On connectivity of reconfigurable impact networks in ageless aerospace vehicles

Mikhail Prokopenko, Peter Wang, Mark Foreman, Philip Valencia, Don Price, Geoff Poulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The research results presented in this paper were obtained as part of the joint CSIRO-NASA Ageless Aerospace Vehicle (AAV) project. We describe the underlying principles, methodology, and preliminary results of modelling and simulating a multi-cellular sensor and communication network in a dynamic decentralised setting, motivated by a self-monitoring, self-repairing AAV. Such networks are expected to detect and react to multiple impacts and damage over a wide range of impact energies. In particular, we address the problem of forming a reconfigurable network (a minimum spanning tree) connecting cells that detected non-critical impacts, in presence of connectivity disruptions caused by critical impacts. The presented algorithm is based on the ant colony metaphor and may be complemented by gradient-based techniques. In addition, we measure the robustness of impact networks and present quantitative metrics that clearly identify phase transitions in network connectivity, separating chaotic dynamics from ordered and robust patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-58
Number of pages23
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Ant Colony Optimisation
  • Impact detection
  • Minimum spanning tree
  • Multi-agent networks
  • Phase transition
  • Self-organisation


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