The problem of assigning a group of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to perform spatially distributed tasks often requires that the tasks will be performed as quickly as possible. This problem can be defined as the Min–Max Multiple Depots Vehicle Routing Problem (MMMDVRP), which is a benchmark combinatorial optimization problem. In this problem, UAVs are assigned to service tasks so that each task is serviced once and the goal is to minimize the longest tour performed by any UAV in its motion from its initial location (depot) to the tasks and back to the depot. This problem arises in many time-critical applications, e.g. mobile targets assigned to UAVs in a military context, wildfire fighting, and disaster relief efforts in civilian applications. In this work, we formulate the problem using Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) and Binary Programming and show the scalability limitation of these formulations. To improve scalability, we propose a hierarchical market-based solution (MBS). Simulation results demonstrate the ability of the MBS to solve large scale problems and obtain better costs compared with other known heuristic solution.
Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) teams are anticipated to provide surveillance support through algorithms, software, and automation. It is desirable to have algorithms that compute effective and efficient routes for multiple UAVs across a variety of missions. These algorithms must be realizable, practical, and account for uncertainties. In surveillance missions, UAVs act as mobile wireless communication nodes in a larger, underlying network consisting of targets where information is to be collected and base stations where information is to be delivered. The role of UAVs in these networks has primarily been to maintain or improve connectivity while undervaluing routing efficiency. Moreover, many current routing strategies for UAVs ignore communication constraints even though neglecting communication can lead to suboptimal tour designs. Generating algorithms for autonomous vehicles that work effectively despite these communication restrictions is key for the future of UAV surveillance missions. A solution is offered here based on a variation of the traditional vehicle routing problem and a simple communication model. In this work, the new routing formulation is defined, analyzed, and a heuristic approach is motivated and described. Simulation results show that the heuristic algorithm gives near-optimal results in real-time, allowing it to be used for large problem sizes and extended to dynamic scenarios.
A general methodology has been developed for the design of a robust control law for a family of lightly damped second order problems. In this research effort, the passivity approach has been extended to systems having non-collocated input/output pairs by introducing an observer that incorporates the nominal dynamical model of the plant. The developed passive observer-based control law emulates numerous dynamic vibration absorbers which are tuned to a targeted frequency using classical methods and the tuning ratios are time-invariant. However, the uniqueness of this approach is that the damping parameters of the emulated absorbers are continuously varied by means of a fuzzy logic control algorithm to provide near minimum-time suppression of vibration. The developed approach is applied to both several benchmarks in the field of structural dynamics as well as experiments using piezo-ceramic sensors and actuators. Results show that this methodology provides stability and performance robustness on the one hand as well as requiring relatively low amount of actuation authority for desired nominal plant closeloop behavior.
Fire is a natural component of many ecosystems but wildland fires often do pose serious threats to public safety, properties and natural resources. Forest fire acts as a dominant factor in reshaping of terrain and change of the ecosystem of a particular area. The total damage due to wildland fire shows an increasing trend over the past decade. Forest Fire Decision Support Systems (FFDSS) have been developed for the last thirty years all over the world that supplies valuable information on forest fire detection, fire behavior and other aspects of forest fires but lacks in developing intelligent fire suppression strategies. In this paper, an effort has been made to generate intelligent fire suppression strategies with efficient resource allocation using the Genetic Algorithm based optimization tool in a heterogeneous and uncertain scenario. The goal of this research is to perform intelligent resource allocation along with the generation of optimal firelines that minimizes the total burned area due to wildland fire. The solutions generated at each generations of the Genetic Algorithm (GA) are used to build the firelines in a heterogeneous terrain where advanced forest fire propagation model is used to evaluate the fitness values of each generated solutions. The optimal firelines thus obtained through the Simulation-Optimization technique minimizes the total damage due to wildland fire and eliminates the chance of any fire escape i.e., firefront reaching the fireline positions before they are built. Such techniques integrated with the existing FFDSS hold promise in effectively controlling forest fires.
