What Do UAVs in GPS-Denied Environments Have in Common with E. Coli Bacteria?
Miroslav KrsticHarold W. Sorenson Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC–San Diego Abstract In the absence of GPS-based position awareness (such as underwater, in buildings and caves, etc.), vehicles have to rely on solving real-time optimization problems based on other signals that might be available for measurement, such as acoustic, electomagnetic, thermal, or concentration of chemical agents. I will discuss the use of extremum seeking as a tool for navigating UAVs in GPS-denied environments. The challenge in this problem is that it violates the standard assumptions of asymptotic stability of the plant in the classical theory of extremum seeking and introduces nonholonomic kinematic constraints. Using averaging we characterize the complex almost periodic attractors that our vehicles converge to. We illustrate the utility of the approach for several applications: tracking of a moving source of diffusive contaminant, source seeking extensions to 3D and to a