Distributed position control in redundant UAV communications to improve performance, efficiency, and flight safety

For many years now, the operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is deemed to revolutionize current transportation, monitoring and surveillance application and enable many other use cases. For this, the safe and reliable operation of UAVs is a necessity.

The goal of the VEREDUS project is to connect UAVs among each other and to ground stations so that a precise picture of the UAV positions in the airspace is available at all times. For this purpose, two communication networks are to be established: On the one hand, direct communication allows the distribution of position reports as well as their verification by the means of triangulation. On the other hand, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite system is used for a redundant control connection to increase the reliability of the system.

To realize the VEREDUS system, first, the requirements as well as the operational scenarios are defined. Based on that, the structure of the network is developed and fitting technologies are selected. Special purpose protocols for the distribution of position reports and for multi-hop communication are designed. The performance of the VEREDUS system is analytically modelled using stochastic mobility, signal flow graphs as well as queueing theory. A system-level simulator is implemented to evaluate the system in concrete scenarios. The project is concluded by building the actual hardware, mounting it on UAVs and demonstrating the system in operation.