UAV fleet coordination in underground environments

Auteur : Enrico Natalizio and Jean-Baptiste Mouret

General information

Encadrants Enrico Natalizio Jean-Baptiste Mouret
Phone 03 54 95 86 30 03 54 95 85 08
Bureau C014


Mines, utility tunnels, and caves would benefit from a fleet of UAV that could quickly explore complex environments without being challenged by the obstacles on the ground (rocks, stairs, ladders, etc.). However, both localization (absence of GPS signal) and communications are hindered by the surrounding environment. In particular, communications may be seriously degraded by the absence of line of sight among the UAVs as well as by the harsh environment conditions for signal propagation, which could be worsened by the variety of reflection, refraction and absorption surfaces present in the explored place. In this project, we are interested in a scenario in which a human operator remotes control the fleet leader in while the other members of the fleet autonomously adjust their position to maintain the connectivity chain between the operator and the leader with uncertain localization and an unknown environment. The same connectivity chain would be useful also to relay and deliver real-time images and videos from the interior of the explored place to the operator.


The objective of the internship is to develop and evaluate algorithms so that a fleet of UAVs can maintain intra-fleet connectivity as well as inter-fleet communication with an external operator, in unknown underground environments and with limited localization precision. The validation of the solutions will be achieved through simulations and real-field small-scale tests (Crazyflie micro-UAV).

Cadre du travail


  • Knowledge of wireless technology and basics of signal theory.

  • Hands-on experience with ROS and UAV programming, as well as with simulation environments such as Matlab and NS3.


Rizzo, Carlos and Tardioli, Danilo and Sicignano, Domenico and Riazuelo, Luis and Villarroel, José Luis and Montano, Luis (2013) Signal-based deployment planning for robot teams in tunnel-like fading environments. The International Journal of Robotics Research

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