Quadrotor control for persistent surveillance of dynamic environments
Marrazzo, Michael James
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The last decade has witnessed many advances in the field of small scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In particular, the quadrotor has attracted significant attention. Due to its ability to perform vertical takeoff and landing, and to operate in cluttered spaces, the quadrotor is utilized in numerous practical applications, such as reconnaissance and information gathering in unsafe or otherwise unreachable environments. This work considers the application of aerial surveillance over a city-like environment. The thesis presents a framework for automatic deployment of quadrotors to monitor and react to dynamically changing events. The framework has a hierarchical structure. At the top level, the UAVs perform complex behaviors that satisfy high- level mission specifications. At the bottom level, low-level controllers drive actuators on vehicles to perform the desired maneuvers. In parallel with the development of controllers, this work covers the implementation of the system into an experimental testbed. The testbed emulates a city using physical objects to represent static features and projectors to display dynamic events occurring on the ground as seen by an aerial vehicle. The experimental platform features a motion capture system that provides position data for UAVs and physical features of the environment, allowing for precise, closed-loop control of the vehicles. Experimental runs in the testbed are used to validate the effectiveness of the developed control strategies.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University