Cooperative AerialGround Vehicle Route Planning With Fuel Constraints for Coverage Applications
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IEEE Low cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) need multiple refuels to accomplish large area coverage. We propose the use of a mobile Ground Vehicle (GV), constrained to travel on a given road network, as a refueling station for the UAV. Determining optimal routes for a UAV and GV, and selecting rendezvous locations for refueling to minimize coverage time is NP-hard. We develop a two-stage strategy for coupled route planning for UAV and GV to perform a coverage mission. The first stage computes refueling sites that ensure reachability of all points of interest by the UAV and feasible routes for both the UAV and GV. In the second stage, Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP)-based exact methods are developed to plan optimal routes for the UAV and GV. As the problem is NP-Hard, we also develop computationally efficient heuristics that can find good feasible solutions within a given time limit. Extensive simulations are conducted to corroborate the effectiveness of the developed approaches. Field experiments are also performed to verify the performance of the UAV-GV solution.
author list (cited authors)
Maini, P., Sundar, K., Singh, M., Rathinam, S., & Sujit, P. B.