Rapid Flight Control Prototyping - Steps Toward Cooperative Mission-Oriented Capabilities
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The paper describes the latest advancements in the development of the Rapid Flight Control Prototyping system that were motivated primarily by the need to enable cooperative missions of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles and to enhance the capabilities of human operators to design and oversee the collaborative behaviors of multiple heterogeneous UAVs. The evolution of the system is driven by the mission level objectives and supported on one hand by the progress in miniature sensors, computational power, communication and portable energy technologies and on the other hand by the advanced capabilities of embedded control and communication-oriented software. As a result the developed system enables rapid design, onboard integration and in-flight verification of multiple UAV collaborative concepts that seemed impossible just a couple of years ago. Advantages of the designed system are illustrated by a couple of scenarios that were recently developed and verified in flight by multiple cooperating UAVs. The paper concentrates on presenting the motivation and the conceptual design ideas which drive the evolution of the flight prototyping platform.
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