Hybrid control of long-endurance aerial robotic vehicles for wireless sensor networks
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This paper presents an effective hybrid control approach for building stable wireless sensor networks between heterogenoeous unmanned vehicles using long-endurance aerial robotic vehicles. For optimal deployment of the aerial vehicles in communications networoks, a gradient climbing based self-estimating control algorithm is utilized to locate the aerial platforms to maintain maximum communication throughputs between distributed multiple nodes. The autonomous aerial robots, which function as communication relay nodes, extract and harvest thermal energy from the atmospheric environment to improve their flight endurance within specified communication sreas. The rapidly-deployable sensor networks with the high-endurance aerials vehicles can be used for various application areas including environment monitoring, surveillance, tracking, and decision-making support. Flight test and simulation studies are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid control technique for robust communication networks.
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