A GIS-Based Simulation Model for Military Path Planning of Unmanned Ground Robots

A GIS-Based Simulation Model for Military Path Planning of Unmanned Ground Robots

M.-W. Kang M.K. Jha D. Hwong 

Department of Civil Engineering, University of South Alabama, AL, USA

Offi ce of Information Technology, Prince William County, VA, USA

Department of Information Technology, Prince William County, VA, USA

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A GIS-based simulation model has been developed for military path planning of unmanned ground robots in a hazardous combat environment. Critical factors (such as slope of terrain, surface travel distance, degree of bumpiness in various land-uses, and exposure to enemies) that affect the path planning in a combat environment are carefully reviewed and modeled. Line-of-sight analysis and probabilistic decision making process are also modeled for the effective military path planning. In the model, the path planning is dealt with two sub-problems: (i) global path fi nding and (ii) local navigation. These two sub-problems are recursively processed during the simulation; a temporary least-cost path is calculated in the fi rst stage, and navigation of the unmanned ground robot along the path is then processed in the second stage. The simulation ends when the robot reaches a target location. The proposed model has been applied in different environments with various GIS data. The result shows that the model performs well for the military path planning, and can be useful for testing and evaluating tactical missions to be performed by the robot before its deployment in a real-world situation.


decision making, distance transformation, GIS-based simulation, military path planning


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