Flight Test Results for UAVs Using Boid Guidance Algorithms

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A critical technology for operating groups of Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is distributed guidance. Distributed guidance allows an operator to command several vehicles at the same time, reduces operator workload, and adds redundancy to the system. Some of the leading software candidates for achieving distributed guidance are known as Boid Guidance Algorithms (BGAs), which are agent-based techniques relying on the interactions of simple behaviors. Flight tests are crucial to the advancement of flight technologies such as BGAs, and this was identified as an important area for development. This paper presents the results from the 2005 flight tests of BGAs at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center with two RnR Products’ APV-3 UAVs employing CloudCap Technology's Piccolo autopilot system. Major challenges in these flight tests include the use of a waypoint-following system, limited computation resources, and management of safety procedures. The conclusions of this work include the need for using a path-following platform and completion of a full system optimization. This work is an important step in the development of a deployable distributed guidance system.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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Procedia Computer Science