, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 157-175
Date: 29 Jul 2005

Online safety calculations for glide-slope recapture

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Abstract

As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) increase in popularity and usage, an appropriate increase in confidence in their behavior is expected. This research addresses a particular portion of the flight of an aircraft (whether autonomous, unmanned, or manned): specifically, the recapture of the glide slope after a wave-off maneuver during landing. While this situation is rare in commercial aircraft, its applicability toward unmanned aircraft has been limited due to the complexity of the calculations of safety of the maneuvers. In this paper, we present several control laws for this glide-slope recapture, and inferences into their convergence to the glide slope, as well as reachability calculations which show their guaranteed safety. We also present a methodology which theoretically allows us to apply these offline-computed safety data to all kinds of unmanned fixed-wing aerial vehicles while online, permitting the use of the controllers to reduce wait times during landing. Finally, we detail the live aircraft application demonstration which was done to show feasibility of the controller, and give the results of offline simulations which show the correctness of online decisions at that demonstration.

This work was sponsored by the Large National Science Foundation Grant for Information Technology Research (NSF ITR) ‘‘Foundations of Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems’’, Award #0225610, and by Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) ‘‘Software Enabled Control’’ (SEC) Program, under contract #F33615-98-C-3614.