“Sensor Localization Using Hybrid RF/Optical Wireless Communications for an Aerial Data Mule” was accepted to ACC 2016. ACC stands for the American Control Conference which will be held in Boston, MA, July 6-8. Congratulations to Patricio, Brian, and Rafael!
Abstract—In this paper, we consider the problem of pairing a ground sensor with an aerial vehicle, both equipped with a hybrid communication system – radio frequency for low bandwidth data transmission and optical for high bit rate. These communication technologies are complementary and by coordinating them, it is possible to mitigate each other’s weaknesses. A challenging problem is positioning the flying robot within optical communication range, especially when the distance is large and the sensor location is unknown. In this work, we propose a solution to the problem of autonomously localizing the sensor node relative to the aerial vehicle. We take advantage of the hybrid communication scheme by developing a control strategy that uses the radio signal to guide the aerial platform to the sensor node. Once the optical-based signal strength is over a desired threshold the robot hovers within optical range. The control strategy is demonstrated through simulations that incorporate a realistic model for the hybrid communication link.