A Distributed Control Framework of Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Dynamic Wildfire Tracking

by   Huy Xuan Pham, et al.
University of Nevada, Reno

Wild-land fire fighting is a hazardous job. A key task for firefighters is to observe the "fire front" to chart the progress of the fire and areas that will likely spread next. Lack of information of the fire front causes many accidents. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to cover wildfire is promising because it can replace humans in hazardous fire tracking and significantly reduce operation costs. In this paper we propose a distributed control framework designed for a team of UAVs that can closely monitor a wildfire in open space, and precisely track its development. The UAV team, designed for flexible deployment, can effectively avoid in-flight collisions and cooperate well with neighbors. They can maintain a certain height level to the ground for safe flight above fire. Experimental results are conducted to demonstrate the capabilities of the UAV team in covering a spreading wildfire.


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