Fixed Geometry Swarm Formations for Lapse Rate Measurements

A semi-autonomous network of multirotor UAVs is designed to collect measurements from atmospheric boundary layer to measure the lapse-rate. The measurements are collected at different altitudes at the same time in order to capture the spatio-temporal variation in the pressure, temperature and humidity in the atmosphere. The swarm is centralized and communication between the UAV and the ground station is achieved through a combination of radio communication and wireless local area network architecture. The swarm formation is controlled using a virtual structure approach, in which the UAVs motion is constrained to the vertices of a geometrical structure defined by a moving virtual point in space. Each UAV is mounted with the MDASS system and the formation geometry is defined depending the points of interests through which the swarm should navigate through to capture the PTU data.