Communication-aware convoy following guidance for UAVs in a complex urban environment

This paper proposes a communication-aware trajectory planning approach for UAVs to relay data/information (e.g. live surveillance feed) between a ground control station and friendly ground vehicles (a convoy) moving in a complex urban area. UAVs are controlled to stay: i) within the communication-feasible area (having a direct line-of-sight to the moving convoy and within the maximum communication range) and ii) as close as possible to the convoy to have better communication quality, while satisfying their kinematic and dynamic constraints. Numerical simulations and a proof-of-concept indoor flight test have been performed to validate the benefit and feasibility of the proposed algorithm.