Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard G. Cobb, PhD.


This research developed a method for multiple Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to efficiently collect data from a Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). WSN are composed of any number of fixed, ground-based sensors that collect and upload local environmental data to over flying UAS. The three-step method first uniquely assigns aircraft to specific sensors on the ground. Second, an efficient flight path is calculated to minimize the aircraft flight time required to verify their assigned sensors. Finally, sensors reporting relatively higher rates of local environmental activity are re-assigned to dedicated aircraft tasked with concentrating on only those sensors. This work was sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Control Sciences branch, at Wright Patterson AFB. Based on simulated scenarios and preliminary flight tests, optimal flight paths resulted in a 14 to 32 reduction in flight time and distance when compared to traditional flight planning methods.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number