Three-dimensional formation flight for UAV using bifurcating velocity field

Masayuki Suzuki, Kenji Uchiyama, Derek James Bennet, Colin McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Downloads (Pure)


This paper attempts to design a guidance law using bifurcating potential fields and velocity field for a swarm of autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We consider an autonomous flight system that can create different three-dimensional swarming patterns so as to guarantee obstacle and vehicle collision avoidance. The guidance law, which is derived from a steering and repulsive potential field, can express variable geometric patterns for a formation flight of UAVs. The system can transition between different formation patterns by way of a simple parameter change. We also describe the design method for potential field that is flexible enough to respond to a variety of UAV performance and mission. Numerical simulation is performed to verify the validity of the proposed guidance law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
JournalJournal of the Japan Society of Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Issue number693
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • UAV
  • formation flight
  • bifurcating velocity field
  • artificial potential functions


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional formation flight for UAV using bifurcating velocity field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this