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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Three-dimensional formation flying using bifurcating potential fields

Suzuki, Masayuki and Uchiyama, Kenji and Bennet, Derek J. and McInnes, C.R. (2009) Three-dimensional formation flying using bifurcating potential fields. In: AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, 2009-08-10 - 2009-08-13.

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Abstract

This paper describes the design of a three-dimensional formation flying guidance and control algorithm for a swarm of autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), using the new approach of bifurcating artificial potential fields. We consider a decentralized control methodology that can create verifiable swarming patterns, which guarantee obstacle and vehicle collision avoidance. Based on a steering and repulsive potential field the algorithm supports flight that can transition between different formation patterns by way of a simple parameter change. The algorithm is applied to linear longitudinal and lateral models of a UAV. An experimental system to demonstrate formation flying is also developed to verify the validity of the proposed control system.