Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new trophallactic strategy for multiple unmanned aerial vehicles flying in formation

21.06.2013
The autonomous flying of multiple UAVs in formation is an important research area in the aerospace field.

Professor DUAN Haibin and his group members (LUO Qinan and YU Yaxiang) from the Science and Technology in Aircraft Control Laboratory, School of Automation Science and Electrical Engineering, Beihang University set out to tackle this problem. Through 5 years of innovative research, they investigated the trophallactic mechanism behind social insects and developed a novel trophallaxis network control method for formation flight.

They transferred the trophallaxis scenario to the context of a multi-UAV flight scenario and successfully tested and evaluated a new control strategy. Their work, entitled "Trophallaxis network control approach to formation flight of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles", was published in SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, 2013, Vol. 56(5).

In recent years, formation control of multiple UAVs has become a challenging interdisciplinary research topic, while autonomous formation flight is an important research area in the aerospace field. The main motivation is the wide range of possible military and civilian applications, where UAV formations could provide a low cost and efficient alternative to existing technology. Researchers and clinicians have developed many methods to address the formation problem. Despite all efforts, currently available formation control methods ignore network effects. The UAV group would perform their flight missions according to an existing database received by the navigation system and various sensors. Therefore, the stability of a UAV group is usually affected by the network characteristics, and there is an urgent need for network control strategies with better efficacy.

Trophallactic is a new swarm search algorithm. This new mechanism is based on the trophallactic behavior of social insects, animals and birds, such as ants, bees, wasps, sheep, dogs, sparrows and swallows. Trophallaxis is the exchange of fluid by direct mouth-to-mouth contact. Animal studies revealed that trophallaxis can reinforce the exchange and sharing of information between individual animals. By imitating that behavior and considering the communication requirements of the network control system, a network control method was proposed. The method was derived from the following example. A honeybee that finds the feeder fills its nectar crop with the offered sugar solution, and if the bee meets another bee on its way, there can be trophallactic contact. The higher the metabolic rate of the bee is, the higher this consumption rate will be. The attractive aspect of the trophallaxis mechanism is the ability to incorporate information transfer as a biological process and use global information to generate an optimal control sequence at each time step.

The virtual leader is employed in the formation flight model, and two trophallaxis strategies—the empty call and donation mechanisms—were considered to implement information transfer. In the process of formation, all UAVs, including the virtual leader, have the ability to conduct trophallaxis. The virtual leader sends updated task information and other UAVs update task information during their sampling period through the trophallaxis network.

In the trophallaxis network control system, each UAV obtains a control sequence based on the task commands and its own state, and transfers underlying information to the trophallaxis network (as shown in the figure). In the trophallaxis network environment, communication lines are shared and information flow changes irregularly, and network analysis becomes very complicated owing to the existence of time delay. The analysis of the network performance is easily achieved by dividing time delays into sensor–controller delay and controller–actuator delay.

This research project was supported in part by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. It is an important breakthrough in the recent history of formation flight. The researchers suggest that their work needs to be put into practice and examined in the formation control field and that the trophallactic mechanisms of social insects should be further studied. These efforts will have significant impact on the formation control of various (marine, ground, aeronautical, and astronautical) vehicle systems.

See the article: Duan H B, Luo Q N, Yu Y X. Trophallaxis network control approach to formation flight of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles. Sci China Tech Sci, 2013, Vol. 56 (5): 1066, http://tech.scichina.com:8082/sciEe/EN/abstract/abstract510833.shtml

Science China Press Co., Ltd. (SCP) is a scientific journal publishing company of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). For 50 years, SCP takes its mission to present to the world the best achievements by Chinese scientists on various fields of natural sciences researches.

DUAN Haibin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.buaa.edu.cn
http://zh.scichina.com/english/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat to power wearable devices
22.08.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Laser sensor LAH-G1 - optical distance sensors with measurement value display
15.08.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>