Application of Graph-based Path Planning for UAVs to Avoid Restricted Areas
Path planning around restricted areas is crucial for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to avoid flying into areas that raise security or safety concerns. This paper aims to demonstrate the application of a graph-based path planner on a real UAV to avoid polygonal restricted areas. The path planner builds a visibility graph representation of the environment based on GPS information and plans the shortest path using the A* algorithm. It was tested both in simulations and during field tests with a real UAV. The results demonstrate that the path planner can be used successfully to plan paths around polygonal restricted areas of any shape, size or number. It can be generalised to any UAV that supports automatic waypoint navigation and has global localization capabilities. Furthermore, the path planner can be used to successfully eliminate the difficulty of manual operation of UAVs around restricted areas under challenging circumstances.