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Multi-UAV Cooperation International Research Exchange Network

Final Report Summary - MUAC-IREN (Multi-UAV Cooperation International Research Exchange Network)

This project joints leading institutions in UAV technologies from Germany, Spain and Australia. It has the following objectives:
• Research and advance in technologies that help to create Long Endurance Multi-UAV applications in the future, including:
o Control algorithms for the extension of the endurance of autonomous aerial robots or UAVs using wind energy.
o Control and estimation algorithms for all-weather UAV operations. This includes estimation and planning techniques to avoid weather hazards and control techniques to mitigate the effect of weather conditions.
o New fully distributed methods for real-time cooperation of entities, involving fault adaptive reconfiguration of the trajectories for long endurance applications.
• Reinforce relations between the different research groups and exploit their synergies.
• Knowledge transfer on long endurance multi-UAV applications.
The main focus of the research works performed in the in the project was to:
• Build up an understanding of the each partner facilities to support scientific pursuits.
• Conduct a joint research activity between an ER and ESR with AICIA and CATEC personnel to demonstrate soaring algorithms on their internal test bed. This was successful and led to a joint publication.
• Perform joint AICIA and ACFR research in better exploration/exploitation techniques for a UAV in autonomous soaring. This lead to several publications.
• Start a joint research between DLR and CATEC in order to advance in the development of high performance control technologies for fixed- and rotary-wing UAVs. This led to two joint publications.
• Perform a collaboration between CATEC and ACFR on robust relative perception systems for long endurance missions where recharging is necessary. The robust relative estimation can be used for docking manoeuvres.
• Conduct research work between AICIA and ACFR addressing long endurance cooperative missions with multiple UAVs. This also generated publications.
• Perform collaboration between DLR and ACFR for multi vehicle control and long endurance fixed wing UAVs. The developed multi vehicle control with multi sensor state estimation can be used for docking or refueling manoeuvres.
• Performed joint research between AICIA and DLR related to elaborate modelling of rotary wind UAVs. The resulting models were used for control development and also led to publications.
• Conduct research work between CATEC and ACFR related to cooperation algorithms in multi-UAV scenarios.
• Integration of Europa2 and Trex2-agent into a ROS environment (with FADA-CATEC autopilot)
• Fixed wing simulator in HWIL environment.
• Design and development of a navigation system based on RGB-D cameras.
• Theory and implementation of active object segmentation.

Moreover, the different stays reinforced relations and exploited the detected synergies. In fact, most of the objectives and technical goals for the period were achieved and the milestones have been also succeeded. The research groups have been collaborating efficiently obtaining results and generating publications, including some joint publications, and presentations in conferences, including top conferences in the field such as IEEE ICRA and IROS. One researcher has extended his research secondment before the end of the project reinforcing the relationship between AICIA and University of Sidney.

Finally, the website for the project has been online since month 3 in this URL: