How can I simulate a swarm of drones based on sensor input other that lidar

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Hello,
I am trying to simulate a swarm of drones for a search and rescue scenario. I am not concerned about the flight dynamics, so a low resolution model would be enough. The scenario is described in the figure:
The drones communicate with ground stations through WiFi, and they use a different wireless technology to communicate between them. It is a FANET for which I am trying to test UAV mobility models aimed at improving coverage and maintaining connectivity between the ground nodes and the control station. I've been working with the uavPlatform object and it can mount different sensors, including lidar and GPS. The first question is: Can the uavPlatform object be used to simulate a variable number of drones? The second question is: Can I mount a custom sensor to replace the lidar? In my case, the wireless receivers can be considered sensors that deliver signal strength as an input to move and position the UAV (I was thinking of mounting a WiFi receiver from the WLAN Toolbox). Third: Can I mount more than one sensor simultaneously? Finally, is there any other way to achieve this other than using uavPlatform?
I appreciate your help.

Accepted Answer

Jianxin Sun
Jianxin Sun on 8 Sep 2022
Hi William,
Can the uavPlatform object be used to simulate a variable number of drones?
A: You can put any number of drones into uavScenario using uavPlatform. However you cannot remove UAVs from scenario during simulation. You could park them somewhere in the scenario using the move method to teleport them if you don't want them to show up in the main simulation area.
Can I mount a custom sensor to replace the lidar? In my case, the wireless receivers can be considered sensors that deliver signal strength as an input to move and position the UAV (I was thinking of mounting a WiFi receiver from the WLAN Toolbox).
A: You can use the uav.SensorAdaptor class to adapt your own sensor model and use it in the uavScenario. You can check the following examples for how to implement sensor adaptor for IMU and Radar sensor:
Can I mount more than one sensor simultaneously?
A: Yes, you can mount any amount of sensors on a UAV. The following examples show how to do sensor fusion using both Lidar and Radar sensors: https://www.mathworks.com/help/uav/ug/lidar-and-radar-fusion-in-an-urban-air-mobility-scenario.html
Is there any other way to achieve this other than using uavPlatform?
A: Alternative tool for scenario simulation could be using Unreal based Simulation in Simulink. However, it doesn't support custom sensors and only work in Simulink.

More Answers (1)

William Paredes
William Paredes on 9 Sep 2022
Thank you for your promt reply, Jianxin.
Just to make sure, I think I need to rephrase the first question: Is it possible to define the number or drones in execution time?
Regarding the posibility of mounting transceivers from the WLAN toolbox as sensors, after doing so, is it possible to use WLAN performance measurement tools from the toolbox?
Thank you again!
  4 Comments
William Paredes
William Paredes on 13 Sep 2022
Edited: William Paredes on 13 Sep 2022
Thank you, Jianxin. I'll take a look at it.
I have to correct a mistake in my previous comment: the move method didn't work, not because an argument dimension incompatibility, but because lookupPose returns NaN "If any sample time is beyond the duration of the trajectory", which is not accepted by move.

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