Optimized routing of unmanned aerial systems for the interdiction of improvised explosive devices
Reber, Daniel N.
Royset, Johannes O.
Dell, Robert F.
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As of September 2007, improvised explosive devices (IED) account for 43% of U.S. casualties in Iraq - the largest single cause of death. One reason for their high rate of effectiveness is that they are extremely difficult to detect. This research develops a tool for selecting routes that will best employ unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the purpose of detecting IED or related activity. We refer to this tool as IED Search Optimization Model (ISOM). ISOM - which uses prediction model results as an underpinning - accounts for factors such as winds, sensor sweep-width, and aircraft deconfliction. We formulate the problem as an Integer Program and optimally solve it to select the best routes. Initial evaluation of ISOM through field experiments with actual UAS suggest that the tool produces realistic routes which can be flown in the expected amount of time. Furthermore, these routes result in a 42% increase in the likelihood of achieving a detection opportunity over searching nodes in a random manner. ISOM could be implemented as a "reach-back" capability with an analyst providing daily routes for tactical operators.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. As such, it is in the public domain, and under the provisions of Title 17, United States Code, Section 105, is not copyrighted in the U.S.
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