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Tactical UAV Operations for Area Defence

Primary Information


Security & Defence

Project No.


Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: Project 6921

Sanction Date: 19/08/2017

Project Initiation date: 19/08/2017

Project Duration: 36

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry



Role of partner:Apart from the funding, DRDO has given feedback/comments/suggestions on the progress of the project.


Support from partner:

Principal Investigator

PI Image

Ashwini Ratnoo
Indian Institute of Science

Host Institute


Scope and Objectives

The types and capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have increased significantly in the recent times. And UAVs are envisaged to perform military missions at all levels of modern surveillance and combat. While many of these UAVs are designed to perform their missions acting alone, there are missions that require, the employment of multiple UAVs in cooperative teams. Area defense is a critical aspect of security wherein persistent awareness and rapid response is desired to neutralize any threats entering or arising in a area. Military garrisons and installations, prominent commercial or industrial centers, or high security government premises are typical examples of such areas. With the looming threat of terrorist and disruptive activities, sophisticated area defence mechanisms nd imminent application in densely populated urban areas. This project aims at developing and validation of a control framework to solve cooperative UAV assignment problems for area defence.


Deliverables include both a sophisticated simulation software package and a hardware validation of the proposed algorithms using group of UAVs under various threat scenarios. The framework would be provided in a replicable form where integration of new vehicles and scenarios can be easily appended. Beneficiaries include automated UAV based security efforts for high priority and defence areas.


Scientific Output

The area defence problem consists primarily of four aspects, namely, surveillance, reconnaissance, alarm investigation, and target tracking. The assignment algorithm will generate task specific paths considering the area (no-fly zones, keep-in regions) and the nature of the task (area search, tracking reconnaissance etc). With multiple task specific paths and the corresponding run times, teams of UAVs would be assigned to each of the task leading to mission completion. Finally, the proposed control framework (task assigning and planning software + communication and processing hardware + quad-copters) would be experimentally validated. The motivation behind this effort is based on real-time implementation and hence the proposed algorithms and planning methods are investigated as quick computationally feasible solutions.


Results and outcome till date

We worked on developing theoretical guarantees for generating different target tracking behaviors using the relative velocity space approach. It is analytically shown that the proposed look-angle bifurcation based control method leads to the desired target tracking behaviors by change in a single control parameter. A manuscript comprising results from this study is finalized for journal submission.


Societal benefit and impact anticipated

The project aims at developing cooperative task assignment framework for UAVs deployed in a region of interest. Apart from other applications, the framework can be utilized for surveillance of premises and crowd monitoring.

Next steps

Currently we are working on 2 and 3 UAV missions and the objective is to develop planing an control methods for tracking multiple threats.

Publications and reports

Journal Articles 1. P. Anjaly and A. Ratnoo: Bifurcation based Control Law for Pattern Generation, IEEE Control System Letters (L-CSS), (Early access) Conference Papers 1. K. Patnaik and A. Ratnoo: Boundary Tracking Using Sampling Based Model Predictive Control Law, AIAA Scitech 2019, Jan 7-11, 2019, San Diego, California, USA (Accepted) 2. P Anjaly and A. Ratnoo: Stand-off Target Tracking using Look-ahead angle Bifurcation, 58th Israel Annual Conference of Aerospace Sciences, March 14-15, 2018, Tel Aviv-Technion City, Israel 3. P. Anjaly and A. Ratnoo: Tammes Problem Inspired Multi-Agent Formation Control Over a Manifold, AIAA Scitech-2018, Jan 8-12, 2018, Kissimmee, Florida, USA 4. S. Shalini and A. Ratnoo: UAV Formation Generation Guidance with Engagement Time Constraints, AIAA Scitech-2018, Jan 8-12, 2018, Kissimmee, Florida, USA



Scholars and Project Staff

1. Vinay Reddy Challa, PhD Scholar, since Sept 2017 2. Anjaly Parayil, PhD Scholar, since Sept 2017 3. Shalini Suresh, Project Associate, since Oct 2017 4. Karishma Patnaik, Project Associate, since Feb 2018 5. Farhad Nawaz, Project Assistant, since July 2018

Challenges faced


Other information


Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 8760000

  • Amount received: Rs. 4960000

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 1246793

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 1876326

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 232642

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 228386

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 291219

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 0

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 830000

Equipment and facilities


We have purchased 6 Prime 13 Trackers and 2 Crazyflie-2 UAV Platforms.

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