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Automating Human Thought Processes for a UAV Forced Landing

Authors
  • Eng, Pillar1
  • Mejias, Luis1
  • Liu, Xi1
  • Walker, Rodney1
  • 1 Queensland University of Technology, Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation, Brisbane, Queensland, 4001, Australia , Brisbane (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Nov 12, 2009
Volume
57
Issue
1-4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10846-009-9389-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This paper describes the current status of a program to develop an automated forced landing system for a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This automated system seeks to emulate human pilot thought processes when planning for and conducting an engine-off emergency landing. Firstly, a path planning algorithm that extends Dubins curves to 3D space is presented. This planning element is then combined with a nonlinear guidance and control logic, and simulated test results demonstrate the robustness of this approach to strong winds during a glided descent. The average path deviation errors incurred are comparable to or even better than that of manned, powered aircraft. Secondly, a study into suitable multi-criteria decision making approaches and the problems that confront the decision-maker is presented. From this study, it is believed that decision processes that utilize human expert knowledge and fuzzy logic reasoning are most suited to the problem at hand, and further investigations will be conducted to identify the particular technique/s to be implemented in simulations and field tests. The automated UAV forced landing approach presented in this paper is promising, and will allow the progression of this technology from the development and simulation stages through to a prototype system.

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