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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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Abstract

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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

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