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CoUAV: A Multi-UAV Cooperative Search Path Planning Simulation Environment

Jens Happe and Jean Berger

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


Sophisticated multi-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) simulation environments developed so far intrinsically paid significant attention on high-fidelity flight control system components to realistically account for low-level decision support. However, the use of these simulators often incurs a large overhead when focusing on cooperative high-level decision tasks, such as planning in mobile sensor networks. Therefore, a new discrete-event simulation environment, specially designed to investigate multi-agent search path planning coordination problems for surveillance and reconnaissance is proposed.

Named CoUAV, the simulation capability gives the flexibility to capture and customize high-level abstract key components and stochastic events specifically aimed at exploring team coordination strategies for distributed information gathering, while abstracting costly low-level system specifications or huge infrastructure maintenance and operational costs. The environment provides the user with problem definition, visualization and post-simulation solution analysis capabilities. Simulation results are presented for a military multi-UAV reconnaissance/target search mission comparing two solution designs. The versatility and flexibility of the environment is well-suited to explore the strengths and weaknesses of new and existing coordination strategies through comparative performance analysis over a variety of resource-bounded search path planning problem conditions.

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