Formation Flight and Collision Avoidance for Multiple UAVs using Concept of Elastic Weighting Factor

  • Kang, Seunghoon ;
  • Choi, Hyunjin ;
  • Kim, Youdan
  • Received : 2013.03.07
  • Accepted : 2013.03.27
  • Published : 2013.03.30


In this paper, the guidance law for formation flight and collision avoidance of multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)s is proposed. To construct the physically comprehensible guidance law for formation flight, the virtual structure approach is used. To develop a guidance law for collision avoidance considering both other UAVs and unknown static obstacles, a geometric approach using information such as a relative position vector is utilized. Through the Lyapunov theorem, the stability of the proposed guidance law is proved. To combine guidance commands, the concept of the elastic weighting factor inspired by the elastic behavior of shape memory polymer, which tends to regain its original shape after deformation, is introduced. By using the concept of elastic weighting factor, multiple UAVs are able to cope actively with the situation of a collision between both UAVs and static obstacles during the formation flight. To verify the performance of the proposed method, numerical simulations are performed.


Unmmaned Aerial Vehicle;Formation Flight;Collision Avoidance;Elastic Weighting Factor


  1. North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Development and Operation of UAVs for Military and Civil Applications, RTO Education NOTE 9, April 2000.
  2. Z. Sarris, "Survey of UAV Applications in Civil Markets(June 2001)," the 9th IEEE Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, Dubrovnik, Croatia , June, 2001
  3. S. Srinivasan, H. Latchman, J. Shea, T. Wong, and J. McNair, "Airborne Traffic Surveillance Systems-Video Surveillance of Highway Traffic," Proceedings of the ACM 2nd International Workshop on Video Surveillance & Sensor Networks, New York, NY, October, 2004.
  4. C.E. Booth, Surveillance Using Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, M.S. Dissertation, Department of The Air Force Air University, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, OH, March, 2009
  5. D. P. Scharf, F. Y. Hadaegh, and S. R. Ploen, "A Survey of Spacecraft Formation Flying Guidance and Control(Part II) : Control," American Control Conference, Boston, MA, July, 2004, pp. 2976-2985.
  6. B. Gardiner, W. Ahmad, T. Cooper, M. Haveard, J. Holt, and S. Biaz, "Collision Avoidance Techniques for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technical Report #CSSE11-01,", Technical Report, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, August, 2011.
  7. J. Ruchti, R. Senkbeil, J. Carroll, J. Dikinson, J. Holt, and S. Biaz, "UAV Collision Avoidance Using Artificial Potential Fields Technical Report #CSSE11-03," Technical Report, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, July, 2011.
  8. X. Wang, V. Yadav, and S. N. Balakrishnan, "Cooperative UAV Formation Flying with Obstacle/Collision Avoidance,", IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. Vol.15, Issue 4, July, 2007, pp. 672-679.
  9. C. Zhou, M. Lei, S. Zhou, and W. Zhang, "Collisionfree UAV Formation Flight Control based on Nonlinear MPC," Electronics, Communications and Control (ICECC) International Conference, Ningbo, China, September, 2011.
  10. B. Ricardo, F. Mariam, S. Joao, and G. Anouck, "Formation Control with Collision Avoidance," IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference, Orlando, FL, December, 2011.
  11. J. Lee, Design of UAV Formation Flight Controller based on Formation Geometry Center Concept, M.S. Thesis, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, February, 2009.
  12. S. Kang, Formation Flight and Collision Avoidance for multiple UAVs using Concept of Elastic Weighting, M.S. Thesis, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, February, 2013.
  13. B. Zhou, Y. Lin, X. Lan, J. S. Leng, and S. H. Yoon, "A Glass Transition Model For Shape Memory Polymer And Its Composite," International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 6-7, March, 2009, pp. 1248-1253.

Cited by

  1. Vision-based formation control of aerial robots in the presence of sensor failure vol.31, pp.3, 2017,
  2. Collision-free vehicle formation control using graph Laplacian and edge-tension function vol.47, pp.3, 2014,
  3. Formation control of aerial robots using virtual structure and new fuzzy-based self-tuning synchronization vol.39, pp.12, 2017,
  4. Formation flight and collision avoidance for multiple UAVs based on modified tentacle algorithm in unstructured environments vol.12, pp.8, 2017,


Supported by : Agency for Defense Development