Cooperative UAV systems can have great advantages over isolated UAV systems, regarding application, safety, efficiency and many other perspectives. Motivated by challenges from practical multiple UAV formation flight, this paper presents our approaches towards cognitive formation flight. It introduces the principle ofmulti-UAV cognitive formation flight and the control structure utilized in our development, describes a low-cost UAV testbed developed by ourselves, and details the tuning procedures of the implemented multi-agent flight controller for stable and consistent formation flights. Different formation flight scenarios are also discussed and the experimental setup is presented including real-time issues and the formation flight test protocol. Routinized comprehensive flight test results are also shown at the end.

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