Reinforcement Learning-Enabled UAV Itinerary Planning for Remote Sensing Applications in Smart Farming

Saeid Pourroostaei Ardakani, Ali Cheshmehzangi

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


UAV path planning for remote sensing aims to find the best-fitted routes to complete a data collection mission. UAVs plan the routes and move through them to remotely collect environmental data from particular target zones by using sensory devices such as cameras. Route planning may utilize machine learning techniques to autonomously find/select cost-effective and/or best-fitted routes and achieve optimized results including: minimized data collection delay, reduced UAV power consumption, decreased flight traversed distance and maximized number of collected data samples. This paper utilizes a reinforcement learning technique (location and energy-aware Q-learning) to plan UAV routes for remote sensing in smart farms. Through this, the UAV avoids heuristically or blindly moving throughout a farm, but this takes the benefits of environment exploration–exploitation to explore the farm and find the shortest and most cost-effective paths into target locations with interesting data samples to collect. According to the simulation results, utilizing the Q-learning technique increases data collection robustness and reduces UAV resource consumption (e.g., power), traversed paths, and remote sensing latency as compared to two well-known benchmarks, IEMF and TBID, especially if the target locations are dense and crowded in a farm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-270
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • path planning
  • Q-learning
  • reinforcement learning
  • remote sensing
  • UAV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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