Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


This thesis describes the research effort into implementing cooperative behavior and control across heterogeneous vehicles using low cost off-the-shelf technologies and open source software. Current cooperative behavior and control methods are explored and improved upon to build analysis models. These analysis models characterize ideal factor settings for implementation and establish limits of performance for these low cost approaches to cooperative behavior and control. The research focused on latency and position accuracy as the two measures of performance. Three different ground control station (GCS) software applications and two types of vehicles, rover ground vehicles and aerial multi-rotors, were used in this research. Using optimum factor settings from Design of Experiments (DOE), the multi-rotor following rover vehicle configuration experienced almost twice the latency of other experiments but also the lowest positional error of 0.8 m. Results show that the achieved update frequency of 0.5 Hz or slower would be far too slow for close-formation flight.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number