Intersections of flight paths in multi-drone missions are indications of a high likelihood of in-flight drone collisions. This likelihood can be proactively minimized during path planning. This paper proposes two offline collision-avoidance multi-drone path-planning algorithms: DETACH and STEER. Large drone tasks can be divided into smaller ones and carried out by multiple drones. Each drone follows a planned flight path that is optimized to efficiently perform the task. The path planning of the set of drones can then be optimized to complete the task in a short time, with minimum energy expenditure, or with maximum waypoint coverage. Here we focus on maximizing waypoint coverage. Different from existing schemes, our proposed offline path-planning algorithms detect and remove possible in-flight collisions. They are based on a constrained nearest-neighbor search algorithm that aims to cover a large number of waypoints per flight-path. DETACH and STEER perform vector intersection check for flight path analysis, but each at different stages of path planning. We evaluate the waypoint coverage of the proposed algorithms through a novel profit model and compare their performance on a work area with different waypoint densities. Our results show that STEER covers 40% more waypoints and generates 20% more profit than DETACH in high-density waypoint scenarios.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Signal Processing
- Information Systems
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Collision avoidance
- Collision avoidance.
- Multi-Depot Vehicle Routing Problem
- Path planning
- Path planning
- Task analysis
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles