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Three-dimensional formation flight for UAV using bifurcating velocity field

Suzuki, Masayuki and Uchiyama, Kenji and Bennet, Derek James and McInnes, Colin (2011) Three-dimensional formation flight for UAV using bifurcating velocity field. Journal of the Japan Society of Aeronautical and Space Sciences, 59 (693). pp. 259-265.

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Bennet_DJ_McInnes_CR_Pure_Three_dimensional_formation_flight_for_UAV_using_bifurcating_velocity_field_Dec_2011.doc - Preprint

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Abstract

This paper attempts to design a guidance law using bifurcating potential fields and velocity field for a swarm of autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We consider an autonomous flight system that can create different three-dimensional swarming patterns so as to guarantee obstacle and vehicle collision avoidance. The guidance law, which is derived from a steering and repulsive potential field, can express variable geometric patterns for a formation flight of UAVs. The system can transition between different formation patterns by way of a simple parameter change. We also describe the design method for potential field that is flexible enough to respond to a variety of UAV performance and mission. Numerical simulation is performed to verify the validity of the proposed guidance law.