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.
Wildfire is one of the most significant disturbances responsible for reshaping the terrain and changing the ecosystem of a particular region. Its detrimental effects on environment as well as human lives and properties, and growing trend in terms of frequency and intensity of wildfires over the last decade have necessitated the development of efficient forest fire management techniques. During the last three decades, Forest Fire Decision Support Systems (FFDSS) have been developed to help in the decision-making processes during forest fires by providing necessary information on fire detection, their status and behavior, and other aspects of forest fires. However, most of these decision support systems lack the capability of developing intelligent fire suppression strategies based upon current status and predicted behavior of forest fire. This paper presents an approach for development of efficient fireline building strategies via intelligent resource allocation. A Genetic Algorithm based approach has been proposed in this paper for resource allocation and optimum fireline building that minimizes the total damage due to wildland fires. The approach is based on a simulation–optimization technique in which the Genetic Algorithm uses advanced forest fire propagation models based upon Huygens principles for evaluation of cost index of its solutions. Both homogeneous and heterogeneous environmental conditions have been considered. Uncertainties in weather conditions as well as imperfect knowledge about exact vegetation and topographical conditions make exact prediction of wildfires very difficult. The paper incorporates Monte-Carlo simulations to develop robust strategies in uncertain conditions. Extensive simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in efficient resource allocation for fighting
complex wildfires in uncertain and dynamic conditions.
Uninhabited aerial vehicles provide numerous advantages in fighting wildland fires that include persistent operation and elimination of humans from performing what can be dull, dangerous, and dirty work. Multiple cooperating uninhabited aerial vehicles can potentially bring about a paradigm shift in the way we fight complex wildland fires. This paper investigates algorithmic development for cooperative control of a number of uninhabited aerial vehicles engaged in fighting a wildland fire. The paper considers two tasks to be performed by a group of uninhabited aerial vehicles: 1) Cooperative tracking of a fire front for accurate situational awareness, and 2) cooperative, autonomous fire fighting using fire suppressant fluid. The scenario considered in this paper makes the following assumptions: information regarding the location of the fire and position of all uninhabited aerial vehicles is made available to each uninhabited aerial vehicle; and each uninhabited aerial vehicle is equipped with unlimited fire suppressant fluid which extinguishes fire in a circle of specified area directly beneath it. This paper formulates these two tasks of fire fighting based upon optimization of respective utility functions, develops a decentralized control method for the cooperative uninhabited aerial vehicles, and analyzes the system for its stability and its ability to carry out the tasks. The proposed strategies have been verified with the help of extensive simulations. Although simplifying assumptions have been made, this preliminary study presents a framework for path planning and cooperative control of multiple uninhabited aerial vehicles engaged in gathering data and actively fighting 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 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.
The standard curriculum for Aerospace Engineering students at the University of Cincinnati includes AEEM361 Integrated Aircraft Engineering. The goal of this course is to instruct students in the tools and methodology of aircraft design. The integrated aspects of aircraft design are underscored by introducing prejunior (between sophomore and junior) students to the state-of-the-art morphing technology, inspired by bat and bird flight, which can enable an aircraft to adapt its shape to best suit the flight condition thereby enhancing mission performance. In this article, we present the development of unique software tools, which provide undergraduates an opportunity to design airfoils for morphing aircraft. Morphing is introduced in the form of “on demand” camber as well as sweep change with the aim of improving aerodynamic efficiency for a multiobjective (several design points) mission profile. The Global Hawk UAV mission in general and its LRN1015 airfoil in particular is in focus due to the relative long mission times spent at the two different flight conditions, namely high-speed dash and low-speed loiter. We are using several tools to virtually simulate a morphing wing including XFOIL to perform fast and relatively accurate two-dimensional steady-flow simulations of different morphed configurations using a camber-controlled morphed wing to maneuver. In this article we detail AeroMorph, the educational MATLAB-based tool developed for design of a camber-controlled morphing of airfoils with the aim of improving aerodynamic efficiency and exploration of the basic relationships between flap deflection and airfoil morphing based on a camber change.
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.
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.
There are a variety of scenarios in which the mission objectives rely on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being capable ofmaneuvering in an environment containing obstacles in which there is little prior knowledge of the surroundings. With an appropriate dynamicmotion planning algorithm, UAVs would be able tomaneuver in any unknown environment towards a target in real time. This paper presents a methodology for two-dimensional motion planning of a UAV using fuzzy logic. The fuzzy inference system takes information in real time about obstacles (if within the agent’s sensing range) and target location and outputs a change in heading angle and speed. The FL controller was validated, andMonte Carlo testing was completed to evaluate the performance.Not only was the path traversed by the UAV often the exact path computed using an optimal method, the low failure rate makes the fuzzy logic controller (FLC) feasible for exploration. The FLC showed only a total of 3% failure rate, whereas an artificial potential field (APF) solution, a commonly used intelligent control method, had an average of 18% failure rate. These results highlighted one of the advantages of the FLC method: its adaptability to complex scenarios while maintaining low control effort.