multi-hop R/F communication link between a primary UAV and its remote operator by utilizing an overlay of motion (Voronoi based) and R/F (visibility based) specific mapping methods.