Layered Approach to Networked Command and Control of Complex UAS

  • Jack Elston
  • Maciej Stachura
  • C. Dixon
  • B. Argrow
  • Eric W. Frew
Reference work entry


Different networking hardware, protocols, and sensors can be combined to create a diverse and complex unmanned aircraft system through a layered design approach with modular supporting software. A layered design simplifies both testing and system reconfiguration, lending itself to incremental verification while only requiring the maintenance of standard interfaces. Critical software components, such as service discovery, simplify the inclusion of a diverse set of subsystems and sensors. Maintaining the modularity of these software components ensures that the system can be expanded while requiring minimal software changes. An example of these design approaches is provided through the description of a system that enabled flight operations of a multi-vehicle unmanned aircraft system for performing targeted, in situ sampling of supercell thunderstorms during the 2010 VORTEX2 field campaign. This network's flexible nature facilitated the complex interworking of many subsystems while accommodating the strict deployment time constraints and generally unknown starting configurations typical of nomadic field operations. Data required for situ-ational awareness and mission-level decision making was retrieved from multiple remote and local sources, and mechanisms were provided for dissemination to any local participant. The architecture's modular design allowed for changes in the field and actively supported the addition and subtraction of nodes without requiring reconfiguration of the remainder of the system.


Service Discovery Mesh Network Radio Dynamic Source Rout Controller Area Network Ground Vehicle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Elston
    • 1
  • Maciej Stachura
    • 1
  • C. Dixon
    • 2
  • B. Argrow
    • 3
  • Eric W. Frew
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.College of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Director Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned VehiclesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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