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Front. Robot. AI | doi: 10.3389/frobt.2019.00076

Synchronous Rendezvous for Networks of Marine Robots in Large Scale Ocean Monitoring

 Xi Yu1, M A. Hsieh1*,  Cong Wei2 and  Herbert G. Tanner2
  • 1University of Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2University of Delaware, United States

We develop a synchronous rendezvous strategy for a network of minimally actuated mobile sensors or {\it active drifters} to monitor a set of Lagrangian Coherent Structure (LCS) bounded regions, each exhibiting gyre-like flows. This paper examines the conditions under which a pair of neighboring agents achieves synchronous rendezvous relying solely on the inherent flow dynamics within each LCS bounded region. The objective is to enable drifters in adjacent LCS bounded regions to rendezvous in a periodic fashion to exchange and fuse sensor data. We propose an agent-level control strategy to regulate the drifter speed in each monitoring region as well as to maximize the time the drifters are connected and able to communicate at every rendezvous. The strategy utilizes minimal actuation to ensure synchronization between neighboring pairs of drifters to ensure periodic rendezvous. The intermittent synchronization policy enables a locally connected network of minimally actuated mobile sensors to converge to a common orbit frequency. Robustness analysis against possible disturbance in practice and simulations are provided to illustrate the results.

Keywords: Synchronous rendezvous, mobile sensor networks, multi-agent systems, optimal control, consensus

Received: 19 Dec 2018; Accepted: 06 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Savvas Loizou, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Reviewed by:

Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), United States
George C. Karras, National Technical University of Athens, Greece  

Copyright: © 2019 Yu, Hsieh, Wei and Tanner. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. M A. Hsieh, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States, mya@seas.upenn.edu