Cooperative Control of Multi-Agent Systems
In all these mission scenarios, the use of a cooperative group of vehicles supported by an inter-vehicle communications network (rather than a single heavily equipped vehicle) provides robustness to system failures, increases system overall reliability, and improves mission efficiency, especially when operating in large spatial domains. However, despite significant progress in the field of cooperative control, several challenges still need to be addressed to develop strategies capable of yielding robust performance of a fleet of vehicles in the presence of complex vehicle dynamics, communications constraints, and partial vehicle failures.
At the ACRL, in collaboration with NASA, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS, Monterey, CA), and the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, Lisbon, Portugal), we develop, implement, and test robust decentralized strategies for cooperative motion control of multiple vehicles that must meet stringent spatial and temporal constraints. Figure 1 depicts an architecture of the cooperative control framework adopted in our work.
Figure 1. Architecture of the cooperative control framework
In this work, tools from real-time optimization, Lyapunov-based stability analysis, robust control, graph theory, and logic-based communications are brought together for the development of decentralized robust cooperative control algorithms which achieve the following objectives (click for details):