This work presents a methodology for real-time estimation of wildland fire growth, utilizing a fire growth model based on a set of partial differential equations for prediction, and harnessing concepts of space-time Kalman filtering and Proper Orthogonal Decomposition techniques towards low dimensional estimation of potentially large spatio-temporal states. The estimation framework is discussed in its criticality towards potential applications such as forest fire surveillance with unmanned systems equipped with onboard sensor suites. The effectiveness of the estimation process is evaluated numerically over fire growth data simulated using a well-established fire growth model described by coupled partial differential equations. The methodology is shown to be fairly accurate in estimating spatio-temporal process states through noise-ridden measurements for real-time deployability.
This study introduces the technique of Genetic Fuzzy Trees (GFTs) through novel application to an air combat control problem of an autonomous squadron of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) equipped with next-generation defensive systems. GFTs are a natural evolution to Genetic Fuzzy Systems, in which multiple cascading fuzzy systems are optimized by genetic methods. In this problem a team of UCAV's must traverse through a battle space and counter enemy threats, utilize imperfect systems, cope with uncertainty, and successfully destroy critical targets. Enemy threats take the form of Air Interceptors (AIs), Surface to Air Missile (SAM) sites, and Electronic WARfare (EWAR) stations. Simultaneous training and tuning a multitude of Fuzzy Inference Systems (FISs), with varying degrees of connectivity, is performed through the use of an optimized Genetic Algorithm (GA). The GFT presented in this study, the Learning Enhanced Tactical Handling Algorithm (LETHA), is able to create controllers with the presence of deep learning, resilience to uncertainties, and adaptability to changing scenarios. These resulting deterministic fuzzy controllers are easily understandable by operators, are of very high performance and efficiency, and are consistently capable of completing new and different missions not trained for.
Comparison of approximate approaches to solving the Travelling Salesman Problem and its application to UAV swarming. International Journal of Unmanned Systems Engineering. 3(1): 1-16. The Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) is a widely researched Non-deterministic Polynomial-time hard optimization problem with a range of important applications in a wide spectrum of disciplines including aerospace engineering. In this paper, a comparison of different approaches to solve the TSP and also its application towards swarming of UAVs is considered. The objective of the TSP is to determine the optimal route associated with the shortest tour connecting all targets just once. Genetic Algorithms (GA) are one of the most widely applied techniques for solving this class of optimization problems. Two other techniques, 2-opt and Particle Swarm Optimization, are used and the results are compared with those obtained using GA. The comparison is made for different numbers of targets, using salient figures of merit such as computational time required and the cost function which is the minimum solution (distance) obtained. Results show that the 2-opt approach with the closest neighbour as initial starting point for the search yields superior performance. In the Multiple Travelling Salesman Problem, we propose a cluster-first approach which allocates each specific UAV to a subset of targets. The 200 targets are divided into four clusters corresponding to the four UAVs and then TSP algorithms like 2-opt and GA are employed to solve each cluster. This approach drastically reduces the computational time and also gives much better results than the conventional technique of directly applying GA over the 200 targets.
The methods and outcome of a senior undergraduate project related to the control of a turbulent cylinder wake flow using plasma actuators are summarized in this article. The study integrates computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with experimentation and combines fluid mechanics with flow control research, crossing the boundaries between engineering disciplines.Comput. Appl. Eng. Educ.
This work presents a methodology for real-time estimation of wildland fire growth, utilizing afire growth model based on a set of partial differential equations for prediction, and harnessing concepts of space-time Kalman filtering and Proper Orthogonal Decomposition techniques towards low dimensional estimation of potentially large spatio-temporal states. The estimation framework is discussed in its criticality towards potential applications such as forest fire surveillance with unmanned systems equipped with onboard sensor suites. The effectiveness of the estimation process is evaluated numerically over fire growth data simulated using a well-established fire growth model described by coupled partial differential equations. The methodology is shown to be fairly accurate in estimating spatio-temporal process states through noise-ridden measurements for real-time deploy ability.
Breakthroughs in genetic fuzzy systems, most notably the development of the Genetic Fuzzy Tree methodology, have allowed fuzzy logic based Artificial Intelligences to be developed that can be applied to incredibly complex problems. The ability to have extreme performance and computational efficiency as well as to be robust to uncertainties and randomness, adaptable to changing scenarios, verified and validated to follow safety specifications and operating doctrines via formal methods, and easily designed and implemented are just some of the strengths that this type of control brings. Within this white paper, the authors introduce ALPHA, an Artificial Intelligence that controls flights of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles in aerial combat missions within an extreme-fidelity simulation environment. To this day, this represents the most complex application of a fuzzy-logic based Artificial Intelligence to an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle control problem. While development is on-going, the version of ALPHA presented withinwas assessed by Colonel (retired)Gene Lee who described ALPHA as “the most aggressive, responsive, dynamic and credible AI (he’s) seen-to-date.” The quality of these preliminary results in a problem that is not only complex and rife with uncertainties but also contains an intelligent and unrestricted hostile force has significant implications for this type of Artificial Intelligence. This work adds immensely to the body of evidence that this methodology is an ideal solution to a very wide array of problems.
