Estimation and control of UAV swarms for distributed monitoring tasks

Fabio Morbidi*, Randy A. Freeman, Kevin M. Lynch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a distributed estimation and control strategy for cooperative monitoring by swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) modeled as constant-speed unicycles. The geometric moments, encoding an abstraction of the swarm, are controlled via a nonlinear gradient descent to match those of a discrete set of particles describing the occurrence of some event of interest to be monitored. Because of its limited sensing capabilities, each agent can measure the position of only a subset of the overall particles, from which it locally estimates the desired moments of the swarm running a proportional-integral (PI) average consensus estimator. The closed-loop stability of the system arising from the combination of the gradient-descent controllers and the consensus estimators is studied and simulation results are provided to illustrate the proposed theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 American Control Conference, ACC 2011
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781457700804
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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