|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||03-II T1.01-9834|
|PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER:||NNA04AA19C|
|RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Information Technologies for System Health Management, Autonomy and Scientific Exploration|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||Coordinated Control of Multi-Agent Systems in Rapidly Varying Environments|
|SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC):||RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):|
|NAME:||Scientific Systems Company, Inc.||NAME:||Brigham Young University|
|ADDRESS:||500 West Cummings Park Suite 3000||ADDRESS:||Office of Research & Creative Activities, A-261 ASB|
|STATE/ZIP:||MA 01801-6580||STATE/ZIP:||UT 84602-0001|
|PHONE:||(781) 933-5355||PHONE:||(801) 422-6177|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER
Eliot S.-M. Li
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The main objective of this Phase II STTR project is to develop advanced control algorithms that enable multiple autonomous agents to perform complex tasks in rapidly changing environment cooperatively. We plan to use the forest fire monitoring mission to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed technology. The mission concept involves using multiple Low Altitude Short Endurance (LASE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with camera and wireless communication modem to monitor a forest fire. Advantages of using LASE UAVs for this mission include flexible deployment, capability to collect high resolution imagery data, more frequent data update to the ground crew, and significantly lower cost than existing means (e.g. manned helicopter). Since the fire monitoring mission shares many characteristics of future NASA space exploration or Earth observing missions that require autonomous control of multiple satellite or vehicles, the proposed technology is expected to be applicable in those missions as well. Our technical objectives for this project are: (i) Develop autonomous decentralized cooperative control scheme; (ii) Develop payload driven perimeter tracking algorithms; (iii) Develop autonomous data acquisition and rectification algorithms; (iv) Develop intelligent fleet management algorithm, and (v) Demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed system through flight tests on prototype UAV hardware.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed Multi-UAV Forest Fire Monitoring System is expected to complement the HALE UAV, such as the ALTUS II used in the FiRE (First Response Experiment) under the NASA ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, in various disaster management and Earth observing missions. Specifically, the use of multiple LASE UAVs enable high resolution imagery data of a growing forest fire be collected and distributed to the fire crew frequently. The autonomous multi-agent cooperative control technology developed under this project will also be applicable in other NASA space exploration missions where multiple satellite or rovers with limited communication range are required to explore its environment cooperatively.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Autonomous Intelligent Flight Control is a major thrust areas of SSCI. Previous R\&D has resulted in the development of several unique technologies in these areas and we are pursuing several commercial products and services in this field. Potential applications of the proposed technology are in the area of intelligent autonomy for multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) engaged in cooperative missions such as hazardous site inspection. Autonomous intelligent control systems will find wide applications in the military such as Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) mission. Other potential applications are envisioned in the areas of robotics, and unmanned ground, underwater and surface vehicles.