For a Timoshenko beam model the equations of motion, representing the anisotropic continuum model of a two-dimensional, latticed, large space structure, are extended to include coupling between the extensional, shear and bending modes. This analytical model, applied to a 20-bay, orthogonal, tetrahedral, cantilevered truss structure, is used to determine the transient response when subjected to a unit impulse. It is demonstrated that for beam-like structures having a fixed bending stiffness and beam mass an increase in diagonal stiffness, on account of the stiffness of the vertical girder, leads to a rise in the transverse shear rigidity. This results in higher natural frequencies and a reduction in peak displacement. In addition, in an asymmetrical truss configuration, coupling between the extensional and shear modes raises the maximum peak displacement compared to that obtained for a symmetric truss. The model is modified to investigate the introduction of passive damping in the form of several dynamic vibration absorbers. For a fixed absorber mass budget, a simple yet efficient absorber parameter optimization procedure, based on the classical steady state criteria of a 2-DOF system, is developed to design several absorbers each tuned to a different modal frequency. It is found that inclusion of transverse shear rigidity, as a design parameter in damping augmentation studies, reduces settling time for predetermined maximum peak displacements.
The present study deals with an AFCA (Adaptive Fuzzy Control Algorithm) for an Euler-Bemoulli approximation of a two-dimensional version of a cantilever beam-like orthogonal tetrahedral space truss. Transient disturbances, modeled as a unit impulse, excite all the modes of the beam. The resulting transverse displacement at the free end of the beam and its corresponding rate are observed by sensors placed there, and active control of the beam is provided by a collocated force actuator.
A design methodology, based on fuzzy logic which assumes no a priori knowledge of plant dynamics, for the closed-loop control algorithm results in relatively quick settling times, low overshoots and dying out of vibration within a few seconds. The control algorithm is enhanced and made much faster by eliminating the need of repeatedly solving the set of differential equations of motion of an emulated dynamic vibration absorber. When the control force is turned off after a mere 15 seconds, almost all the vibrational energy is dissipated as the beam returns to its undisturbed state throughout its length. In addition, the performance of the AFCA is insensitive to varying initial conditions. To examine the robustness of the control system to changes in the temporal dynamics of the cantilever beam, the transient disturbance response to a considerably perturbed plant is simulated. The Young's modulus of the beam was raised as well as lowered by 60%, substantially perturbing the natural frequencies of vibration compared to the nominal plant. The AFCA provided similar settling times and rates of vibrational energy dissipation, satisfying the aim of plant model independence.
The present study deals with an AFCA (Adaptive Fuzzy Control Algorithm) for an Euler-Bernoulli approximation of a two-dimensional version of a cantilever beam-like orthogonal tetrahedral space truss. Transient disturbances, modeled as a unit impulse, excite all the modes of the beam. The resulting transverse displacement at the free end of the beam and its corresponding rate are observed by sensors placed there, and active control of the beam is provided by a collocated force actuator.
A design methodology for the closed-loop control algorithm that is independent of an exact mathematical model (space-state model, F.E.M., etc.) of plant dynamics and which is based on fuzzy logic is presented. First, the behavior of the open-loop system is observed. Then, the control force applied to the system emulates the behavior of a dynamic vibration absorber which is tuned to the measured fundamental frequency. This approach not only assures inherent stability associated with passive absorbers, but also circumvents the phenomenon of modal spillover. The damping and the mass ratios of the absorber adapt themselves by using a fuzzy decision-making process. This results in relatively quick settling times, low overshoots and dying out of vibration within a few seconds.
