A document reviews a multidisciplinary research program oriented toward development of a rigorous theoretical foundation, and scalable analytical tools and paradigms, for construction of cooperative, networked control for numerous autonomous and semi-autonomous aircraft. This research has addressed issues affecting the design of robust autonomous vehicle systems that could operate in highly uncertain environments, form teams, manage information, and cooperate in deployment, allocation of tasks, and searches. Significant accomplishments are reported in three areas:

  • Deployment and Task Allocation

    Algorithms for deployment of aircraft for surveillance have been developed. The algorithms run in real time aboard the aircraft, routing the aircraft to optimal locations, coordinating among the aircraft, thereby enabling efficient deployment throughout a geographic region.

  • Verification and Hybrid Systems

    Advances have been made in the theory of hybrid input-output automata and in techniques, based on this theory, that enable off-line automatic verification and validation of safety and liveness of cooperative control algorithms.

  • Information Management for Cooperative Control

    An information theory produced in this research has yielded significant contributions to the design of robust communication protocols featuring cooperative routing schemes that take advantage of network layer diversity and delay adaptation to increase reliability over wireless networks with fading channels.

This work was done by Geir E. Dullerud, P. R. Kumar, Daniel Liberzon, Bruce Reznick and Mahesh Viswanathan of the University of Illinois; Francesco Bullo of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Eric Feron of Georgia Institute of Technology; Emilio Frazzoli, Nancy A. Lynch, Sanjoy K. Mitter, Eytan Modiano, and Pablo Parrilo of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Sanjay Lall and John C. Mitchell of Stanford University for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Cooperative Control of Robotic Aircraft

(reference AFRL-0075) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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