Reactive autonomous navigation of UAVs for dynamic sensing coverage of mobile ground targets

Hailong Huang, Andrey V. Savkin, Xiaohui Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper addresses a problem of autonomous navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the surveillance of multiple moving ground targets. The ground can be flat or uneven. A reactive real-time sliding mode control algorithm is proposed that navigates a team of communicating UAVs, equipped with ground-facing video cameras, towards moving targets to increase some measure of sensing coverage of the targets by the UAVs. Moreover, the Voronoi partitioning technique is adopted to reduce the movement range of the UAVs and decrease the revisit times of the targets. Extensive computer simulations, from the simple case with one UAV and multiple targets to the complex case with multiple UAVs and multiple targets, are conducted to demonstrate the performance of the developed autonomous navigation algorithm. The scenarios where the terrain is uneven are also considered. As shown in the simulation results, although the additional VP technique leads to some extra computation burden, the usage of the VP technique considerably reduces the target revisit time compared to the algorithm without this technique.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3720
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • unmanned aerial vehicles
  • navigation
  • networks of drones
  • reactive deployment
  • surveillance and monitoring
  • sensing coverage
  • dynamic coverage
  • autonomous systems


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