Cooperative Control of UAVs for Tracking Moving Targets Through Information Gain

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-05-C-0180
Agency Tracking Number: F045-011-0286
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-T011
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Suite A, 75 Aero Camino, Goleta, CA, 93117
DUNS: 054672662
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Meloon
 Senior Analyst
 (805) 968-6787
 mmeloon@toyon.com
Business Contact
 Marcella Lindbery
Title: Director of Contracts & F
Phone: (805) 968-6787
Email: mlindbery@toyon.com
Research Institution
 UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
 Nancy R Lewis
 Office of Research
3227 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106
 (805) 893-4034
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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 SLAMEM™, Toyon’s high-fidelity battlefield testbed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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