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Cooperative Control of UAVs for Tracking Moving Targets Through Information Gain

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Toyon Research Corp.
6800 Cortona Drive Goleta, CA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Cooperative Control of UAVs for Tracking Moving Targets Through Information Gain
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-05-C-0180
Award Amount: $750,000.00


Toyon Research Corporation and the University of California at Santa Barbara propose to develop a control system for Cooperative Search, Acquisition, and Tracking (CSAT) by small, autonomous Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). This system will include algorithms for dynamic routing and sensor management to support cooperative tracking of one or more moving ground targets and will be demonstrated at an airfield maintained by our subcontractor Advanced Ceramics Research using their Silver Fox UAV. UAV flight paths are periodically computed on a discretization of the search space using dynamic programming and are optimal on the grid with respect to a tradeoff between probability of acquisition and total flight time. Paths will account for terrain and potential obscuration of the targets and will each terminate in a rounded rectangle around the target(s) that respects standoff requirements. Sensor controls are dynamically selected in order to minimize the information-theoretic entropy of a tracking database. Our system will work with electro-optical sensors, mounted on the routable UAVs, and moving target indicator radars, mounted on a fixed-orbit UAV. Cooperative sensor management can exploit the strengths of each type of sensor to provide the data necessary for a system to perform CSAT operations even in the presence of obscuration. We will modify existing open-source software to develop a video tracking module for use by the UAVs. Our current control system, based on a centralized architecture, will be completed and tested under Phase II. We will then evolve this system into a decentralized architecture. Throughout the Phase II effort, we will test our algorithms using SLAMEMT, Toyon's high-fidelity battlefield testbed.

Principal Investigator:

Mark R. Meloon
Senior Analyst

Business Contact:

Marcella R. Lindbery
Director of Contracts & F
Small Business Information at Submission:

Suite A 75 Aero Camino Goleta, CA 93117

EIN/Tax ID: 953526665
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Office of Research
3227 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Contact: Nancy R. Lewis
Contact Phone: (805) 893-4034
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university