The source seeking problem is of great importance for autonomous vehicles that cannot use GPS and/or INS on board, like underwater, under ice, or in cave situations. It consists in seeking the source of a scalar signal, thal could be the concentration of a chemical or biological agent, an electromagnetic, acoustic, or even thermal signal. It is assumed that the seking vehicle has access only to the value of the signal at its location.It can be interpretated as an optimizations problem that tries to minimize a cost function that relates the strength of the scalar signal. The point is that the cost function is not directy available, but only the value of the scalar signal at the vehicle position.One way to deal with such a problem is the Extremum-Seeking Control method (ESC). With ESC, the extremum of the cost function can b achievable, without its knowing, provided that it is a class C2 function.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: