This project aims at the development of technologies and tools for real-time coordination and control of multiple heterogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It will exploit the complementarities of different aerial systems (helicopters and airships) in missions where the only way to guarantee the success is the cooperation between several vehicles and where each aerial system can benefit from the data gathered by the other. This approach leads to redundant solutions offering greater fault tolerance and flexibility. The project will demonstrate the capabilities of the system in real-time forest fire detection and monitoring. Major innovations will be a multi-UAV decentralized control system, new hybrid control architecture, new UAV control techniques, real-time fault tolerance communications, cooperative environment perception, and a new relevant application.
The main objective of COMETS is to design and implement a distributed control system for cooperative detection and monitoring using heterogeneous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Particularly, both helicopters and airships will be included. In order to achieve this general objective, the project will design and implement a new control architecture, will develop new control techniques, and will integrate distributed sensing techniques and real-time image processing capabilities. In order to test and validate these concepts and systems, COMETS will demonstrate the system in forest fire detection, localisation and monitoring. This is a very challenging mission in which the cooperation of the UAVs is very valuable.
The Workprogramme consist of 7 Workpackages: Management, Specifications, Architecture (design, development, communications, and interaction and cooperation paradigms), Central real-time coordination and control (mission planning, mission monitoring and control, real-time simulator, and teleoperation tools), Distributed reliable autonomous real-time control (helicopter upgrading and integration, airship upgrading and integration, fault detection and reliability tools, UAV control methods), Cooperative Environment Perception (detection and monitoring perception tools, cooperative terrain mapping), Testing and Validation, Field Experimentation and Demonstration (preparation and coordination, field experiments, post-experiment analysis), and Dissemination and Exploitation. Special attention will be devoted to all the aspects related to reliability (architecture, communications, UAV fault detection techniques), and the exploitation of the characteristics of the multi UAV system. The project methodology is based on the use of existing UAVs. Four partners have UAVs with different characteristics, and three of them will be integrated in the system. A key aspect is the experimentation. That will include local UAV experiments and general forest fire detection and monitoring experiments. An special site will be conditioned and additional means for data acquisition and verification will be deployed.
The milestones will be: Kick-off, Specification Review, First Project Critical Review, Architecture Review, Second Project Critical Review, Third Project Critical Review, and Final Review.
The expected results will be:
a new system for cooperation and control of multiple UAVs;
a decentralized control system with wireless communications in stringent real-time conditions;
a new control architecture, new UAV control techniques, and;
new techniques for forest fire detection and monitoring.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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