Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: waypoints

7 Trajectory Generation Procedure for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Authors: Amor Jnifene, Cedric Cocaud


One of the most constraining problems facing the development of autonomous vehicles is the limitations of current technologies. Guidance and navigation controllers need to be faster and more robust. Communication data links need to be more reliable and secure. For an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to be useful, and fully autonomous, one important feature that needs to be an integral part of the navigation system is autonomous trajectory planning. The work discussed in this paper presents a method for on-line trajectory planning for UAV’s. This method takes into account various constraints of different types including specific vectors of approach close to target points, multiple objectives, and other constraints related to speed, altitude, and obstacle avoidance. The trajectory produced by the proposed method ensures a smooth transition between different segments, satisfies the minimum curvature imposed by the dynamics of the UAV, and finds the optimum velocity based on available atmospheric conditions. Given a set of objective points and waypoints a skeleton of the trajectory is constructed first by linking all waypoints with straight segments based on the order in which they are encountered in the path. Secondly, vectors of approach (VoA) are assigned to objective waypoints and their preceding transitional waypoint if any. Thirdly, the straight segments are replaced by 3D curvilinear trajectories taking into account the aircraft dynamics. In summary, this work presents a method for on-line 3D trajectory generation (TG) of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The method takes as inputs a series of waypoints and an optional vector of approach for each of the waypoints. Using a dynamic model based on the performance equations of fixed wing aircrafts, the TG computes a set of 3D parametric curves establishing a course between every pair of waypoints, and assembling these sets of curves to construct a complete trajectory. The algorithm ensures geometric continuity at each connection point between two sets of curves. The geometry of the trajectory is optimized according to the dynamic characteristics of the aircraft such that the result translates into a series of dynamically feasible maneuvers. In summary, this work presents a method for on-line 3D trajectory generation (TG) of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The method takes as inputs a series of waypoints and an optional vector of approach for each of the waypoints. Using a dynamic model based on the performance equations of fixed wing aircraft, the TG computes a set of 3D parametric curves establishing a course between every pair of waypoints, and assembling these sets of curves to construct a complete trajectory. The algorithm ensures geometric continuity at each connection point between two sets of curves. The geometry of the trajectory is optimized according to the dynamic characteristics of the aircraft such that the result translates into a series of dynamically feasible maneuvers.

Keywords: trajectory planning, unmanned autonomous air vehicle, vector of approach, waypoints

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6 Study of a Complete Free Route Implementation in the European Airspace

Authors: Cesar A. Nava-Gaxiola, C. Barrado


Harmonized with SESAR (Single European Sky Research) initiatives, a new concept related with airspace structures have been introduced in Europe, the Free Route Airspace. The key of free route is based in an airspace where users may freely plan a route between a defined entry and exit waypoint, with the possibility of routing via intermediate points, the free route flights remain subject to air traffic control (ATC) for the established separations. Free route airspace does not present anymore fixed airways to airspace users, as a consequence it brings a new paradigm for managing safe separations of aircrafts inside these airspace blocks . Nowadays, several European nations have been introduced the concept, some of them in a complete or partial stage, but finally offering limited benefits to airspace users for this condition. This research evaluates the future scenario of free route implementation across Europe, considering a unique airspace block configuration with a complete upper airspace with free route. The paper is centered in investigating the benefits for airspace users, and the study of possible increments of Air Traffic Controllers task loads with a full application. In this research, fast time simulations are carrying out for discovering how much flight time and distance aircrafts can save with an overall free route establishment. In the other side, the paper explains the evolution of conflicts derivate from possible separation losses between aircrafts in this new environment. Free route conflicts can emerges in any points of the airspace, requiring a great effort for solving it, in comparison with fixed airways, where conflicts normally were found by controllers in known waypoints, and they solved using the fixed network as reference. The airspace configuration modelled in this study take into account the actual navigation waypoints structure, moving into a future scenario, where new ones waypoints are added and new traffic flow patterns appears. In this sense, this research explores the advantages and unknown difficulties that a large scale application of free route concept can carry out in the European airspace.

