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A Distributed Embedded Software Architecture for Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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By: Michael J. Matczynski

Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science on May 18, 2006, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Thesis Supervisor: Jonathan P. How


In order to deploy intelligent, next-generation applications on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), we must first develop a software architecture that supports onboard computation and flexible communication. This thesis presents an Onboard Planning Module developed from an embedded PC/104 Linux-based computer that communicates directly with the UAV's autopilot to retrieve telemetry data and update the UAV's flight path. A serial communication program exchanges data with the UAV's autopilot while a multithreaded module enables concurrent onboard Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) optimization. The Mission Manager Graphical User Interface (GUI) monitors the status of each Onboard Planning Module on a team of UAVs using the onboard planning protocol. Two task assignment scenarios are simulated to demonstrate the system operating with both a single and multiple UAV task selection algorithm.

Read Michael Matczynski's MEng thesis (PDF)

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