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Optimal search and detection of targets in an uncertain environment using unmanned aerial vehicle

7 March 2012

Saumil Desai

There is a growing interest in optimal search and detection of targets in an uncertain environment using modern electronic surveillance technologies such as network of RADAR’s and UAV’s. In specific, the UAV missions for a number of security applications increasingly require high level of information acquired from various sources and assets that are used for planning and decision aiding capabilities. Therefore, it is extremely important in the quality and timeliness of this information considering the limited time and energy of a UAV. As a result, there is a need to predict the consequences of the UAV actions in an uncertain environment.

The proposed research investigates the potential use of Bayesian based probability models that would determine the prior information with new information and update the probabilistic situational awareness; thereby optimising search techniques. Of particular interest is the optimal search and location of targets in an uncertain environment. In an uncertain situation, the target location is unknown; therefore it is imperative to make the best use of any prior information that is associated with targets existence. However, a number of issues need to be considered. These would include environmental, terrain, target characteristics, technical and human factors. The understanding of technological architectures and their operational use is also an important component of this research.