Formation control for cooperative surveillance
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Constructing and maintaining a formation is critical in applications of cooperative control of multi-agent systems. In this research we address the formation control problem of generating a formation for a group of nonholonomic mobile agents. The formation control scheme proposed in this work is based on a fusion of leader-follower and virtual reference approaches. This scheme gives a formation constraint representation that is independent of the number of agents in the formation and the resulting control algorithm is scalable. One of the important desired features in controller design is that the formation errors defined by formation constraints should be stabilized globally and exponentially by the controller. The proposed controller is based on feedback linearization, and formation errors are shown to be globally exponentially stable in the sense of Lyapunov. Since formation errors are stabilized globally, the proposed controller is applicable to both formation keeping and formation construction problems. As a possible application, the proposed algorithm is implemented in a cooperative ground moving target surveillance scenario. The proposed algorithm enables the determination of the minimal number of agents required for surveillance of a moving target. The number of agents returned by this scheme is not optimal and hence is a conservative solution. However, this is justified by the computational savings the scheme offers.
Woo, Sang-Bum (2008). Formation control for cooperative surveillance. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from