This chapter reviews cooperative control of autonomous vehicles for environmental monitoring with a focus on methodologies that have been designed, deployed, and proven to provide efficient, reliable, and sustained monitoring of the uncertain and inhospitable ocean environment. Vehicles that communicate their state or measure the relative state of other vehicles in the team can cooperate by using feedback control to coordinate their motion as a mobile, reconfigurable sensor array, responding efficiently to changing signals, scales, and conditions in the environment. In a variety of contexts, a vehicle team with judiciously designed cooperative control can outperform the same team with each vehicle controlled independently. For example, cooperative control methodologies have been developed to improve the richness of information in the data that the vehicles collect, their accuracy in feature detection and tracking, and the robustness of their decisions to uncertainty and failures. The chapter begins with a survey of early work on ocean sampling and environmental monitoring, cooperative control, and collective motion. The theory, methodology, and field deployment are then highlighted for two projects on cooperative vehicle monitoring in the coastal ocean that demonstrated the applicability and associated performance advantages of cooperative control. The chapter concludes with a presentation of more recent developments as well as future directions in cooperative vehicle environmental monitoring.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)