Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gregory J. Toussaint, PhD


The route surveillance mission is a new application of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) to meet the reconnaissance and surveillance requirements of combatant commanders. The new mission intends to field a UAS consisting of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can provide day and night surveillance of convoy routes. This research focuses on developing a solution strategy for the mission based on the application of optimal control and cooperative control theory. The route surveillance controller uses the UAS team size to divide the route into individual sectors for each entity. A specifically designed cost function and path constraints are used to formulate an optimal control problem that minimizes the revisit time to the route and the overall control energy of the UAS. The problem complexity makes an analytical solution difficult, so a numerical technique based on the Gauss pseudo-spectral method is used to solve for the optimal solution. The output trajectories describe a path that each entity could fly to provide surveillance on the route. Simulated and real-world routes containing likely urban and rural characteristics were used to test the controller and show that the developed system provides feasible surveillance solutions under certain conditions. These results represent baseline statistics for future studies in this research area.

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DTIC Accession Number