An Information-Motivated Exploration Agent to Locate Stationary Persons with Wireless Transmitters in Unknown Environments (2021)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) show promise in a variety of applications and recently were explored in the area of Search and Rescue (SAR) for finding victims. In this paper we consider the problem of finding multiple unknown stationary transmitters in a discrete simulated unknown environment, where the goal is to locate all transmitters in as short a time as possible. Existing solutions in the UAV search space typically search for a single target, assume a simple environment, assume target properties are known or have other unrealistic assumptions. We simulate large, complex environments with limited a priori information about the environment and transmitter properties. We propose a Bayesian search algorithm, Information Exploration Behaviour (IEB), that maximizes predicted information gain at each search step, incorporating information from multiple sensors whilst making minimal assumptions about the scenario. This search method is inspired by the information theory concept of empowerment. Our algorithm shows significant speed-up compared to baseline algorithms, being orders of magnitude faster than a random agent and 10 times faster than a lawnmower strategy, even in complex scenarios. The IEB agent is able to make use of received transmitter signals from unknown sources and incorporate both an exploration and search strategy.
CitationBarry D, Willig A, Woodward G An Information-Motivated Exploration Agent to Locate Stationary Persons with Wireless Transmitters in Unknown Environments. Sensors. 21(22). 7695-7695.
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Keywordssearch and rescue; wireless transmitters; UAV; drone
ANZSRC Fields of Research40 - Engineering::4006 - Communications engineering::400608 - Wireless communication systems and technologies (incl. microwave and millimetrewave)
40 - Engineering::4001 - Aerospace engineering::400105 - Flight dynamics
37 - Earth sciences::3709 - Physical geography and environmental geoscience::370903 - Natural hazards
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