M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKivelevitch Elad
SubjectFlock Properties Effect on the Mission Execution
Performance of Cooperating Aerial
DepartmentDepartment of Aerospace Engineering
Supervisor PROF. Pinchas Gurfil


Mission execution among a group of cooperating air vehicles is a major research field in recent years. Most researchers focus on the development of algorithms governing task assignment and coordinated flight. We take a different approach and examine the problem by changing the group properties and evaluating these changes on the mission execution performance of the group. We use Dudek's taxonomy in order to investigate the performance of a group of Police Air Vehicles (PAVs) cooperating in mission execution against a group of traffic offender vehicles.

We show that increasing the number of PAVs in the group proves to be beneficial as it allows the group to react to more offending events. We also show that using communication helps creating better cooperation between the flock members; however, using infinite communication range or infinite communication bandwidth results in considerable computational complexity. We conclude that it may be sufficient to use finite-bandwidth communication, keeping the computational complexity constant with the number of PAVs in the group, thus allowing the group to be scalable to large numbers of PAVs. We use flocking behavior to control the movement of the PAVs when searching, as the flocking helps the PAVs to disperse in the environment and improve the detection probability of the flock. We show that using flocking improves the group performance only if the group is capable of mission task collaboration .