Designing UAV swarm experiments: A simulator selection and experiment design process




Phadke, Abhishek
Medrano, F. Antonio
Sekharam, Chandra N.
Chu, Tianxing


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The rapid advancement and increasing number of applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) swarm systems have garnered significant attention in recent years. These systems offer a multitude of uses and demonstrate great potential in diverse fields, ranging from surveillance and reconnaissance to search and rescue operations. However, the deployment of UAV swarms in dynamic environments necessitates the development of robust experimental designs to ensure their reliability and effectiveness. This study describes the crucial requirement for comprehensive experimental design of UAV swarm systems before their deployment in real-world scenarios. To achieve this, we begin with a concise review of existing simulation platforms, assessing their suitability for various specific needs. Through this evaluation, we identify the most appropriate tools to facilitate one’s research objectives. Subsequently, we present an experimental design process tailored for validating the resilience and performance of UAV swarm systems for accomplishing the desired objectives. Furthermore, we explore strategies to simulate various scenarios and challenges that the swarm may encounter in dynamic environments, ensuring comprehensive testing and analysis. Complex multimodal experiments may require system designs that may not be completely satisfied by a single simulation platform; thus, interoperability between simulation platforms is also examined. Overall, this paper serves as a comprehensive guide for designing swarm experiments, enabling the advancement and optimization of UAV swarm systems through validation in simulated controlled environments.



UAV, swarm, robotics, simulation


This research received no external funding.


Attribution 4.0 International


Phadke, A.; Medrano, F.A.; Sekharan, C.N.; Chu, T. Designing UAV Swarm Experiments: A Simulator Selection and Experiment Design Process. Sensors 2023, 23, 7359.