The use of technology for disaster response and relief in the aftermath of natural disasters is growing. To explore the opportunity afforded by emerging technologies, this work developed an experimental automated emergency response system. Given a set of requests from the field and infrastructure information, a high-level optimization method generates a mission plan for a fleet of autonomous vehicles, including ground vehicles, fixed-wing aircraft, and delivery rotorcraft. The mission plan assigns vehicles to a list of functions and locations to be visited. Internet technology integrates the various system elements and provides a unifying environment for the physical and the modeled world in cyberspace. Guidance and control enable the vehicles to autonomously execute their plans. The movements of the fleet vehicles including their dynamic behavior are illustrated in a virtual reality interface. Preliminary experiments with a small fleet of simulated vehicles show the feasibility of such an approach.
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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.