Importance-based distributed persistent coverage strategy over environmental hotspots using quadrotors: Algorithm and experiments

Mourya Thummalapeta, Sheng Wen Chen, Yen Chen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a novel importance-based persistent coverage for environments with hotspots. Multiple quadrotors are utilized to maintain coverage while acquiring high-quality information over prioritized regions by lowering the altitude. To achieve this, the approach utilizes distributed communication protocols and cost functions to address the tradeoff between wider coverage and better quality information. The cost functions determine three-dimensional waypoints based on coverage levels, sensor resolution, and Euclidean distance. Voronoi tessellations are used locally for efficient computation and collision avoidance. Trajectories of the quadrotors are generated based on quadrotor dynamics using error functions that take into account state information and desired waypoints. The proposed approach is validated through simulations, comparisons, and experiments for multi-agent systems under quadrotor dynamics. Further, metrics of performance analysis are formulated that show consistent coverage levels and differences to assess the novel importance-based approach. The simulations and experiments demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach, with prioritized regions receiving higher sensor resolution while maintaining persistent coverage of the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1009
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Franklin Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Applied Mathematics


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