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Using Simulated Partial Dynamic Run-Time Reconfiguration to Share Embedded FPGA Compute and Power Resources across a Swarm of Unpiloted Airborne Vehicles

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We show how the limited electrical power and FPGA compute resources available in a swarm of small UAVs can be shared by moving FPGA tasks from one UAV to another. A software and hardware infrastructure that supports the mobility of embedded FPGA applications on a single FPGA chip and across a group of networked FPGA chips is an integral part of the work described here. It is shown how to allocate a single FPGA's resources at run time and to share a single device through the use of application checkpointing, a memory controller, and an on-chip run-time reconfigurable network. A prototype distributed operating system is described for managing mobile applications across the swarm based on the contents of a fuzzy rule base. It can move applications between UAVs in order to equalize power use or to enable the continuous replenishment of fully fueled planes into the swarm.

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Correspondence to David Kearney.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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  • Fuzzy Rule
  • Mobile Application
  • Partial Dynamic
  • Power Resource
  • Fuzzy Rule Base