Improving Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Formation Flight and Swarm Cohesion by Using Commercial Off the Shelf Sonar Sensors

Robert L. McClanahan


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) formation flight and swarming are active areas of research within the Department of Defense (DoD). The current use of low cost commercial off the shelf (COTS) components to architect UAV formation flights results in insufficient position accuracy of the UAVs in the formation. This research aims to demonstrate the cohesiveness of formation flights increases by using onboard sonar sensors to accurately measure the distance the follower UAV is from the leader UAV. This research effort reduced the RMSD by 37.3 and the average position error by 70.9 when compared to previous flight test.