How do the drones select where to search?
The search zone is split into 25 small sectors.
The quadcopters have a autonomous game theoretic algoritm that make a trade off between spread them and visit all the sectors.
When one of them reaches a sector, it selects a pattern to start the search.
Search pattern selection
In the real life the selection of a search pattern depends on several factors (for instance, the search area size, number of agents, available search time, position of the sun, cloud coverage, number and size of the search targets), where some may be more important than others.
In this work, three search patterns was defined, inspired on NATO search patterns:
SQUARE - Based on the “NATO Parallel Search”, it is fast and produces a uniform coverage, very useful when the area is flat and/or the search targets are totally visible.
STAR - The “NATO sector search” is good to view the search area from many different angles, minimizing terrain and lighting issues. It is useful when a victim can be seen only by some directions.
SNAIL - Very accurate and slow search pattern, based on the “NATO Expanding square”. Useful when a victim is partially covered and can be identified only by a meticulous search.