Unmanned vehicle systems, specifically unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), have become a popular research topic. This thesis discusses the potential of a UAV-UGV system used to track a human moving through complex urban terrain. This research focuses on path planning problems for both a UAV and a UGV, and presents effective solutions for both problems. In the UAV path planning problem, we desire to plan a path for a miniature fixed-wing UAV to fly through known urban terrain without colliding with any buildings. We present the Waypoint RRT (WRRT) algorithm, which accounts for UAV dynamics while planning a flyable, collision-free waypoint path for a UAV in urban terrain. Results show that this method is fast and robust, and is able to plan paths in difficult urban environments and other terrain maps as well. Simulation and hardware tests demonstrate that these paths are indeed flyable by a UAV. The UGV path planning problem focuses on planning a path to capture a moving target in an urban grid. We discuss using a target motion model based on Markov chains to predict future target locations. We then introduce the Capture and Propagate algorithm, which uses this target motion model to determine the probabilities of capturing the target in various numbers of steps and with various initial UGV moves. By applying some different cost functions, the result of this algorithm is used to choose an optimal first step for the UGV. Results demonstrate that this algorithm is at least as effective as planning a path directly to the current location of the target, and that in many cases, this algorithm performs better. We discuss these cases and verify them with simulation results.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





path planning, urban terrain, city, UAV, unmanned air vehicle, trajectory tracking, collision detection, RRT, waypoint, UGV, unmanned ground vehicle, road graph, motion graph, Markov chain, predictive motion model, MAGICC Lab