Sundar, Kaarthik (2016-05). Algorithms for Routing Unmanned Vehicles with Motions, Resource, and Communication Constraints. Doctoral Dissertation.
Multiple small autonomous or unmanned aerial and ground vehicles are being used together with stationary sensing devices for a wide variety of data gathering, monitoring and surveillance applications in military, civilian, and agricultural applications, to name a few. Even though there are several advantages due to the small platforms for these vehicles, they pose a variety of challenges. This dissertation aims to address the following challenges to routing multiple small autonomous aerial or ground vehicles: (i) limited communication capabilities of the stationary sensing devices, (ii) dynamics of the vehicles, (iii) varying sensing capabilities of all the vehicles, and (iv) resource constraints in the form of fuel restrictions on each vehicle. The dissertation formulates four different routing problems for multiple unmanned vehicles, one for each of the aforementioned constraints, as mixed-integer linear programs and develops numerically efficient algorithms based on the branch-and-cut paradigm to compute optimal solutions for practically reasonable size of test instances.