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Multi-agent Collision Avoidance Using Interval Analysis and Symbolic Modelling with its Application to the Novel Polycopter

Douthwaite, James Alexander (2019) Multi-agent Collision Avoidance Using Interval Analysis and Symbolic Modelling with its Application to the Novel Polycopter. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Text (The Ph.D thesis of James A. Douthwaite- Multi-agent Collision Avoidance Using Interval Analysis and Symbolic Modelling with its Application to the Novel Polycopter)
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Abstract

Coordination is fundamental component of autonomy when a system is defined by multiple mobile agents. For unmanned aerial systems (UAS), challenges originate from their low-level systems, such as their flight dynamics, which are often complex. The thesis begins by examining these low-level dynamics in an analysis of several well known UAS using a novel symbolic component-based framework. It is shown how this approach is used effectively to define key model and performance properties necessary of UAS trajectory control. This is demonstrated initially under the context of linear quadratic regulation (LQR) and model predictive control (MPC) of a quadcopter. The symbolic framework is later extended in the proposal of a novel UAS platform, referred to as the ``Polycopter" for its morphing nature. This dual-tilt axis system has unique authority over is thrust vector, in addition to an ability to actively augment its stability and aerodynamic characteristics. This presents several opportunities in exploitative control design. With an approach to low-level UAS modelling and control proposed, the focus of the thesis shifts to investigate the challenges associated with local trajectory generation for the purpose of multi-agent collision avoidance. This begins with a novel survey of the state-of-the-art geometric approaches with respect to performance, scalability and tolerance to uncertainty. From this survey, the interval avoidance (IA) method is proposed, to incorporate trajectory uncertainty in the geometric derivation of escape trajectories. The method is shown to be more effective in ensuring safe separation in several of the presented conditions, however performance is shown to deteriorate in denser conflicts. Finally, it is shown how by re-framing the IA problem, three dimensional (3D) collision avoidance is achieved. The novel 3D IA method is shown to out perform the original method in three conflict cases by maintaining separation under the effects of uncertainty and in scenarios with multiple obstacles. The performance, scalability and uncertainty tolerance of each presented method is then examined in a set of scenarios resembling typical coordinated UAS operations in an exhaustive Monte-Carlo analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Polycopter, Symbolic Modelling, Interval avoidance, OpenMAS, UAV Modelling and Control, Morphing Aerial Systems, Collision Avoidance, Air-traffic Control, Multi-agent systems, Control Systems, UAV, UAS, Drone, Monte Carlo Analysis
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.804586
Depositing User: Dr James Alexander Douthwaite
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 11:08
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26572

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