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Acquiring and maintaining persistence of autonomous multi-vehicle formations

Acquiring and maintaining persistence of autonomous multi-vehicle formations

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A set of structural cohesiveness issues raised in control of autonomous multi-vehicle formations is analysed, using a recently developed theoretical framework of graph rigidity and persistence. The general characteristics of rigid and persistent formations and some operational criteria to check the rigidity and persistence of a given formation from the aspect of their use in cohesive motion of vehicle formations, including cohesive formation flight is reviewed. Employing these characteristics and criteria, systematic procedures are provided for acquiring and maintaining the persistence of autonomous formations, which are often found in real-world applications. Although these procedures are provided for certain formation classes (in the case of acquisition) or for certain formation operations (in the case of maintenance), the methodology used to develop these procedures has the potential to generate similar procedures for persistence acquisition and maintenance for other formation classes and operations as well.

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