Distributed Allocation of Mobile Sensing Agents in Geophysical Flows

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We address the synthesis of distributed control policies to enable a homogeneous team of mobile sensing agents to maintain a desired spatial distribution in a geophysical flow environment. Geophysical flows are natural large-scale fluidic environments such as oceans, eddies, jets, and rivers. In this work, we assume the agents have a 'map' of the fluidic environment consisting of the locations of the Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS). LCS are time-dependent structures that divide the flow into dynamically distinct regions, and are time-dependent extensions of stable and unstable manifolds. Using this information, we design agent-level hybrid control policies that leverage the surrounding fluid dynamics and inherent environmental noise to enable the team to maintain a desired distribution in the workspace. We validate the proposed control strategy using flow fields given by: 1) an analytical time-varying wind-driven multi-gyre flow model, 2) actual flow data generated using our coherent structure experimental testbed, and 3) ocean data provided by the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) database.



Published Citation

Hsieh, M. A., Mallory, K., Forgoston, E., & Schwartz, I. B. (2014, June). Distributed allocation of mobile sensing agents in geophysical flows. In 2014 American Control Conference (pp. 165-171). IEEE.