The 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles 2010

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Performance Evaluation of a Mobile Ad-hoc Network for Collaborative Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations

Esteban Gutierrez
Aerospace Research and Technology Centre
Spain

Marcel Quintana
Aerospace Research and Technology Centre
Spain

Ed Chester
Aerospace Research and Technology Centre
Spain

Abstract:
In this paper we investigate new schemes to improve the operability of heterogeneous Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) teams through the exploitation of inter-vehicular communications. Releasing ground links from unnecessary data exchanges saves resources and alleviates the inherent scalability problem resulting from the increase in the number of UAS to be controlled simultaneously. An architecture based on an aerial Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) is proposed for the management of the data exchange among all the vehicles in the team. A performance evaluation of the two most relevant MANET approaches for path discovery (namely, reactive and proactive) has been carried out by means of simulation of two well-known routing protocols: Ad-hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV) and Destination Sequence Distance Vector (DSDV). Several network configurations are generated to emulate different possible contingencies that might occur in real UAS team operations. Network topology evolution, vehicle flight dynamics and data traffic patterns are considered as input parameters to the simulation model. The analysis of the system behavior for each possible network configuration is used to evaluate the appropriateness of both approaches in different mission scenarios. Finally, an assessment of the simulation results is presented along with a discussion about further research challenges.

 

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