Presentation Title

Ultra-fast, Autonomous, Reconfigurable UAV Communication System

Location

Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Engineering and Material Sciences - Electrical

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Dr. Rami Haddad - Faculty advisor

Dr. Fernando Rios-Gutierrez - Faculty advisor

Abstract

The recent years have witnessed an increase in natural disasters in which the destruction of essential communication infrastructure has significantly affected the number of casualties. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina in the United States resulted in over 1,900 deaths, three million land-line phones disconnections, and more than 2000 cell sites going out of service. This incident highlighted an urgent need for a quick-deployment efficient communication network for emergency relief purposes. In this research, a fully autonomous system to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as the first phase disaster recovery communication network for wide-area relief is presented. As part of this system, an automation algorithm has been developed to control the deployment and positioning of the UAVs based on a traditional cell network structure utilizing 7-cell clusters in a hexagonal pattern. This system utilizes the open source MAVLink protocol for communication between the UAVs and the ground station. Since this is an outdoor system, localization is based solely on GPS, which is the only limiting factor. The distributed execution of the algorithm is based on a centralized management of UAV cells through assigning higher ranked UAVs referred to as supernodes. These supernodes in the distribution correspond to the vertices of the hexagonal cells which can be viewed as base stations. The algorithm autonomously elects supernodes based on weighted variables and dynamically handles any changes in total number of UAVs in the system through the clustering algorithm. Overall this system represents a novel approach for handling a large-scale autonomous deployment of a UAV communications networks. In addition to the software algorithm, a fully functional control interface was developed which allowed for full control of the system both locally and over an internet connection. The proposed autonomous communication network was verified and validated using software simulation and physical testing using identical quadrotor UAVs.

Keywords

UAV, Autonomous, Communications, Disaster relief, Mavlink, Drone

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 10:45 AM

End Date

4-24-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 10:45 AM Apr 24th, 12:00 PM

Ultra-fast, Autonomous, Reconfigurable UAV Communication System

Atrium

The recent years have witnessed an increase in natural disasters in which the destruction of essential communication infrastructure has significantly affected the number of casualties. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina in the United States resulted in over 1,900 deaths, three million land-line phones disconnections, and more than 2000 cell sites going out of service. This incident highlighted an urgent need for a quick-deployment efficient communication network for emergency relief purposes. In this research, a fully autonomous system to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as the first phase disaster recovery communication network for wide-area relief is presented. As part of this system, an automation algorithm has been developed to control the deployment and positioning of the UAVs based on a traditional cell network structure utilizing 7-cell clusters in a hexagonal pattern. This system utilizes the open source MAVLink protocol for communication between the UAVs and the ground station. Since this is an outdoor system, localization is based solely on GPS, which is the only limiting factor. The distributed execution of the algorithm is based on a centralized management of UAV cells through assigning higher ranked UAVs referred to as supernodes. These supernodes in the distribution correspond to the vertices of the hexagonal cells which can be viewed as base stations. The algorithm autonomously elects supernodes based on weighted variables and dynamically handles any changes in total number of UAVs in the system through the clustering algorithm. Overall this system represents a novel approach for handling a large-scale autonomous deployment of a UAV communications networks. In addition to the software algorithm, a fully functional control interface was developed which allowed for full control of the system both locally and over an internet connection. The proposed autonomous communication network was verified and validated using software simulation and physical testing using identical quadrotor UAVs.