skip to main content

Title: Area-Optimized UAV Swarm Network for Search and Rescue Operations
Intelligent robot swarms are increasingly being explored as tools for search and rescue missions. Efficient path planning and robust communication networks are critical elements of completing missions. The focus of this research is to give unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) the ability to self-organize a mesh network that is optimized for area coverage. The UAVs will be able to read the communication strength between themselves and all the UAVs it is connected to using RSSI. The UAVs should be able to adjust their positioning closer to other UAVs if RSSI is below a threshold, and they should also maintain communication as a group if they move together along a search path. Our approach was to use Genetic Algorithms in a simulated environment to achieve multi-node exploration with emphasis on connectivity and swarm spread.
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1757929
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10211199
Journal Name:
Computing and Communication Workshop and Conference (CCWC)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
0613 to 0618
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The use of semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) to support emergency response scenarios, such as fire surveillance and search-and-rescue, has the potential for huge societal benefits. Onboard sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) allow these UAVs to operate autonomously in the environment. However, human intelligence and domain expertise are crucial in planning and guiding UAVs to accomplish the mission. Therefore, humans and multiple UAVs need to collaborate as a team to conduct a time-critical mission successfully. We propose a meta-model to describe interactions among the human operators and the autonomous swarm of UAVs. The meta-model also provides a languagemore »to describe the roles of UAVs and humans and the autonomous decisions. We complement the meta-model with a template of requirements elicitation questions to derive models for specific missions. We also identify common scenarios where humans should collaborate with UAVs to augment the autonomy of the UAVs. We introduce the meta-model and the requirements elicitation process with examples drawn from a search-and-rescue mission in which multiple UAVs collaborate with humans to respond to the emergency. We then apply it to a second scenario in which UAVs support first responders in fighting a structural fire. Our results show that the meta-model and the template of questions support the modeling of the human-on-the-loop human interactions for these complex missions, suggesting that it is a useful tool for modeling the human-on-the-loop interactions for multi-UAVs missions.« less
  2. Efficient path planning and communication of multi-robot systems in the case of a search and rescue operation is a critical issue facing robotics disaster relief efforts. Ensuring all the nodes of a specialized robotic search team are within range, while also covering as much area as possible to guarantee efficient response time, is the goal of this paper. We propose a specialized search-and-rescue model based on a mesh network topology of aerial and ground robots. The proposed model is based on several methods. First, each robot determines its position relative to other robots within the system, using RSSI. Packets aremore »then communicated to other robots in the system detailing important information regarding robot system status, status of the mission, and identification number. The results demonstrate the ability to determine multi-robot navigation with RSSI, allowing low computation costs and increased search-and-rescue time efficiency.« less
  3. Wireless communication systems are susceptible to both unintentional interference and intentional jamming attacks. For mesh and ad-hoc networks, interference affects the network topology and can cause the network to partition, which may completely disrupt the applications or missions that depend on the network. Defensive techniques can be applied to try to prevent such disruptions to the network topology. Most previous research in this area is on improving network resilience by adapting the network topology when a jamming attack occurs. In this paper, we consider making a network more robust to jamming attacks before any such attack has happened. We considermore »a network in which the positions of most of the radios in the network are not under the control of the network operator, but the network operator can position a few “helper nodes” to add robustness against jamming. For instance, most of the nodes are radios on vehicles participating in a mission, and the helper nodes are mounted on mobile robots or UAVs. We develop techniques to determine where to position the helper nodes to maximize the robustness of the network to certain jamming attacks aimed at disrupting the network topology. Using our recent results for quickly determining how to attack a network, we use the harmony search algorithm to find helper node placements that maximize the number of jammers needed to disrupt the network« less
  4. Robots such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) deployed for search and rescue (SAR) can explore areas where human searchers cannot easily go and gather information on scales that can transform SAR strategy. Multi-UAV teams therefore have the potential to transform SAR by augmenting the capabilities of human teams and providing information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Our research aims to develop new theory and technologies for field deploying autonomous UAVs and managing multi-UAV teams working in concert with multi-human teams for SAR. Specifically, in this paper we summarize our work in progress towards these goals, including: (1) a multi-UAV searchmore »path planner that adapts to human behavior; (2) an in-field distributed computing prototype that supports multi-UAV computation and communication; (3) behavioral modeling that fields spatially localized predictions of lost person location; and (4) an interface between human searchers and UAVs that facilitates human-UAV interaction over a wide range of autonomy.« less
  5. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly used by emergency responders to support search-and-rescue operations, medical supplies delivery, fire surveillance, and many other scenarios. At the same time, researchers are investigating usage scenarios in which UAVs are imbued with a greater level of autonomy to provide automated search, surveillance, and delivery capabilities that far exceed current adoption practices. To address this emergent opportunity, we are developing a configurable, multi-user, multi-UAV system for supporting the use of semi-autonomous UAVs in diverse emergency response missions. We present a requirements-driven approach for creating a software product line (SPL) of highly configurable scenarios based onmore »different missions. We focus on the process for eliciting and modeling a family of related use cases, constructing individual feature models, and activity diagrams for each scenario, and then merging them into an SPL. We show how the SPL will be implemented through leveraging and augmenting existing features in our DroneResponse system. We further present a configuration tool, and demonstrate its ability to generate mission-specific configurations for 20 different use case scenarios.« less