Dynamic Topology Organization and Maintenance Algorithms for Autonomous UAV Swarms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are nowadays finding numerous applications in different fields. While performing their missions, UAVs have to rely on external positioning information to maintain connectivity and communications between units in a swarm. However, some of the critical applications such as rescue missions are performed in locations, where this information is partially or fully not available, e.g., deep woods, mountains, indoors. In this paper, we propose a method for dynamic topology organization and maintenance in UAV swarms. In addition to the baseline functionality, we also design advanced features required for dynamic swarms merging and disjoining, making it suitable for practical applications. Specifically, the proposal is based on the virtual coordinates system allowing for the utilization of conventional geographical routing algorithms. We test the proposed algorithm in different swarm conditions to illustrate that: (i) it is insensitive to distance estimates up to at least 30% allowing for simple estimation techniques, (ii) the accuracy of the topology inference is at least 90% even under impairments caused by mobility and temporal loss of connectivity, and (iii) the impact of the developed merging algorithm for swarms lasts for multiple tens of time steps that correspond to just few seconds in practice. The set of developed algorithms can be utilized to ensure always connected topology in conditions where positioning information is partially or fully unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 5G
  • Autonomous aerial vehicles
  • autonomous operation
  • geographical routing
  • GNSS-denied
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • Maintenance engineering
  • Merging
  • Routing
  • Task analysis
  • Topology
  • topology construction and maintenance
  • UAV swarms

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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