consensus, cooperative control, Forest fires, micro UAVs, perimeter control


This research was supported by NASA under STTR contract No. NNA04AA19C to Scientific Systems Company, Inc (SSCI) and Brigham Young University (BYU), and by AFOSR grants F49620-01-1-0091 and F49620-02-C- 0094. The objective of this paper is to explore the feasibility of using multiple low-altitude, short endurance (LASE) unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to cooperatively monitor and track the propagation of large forest fires. A real-time algorithm for tracking the perimeter of a fire with an on-board infrared sensor is developed. Using this algorithm, we develop a decentralized multiple-UAV approach to monitoring the perimeter of the fire. The UAVs are assumed to have limited communication and sensing range. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated in simulation using a 6 DOF dynamic model for the UAV and numerical propagation model for the forest fire. Salient features of the approach include the ability to monitor a changing fire perimeter, the ability to systematically add and remove UAVs from the team, and the ability to supply time-critical information to forest fire fighters.

Original Publication Citation

David W. Casbeer, Derek B. Kingston, Randal W. Beard, and Tim McLain. "Cooperative forest fire surveillance using a team of small unmanned air vehicles". International Journal of Systems Science (Impact Factor: 2.1). 05/2006; 37(6):351-360. DOI: 10.1080/00207720500438480

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering