Jeremy Gray

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


Small unmanned systems provide great utility to military applications due to their portable and expendable design. These systems are, however, costly to develop, produce, and maintain, making it desirable to integrate available commercial off the shelf (COTS) components. This research investigates the integration of COTS components through the development of a modular unified command and control (C2) architecture for heterogeneous and homogeneous vehicle teams to accomplish formation flocking and communication relay scenarios. A vehicle agnostic architecture was developed to be applied across different vehicle platforms, different vehicle combination, and different cooperative missions. COTS components consisting primarily of open source hardware and software were integrated and tested based on the positional accuracy, precision, and other qualitative measures. The resulting system successfully demonstrated formation flocking in three of four vehicle combinations, with the forth still demonstrating leader follower behaviors. The system achieved at best a mean positional error of 0.99m, a standard deviation of 0.44m, and a DRMS of 0.59m. The communication relay scenario was also demonstrated with two vehicle combinations for both distance and physical obstructions breaking the C2 link. This system demonstrated the desired capabilities and could easily be adapted to accomplish others through the use of the flexible architecture.

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DTIC Accession Number