*Special Issue on Recent trends in flocking control and communication for
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) allow
operators to perform various critical missions without human crew on board.
Their popularity has been growing for monitoring, inspection and mapping of
geographic areas, also due to the recent appearance in the market of small,
low cost vehicles as multirotors (the so-called “drones”), that provide
high performance and are equipped with low-cost sensors and control boards,
as well as high capacity batteries. Such Unmanned Vehicles (UMVs) can be
controlled remotely or can move autonomously, gather data by suitable
sensors (e.g. cameras, thermographic sensors, laser-scanners, etc.), and
they are provided with proper communication modules that allow them to
exchange data with peers and/or send data to some base stations.
The use of multiple Unmanned Vehicles (UMVs) organized into a team (e.g.
flock or swarm) has become an established practice that allows engineers to
reduce mission times and improve fault-tolerance, as a single vehicle can
be easily replaced by one of its ``neighbours’’. Therefore, designing
appropriate control models holding some desired properties, such as
robustness, efficiency, and stability, is nowadays crucial for a growing
number of applications. A control model shows a certain level of robustness
when the team does to not incur in particular undesired events under
certain conditions (e.g. collisions caused by wind or stall due to
obstacles at a certain positions). A control model shows efficiency if it
leads the flock to perform the activity with the lowest amount of energy,
while it is proved to be stable if it does not lead the team to show
undesired emergent behaviours during the mission (such as flock
*Focus of the Special Issue:*
This special issue will be of interest to a broad community of both
scientists (from many disciplines like Computer Science, Electrical
Engineering and Control Systems to name a few) as well as practitioners
from the industry and institutions because it aims at providing a unified
platform for understanding limitations and potentialities in current
systems to control UMVs. In order to highlight the interest around the
topic, it could be mentioned that the research program launched in 2015 the
U.S. Office of Naval Research, named LOCUST (Low-Cost Unmanned aerial
vehicle Swarming Technology), that relies on “information-sharing between
the UAVs, autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or
Despite recent advancements in the design and implementation of UMVs, many
relevant questions of huge practical impact -- including the design of
optimal control systems for UMVs, the implementation of efficient
communication and coordination protocols, the optimisation for power
consumption and weight, the safety aspects for both humans and vehicle
themselves, the applicability of existing solutions to an ever increasing
range of domains -- are left unanswered. This special issue may attract
experts from many areas to deal with (and provide) original and innovative
solutions to the scientific questions we mentioned above.
Authors are invited to submit outstanding and original unpublished research
manuscripts focused on important requirements such as efficiency,
fault-tolerance, stability and robustness and UAV/UGV communication network
approaches that would adapt to high mobility, dynamic topology and power
constraints. Moreover, contributions concerning learning process for
adaptive control and swarm intelligence in general are also welcome. The
issue will also emphasize the presentation of innovative aspects related to
the design of suitable control models for collective behavior of unmanned
vehicles under certain constraints -- e.g. specific vehicles -- or
particular requirements emerging from certain environmental conditions.
Both theoretical and experimental aspects are welcome.
*The topics of interest are:*
● Studies, surveys and reports about novel solutions for UAV/UGV
communication networks and routing protocols.
● Green networking for UAV/UGV.
● Design of mobility-induced sensors and network protocols.
● Solutions to improve robustness on high dynamic and networks of UAV/UGV.
● Middlewares for interoperability and integration of subsystems and
control algorithms on UAV/UGV.
● Mobility-tolerant sensors aggregation and virtual sensing.
● Design of new devices, hardware components and models for UAV/UGV.
● Optimality for data capture and processing.
● Security on UAV/UGV.
● Models, architectures and case studies about Fog Computing support for
team of UAV/UGV.
● Control models for collective behaviours of UAV/UGV.
● Fault-tolerance and scalability for behavioural models of UAV and UGV.
Submission of manuscript: June 4, 2018
First notification: August 3, 2018
Submission of revised manuscript: October 5, 2018
Notification of the re-review: November 26, 2018
Final notification: January 7, 2019
Final paper due: January 31, 2019
Publication date: July 2019
● Dr. Fabrizio Messina, Department of Mathematics and Informatics,
University of Catania, Italy. [hidden email]
● Prof. Pasquale De Meo, Department of Ancient and Modern Civilizations,
University of Messina, Messina, Italy. [hidden email]
● Prof. Thanos Vasilakos, Innopolis University, Russia.
Fabrizio Messina, Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics and Informatics
University of Catania (Italy)
PEC: [hidden email]
* Managing Editor of IJGUC (
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