DOI: 10.1139/dsa-2023-0099 ISSN: 2564-4939

An Analysis of Trends in UAV Swarm Implementations in Current Research: Simulation Versus Hardware

Abhishek Phadke, F.Antonio Medrano, Chandra N. Sekharan, Tianxing Chu
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

In the fast-evolving field of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) swarm research, there is a growing emphasis on validating results through simulation rather than hands-on hardware experiments. This article delves into this shift, focusing on fundamental research questions on whether simulation tests verify results with hardware experiments, if they mention reasons for not using hardware, and if they provide plans for future implementation using hardware. By examining relevant trends, this study aims to be among the first to address the question of whether the advancements in simulation platforms and disruption modeling have reduced the perceived need for real-world hardware-based tests to verify performance metrics. Supported by data from articles spanning a decade, this report examines global trends in UAV swarm research and experimentation. Variables such as the country, swarm size, and implementation method are reviewed to reveal current trends in how UAV swarm research is conducted and validated. It is concluded that the increase in the simulation-only deployments used by UAV swarm researchers is being readily accepted by the academic community, viewing it as a viable solution to avoid regulations on the UAV industry as well as a reflection on the advanced simulation and modeling methods being developed to support them.

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