Realization of the Sensor Web Concept for Earth Science Using Mobile Robotic Platforms
Howard, Ayanna M.
Smith, Brian Stephen
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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In this paper, we discuss the realization of a robotic mobile sensor network that allows for controlled reconfiguration of sensor assets in a decentralized manner. The motivation is to allow the construction of a new system of in-situ science observations that requires higher spatial and temporal resolution models that are needed for expanding our understanding of Earth system change. These observations could enable recording of spatial and temporal variations in environmental parameters required for such activities as monitoring of seismic activity, monitoring of civil and engineering infrastructures, and detection of toxic agents throughout a region of interest. The difficulty in establishing these science observations are that global formation properties must be achieved based on the local interactions between individual sensors. As such, we present a novel approach that allows for the sensor network to function in a decentralized manner and is thus able to achieve global formations despite individual sensor failure, limitations in communication range, and changing scientific objectives. Details on the sensing and control algorithms for controlled reconfiguration will be discussed and results of field deployment will be presented.