This paper addresses a three-dimensional (3D) leader-follower formation control problem where an event-triggered transmission scheme is developed to schedule the information exchange between the leader and follower unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A novel 3D model based on a local level spherical frame is developed to characterize the relative dynamics of the leader and follower UAVs. Based on this 3D model, a novel non-linear tracking control law is developed to achieve an exponential tracking performance of the system. An event-triggered communication scheduling scheme is adopted under the proposed 3D leader-follower framework in order to achieve an efficient use of communication bandwidth by adapting the transmission time for the changes on UAV states. The stability of the formation control law and the efficiency of the event-triggered method are verified and demonstrated in simulation.

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