When the control force is turned off after a mere 16 seconds, almost all the vibrational energy is dissipated. In addition, the performance of the AFCA is insensitive to varying initial conditions. To demonstrate the robustness of the control system to changes in the temporal dynamics of the cantilever beam, the transient response to a considerably perturbed plant is simulated. The Young's modulus of the beam was raised as well as lowered substantially, thereby significantly perturbing the natural frequencies of vibration. The mode shapes, however, remain unchanged. For these cases, too, the AFCA provides similar settling times and rates of vibrational energy dissipation.
The control of exible structures employing the passivity approach has been extended to systems having noncollocated input/output pairs by introducing an observer that incorporates the nominal dynamical model of the plant. The passive observer-based control is applied to the American Control Conference benchmark problem, whereby, the control force emulates a dynamic vibration absorber attached to a virtual wall with passive control elements (spring, mass, and dashpot). The springs and mass elements of the controller are constant, whereas the damping coef cients are selected as time dependent in an attempt to choose continuously the most appropriate amount of damping in compliance with the design goals. A novel approach is introduced, whereby the passive observer-based control law is modi ed by varying the damping coef cient of the virtual dashpot by means of an adaptive fuzzy logic algorithm. This modi ed system exhibits quick settling times and desirable performance characteristics. Results from the statistical robustness analysis for the developed controller are compared to 10 other (linear) solutionsof the benchmarkproblem. The comparisonis based onrobust stability, robust performance (settling time), and control effort. The results obtained by the adaptive fuzzy logic algorithm are superior to those obtained by all other methods, and, consequently, further application of the fuzzy algorithm is advocated.
The present investigation deals with the application of an Adaptive Fuzzy Control Algorithm for active vibration control of an experimental flexible beam. The two-dimensional model of the experimental cantilever beam, given by an orthogonal tetrahedral space truss, represents a slender cantilever aluminum (7075-T6) beam of rectangular cross-section (1145 × 60 × 1.95 mm3). A variety of transient disturbances are introduced to excite the first four modes of the beam. The resulting transverse displacements are observed by a single sheet (50 × 50 mm2) of piezoceramic material placed at the clamped end of the beam. Active control of the beam is provided by one, two or three identical sheets of piezoceramic material collocated with the sensor. The control moments applied by the piezoceramic actuator are made to emulate the behavior of a discrete dynamic vibration absorber. The virtual absorber is tuned to the fundamental frequency using classical methods and the tuning ratios are time-invariant. However, the uniqueness of this approach is that the damping parameters of the emulated absorber are continuously varied by means of a fuzzy logic control algorithm to provide near minimum-time suppression of vibration. It is demonstrated that application of this methodology allows for its real-time implementation and provides relatively quick settling times in the closed-loop.
In this study a general approach is introduced for the design of a robust control law for suppression of structure borne vibration. This control law is based on a passive design in the form of dynamic vibration absorbers. Passive absorbers minimize vibration at a speci c frequency, but their performance is improved by introducing adaptive tuning of the absorber. An adaptive dynamic vibration absorber is tuned to the forcing frequency, using classical methods. The tuning ratio is time varying and adapts itself to variations in the forcing frequency. However, the uniqueness of the approach in this study is that the damping parameter of the absorber is continuously varied by means of a fuzzy-logic control algorithm to provide a lower sound pressure level. The inputs of the fuzzy control law are the displacement and velocity of the main structure. The effectiveness of the control algorithm for active vibration control is demonstrated using MATLAB® simulations of a single-degree-of-freedom plant. This methodology provides superior performance in the presence of signi cant mistuning compared to a more conventional approach.
Closed-loop control strategies were studied experimentally at low Reynolds and incompressible Mach numbers using periodic excitation to vector a turbulent jet. Vectoring was achieved by attaching a short, wide-angle diffuser at the jet exit and introducing periodic excitation from a slot covering one quadrant of the circumference of the round turbulent jet. Closed-loop control methods were applied to transition quickly and smoothly between different jet de ection angles. The frequency response of the zero-mass- ux piezoelectric actuatorwas at to about 0.5 kHz, but the jet responds up to 30–50 Hz only. This is still an order of magnitude faster than conventional thrust vectoring mechanism. System identi cation procedures were applied to approximate the system’s transfer function. A linear controller was designed that enabled fast and smooth transitions between stationary de ection angles and maintained desired jet vectoring angles under varying system conditions. The linear controller was tested over the entire range of available de ection angles, and its performance is evaluated and discussed.