Safe multi-cluster UAV continuum deformation coordination

Hossein Rastgoftar, Ella M. Atkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a paradigm for coordination of multiple unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) clusters in a shared motion space. UAVs are arranged in a finite number of teams each bounded by a leading triangle. Collective motion of each UAV cluster is managed by a continuum deformation defined by three leaders at the vertices of a leading triangle and followers contained within this triangle. Each triangular cluster can deform substantially to support maneuverability in constrained spaces. This paper specifies necessary conditions to guarantee obstacle avoidance as well as collision avoidance within and across all clusters operating in a shared motion space. Given initial and target configurations, an existing planner (A*) identifies the shortest coordinated leader UAV paths from initial to final configuration in a manner that satisfies safety constraints. An illustrative simulation case study is presented. Continuum deformation containment offers scalability in collision-free UAV motion planning not previously realized in the detect-and-avoid literature. The proposed multi-cluster coordination protocol also extends previous cooperative control to address detect-and-avoid (DAA) given multiple cooperative teams with different destinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-655
Number of pages16
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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