Tracking tagged fish with swarming unmanned aerial vehicles using fractional order potential fields and Kalman filtering

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

2013 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Atlanta, GA

Publication Date



Tracking fish using implanted radio transmitters is an important part of studying and preserving native fish species. However, conventional methods for locating the fish after they are tagged can be time consuming and costly. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)s have been used in general radio localization applications and can possibly be used to locate fish quickly and effectively. However, the methods developed for multi-UAV navigation and transmitter localization are complex and might not work well for practical and routine use. This work focuses on developing simple methods for multi-UAV navigation and transmitter localization. Swarm-like navigation methods (using potential fields) are used for multi-UAV navigation, and a simple Kalman Filter is used to estimate the location of the transmitter. Simulations are presented using one, two and three UAVs. The simulation results show the success with locating the transmitter with two or three UAVs. In addition, coordination between the UAVs is successful using the simple rules of their virtual magnetic fields. A clustering behavior is observed and contributes to the success of the localization.

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