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Role of information and communication in redefining unmanned aerial vehicle autonomous control levels

Suresh, M and Ghose, D (2010) Role of information and communication in redefining unmanned aerial vehicle autonomous control levels. In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 224 (G2). pp. 171-197.

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Autonomous mission control, unlike automatic mission control which is generally pre-programmed to execute an intended mission, is guided by the philosophy of carrying out a complete mission on its own through online sensing, information processing, and control reconfiguration. A crucial cornerstone of this philosophy is the capability of intelligence and of information sharing between unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or with a central controller through secured communication links. Though several mission control algorithms, for single and multiple UAVs, have been discussed in the literature, they lack a clear definition of the various autonomous mission control levels. In the conventional system, the ground pilot issues the flight and mission control command to a UAV through a command data link and the UAV transmits intelligence information, back to the ground pilot through a communication link. Thus, the success of the mission depends entirely on the information flow through a secured communication link between ground pilot and the UAV In the past, mission success depended on the continuous interaction of ground pilot with a single UAV, while present day applications are attempting to define mission success through efficient interaction of ground pilot with multiple UAVs. However, the current trend in UAV applications is expected to lead to a futuristic scenario where mission success would depend only on interaction among UAV groups with no interaction with any ground entity. However, to reach this capability level, it is necessary to first understand the various levels of autonomy and the crucial role that information and communication plays in making these autonomy levels possible. This article presents a detailed framework of UAV autonomous mission control levels in the context of information flow and communication between UAVs and UAV groups for each level of autonomy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Professional Engineering Publishing.
Keywords: autonomous mission control; information and communication; unmanned aerial vehicles; group autonomy; solo autonomy
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Aerospace Engineering(Formerly Aeronautical Engineering)
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 09:47
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:57
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/26381

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