A multi-quadcopter cooperative cyber-physical system for timely air pollution localization

Zhaoyan Shen, Zhijian He, Shuai Li, Qixin Wang, Zili Shao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a cyber-physical system of unmanned quadcopters to locate air pollution sources in a timely manner. The system consists of a physical part and a cyber part. The physical part includes unmanned quadcopters equipped with multiple sensors. The cyber part carries out control laws.We simplify the control laws by decoupling the quadcopters' horizontal-plane motion control from vertical motion control. To control the quadcopter's horizontal-plane motions, we propose a controller that combines pollutant dynamics with quadcopter physics. To control the quadcopter's vertical motions, we adopt an anti-windup proportionalintegral (PI) controller. We further extend the horizontal-plane control laws from a single quadcopter to multiple quadcopters. The multi-quadcopter control laws are distributed and convergent. We implement a prototype quadcopter and carry out experiments to verify the vertical control laws. We also carry out simulations to evaluate the horizontal-plane control laws. With quadcopter parameters set commensurate with our prototype implementation's, our simulations show that the control laws can drive quadcopters to locate pollution source(s) in a timely way.
Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • air pollution source
  • control laws
  • Cyber-physical system
  • multiquadcopter
  • pollutant dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture


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