Keywords: ATC conflicts, efficiency, free route airspace, SESAR

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5 Automatic Detection of Traffic Stop Locations Using GPS Data

Authors: Areej Salaymeh, Loren Schwiebert, Stephen Remias, Jonathan Waddell


Extracting information from new data sources has emerged as a crucial task in many traffic planning processes, such as identifying traffic patterns, route planning, traffic forecasting, and locating infrastructure improvements. Given the advanced technologies used to collect Global Positioning System (GPS) data from dedicated GPS devices, GPS equipped phones, and navigation tools, intelligent data analysis methodologies are necessary to mine this raw data. In this research, an automatic detection framework is proposed to help identify and classify the locations of stopped GPS waypoints into two main categories: signalized intersections or highway congestion. The Delaunay triangulation is used to perform this assessment in the clustering phase. While most of the existing clustering algorithms need assumptions about the data distribution, the effectiveness of the Delaunay triangulation relies on triangulating geographical data points without such assumptions. Our proposed method starts by cleaning noise from the data and normalizing it. Next, the framework will identify stoppage points by calculating the traveled distance. The last step is to use clustering to form groups of waypoints for signalized traffic and highway congestion. Next, a binary classifier was applied to find distinguish highway congestion from signalized stop points. The binary classifier uses the length of the cluster to find congestion. The proposed framework shows high accuracy for identifying the stop positions and congestion points in around 99.2% of trials. We show that it is possible, using limited GPS data, to distinguish with high accuracy.

Keywords: Delaunay triangulation, clustering, intelligent transportation systems, GPS data

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4 Autonomous Strategic Aircraft Deconfliction in a Multi-Vehicle Low Altitude Urban Environment

Authors: Loyd R. Hook, Maryam Moharek


With the envisioned future growth of low altitude urban aircraft operations for airborne delivery service and advanced air mobility, strategies to coordinate and deconflict aircraft flight paths must be prioritized. Autonomous coordination and planning of flight trajectories is the preferred approach to the future vision in order to increase safety, density, and efficiency over manual methods employed today. Difficulties arise because any conflict resolution must be constrained by all other aircraft, all airspace restrictions, and all ground-based obstacles in the vicinity. These considerations make pair-wise tactical deconfliction difficult at best and unlikely to find a suitable solution for the entire system of vehicles. In addition, more traditional methods which rely on long time scales and large protected zones will artificially limit vehicle density and drastically decrease efficiency. Instead, strategic planning, which is able to respond to highly dynamic conditions and still account for high density operations, will be required to coordinate multiple vehicles in the highly constrained low altitude urban environment. This paper develops and evaluates such a planning algorithm which can be implemented autonomously across multiple aircraft and situations. Data from this evaluation provide promising results with simulations showing up to 10 aircraft deconflicted through a relatively narrow low-altitude urban canyon without any vehicle to vehicle or obstacle conflict. The algorithm achieves this level of coordination beginning with the assumption that each vehicle is controlled to follow an independently constructed flight path, which is itself free of obstacle conflict and restricted airspace. Then, by preferencing speed change deconfliction maneuvers constrained by the vehicles flight envelope, vehicles can remain as close to the original planned path and prevent cascading vehicle to vehicle conflicts. Performing the search for a set of commands which can simultaneously ensure separation for each pair-wise aircraft interaction and optimize the total velocities of all the aircraft is further complicated by the fact that each aircraft's flight plan could contain multiple segments. This means that relative velocities will change when any aircraft achieves a waypoint and changes course. Additionally, the timing of when that aircraft will achieve a waypoint (or, more directly, the order upon which all of the aircraft will achieve their respective waypoints) will change with the commanded speed. Put all together, the continuous relative velocity of each vehicle pair and the discretized change in relative velocity at waypoints resembles a hybrid reachability problem - a form of control reachability. This paper proposes two methods for finding solutions to these multi-body problems. First, an analytical formulation of the continuous problem is developed with an exhaustive search of the combined state space. However, because of computational complexity, this technique is only computable for pairwise interactions. For more complicated scenarios, including the proposed 10 vehicle example, a discretized search space is used, and a depth-first search with early stopping is employed to find the first solution that solves the constraints.

Keywords: strategic planning, autonomous, aircraft, deconfliction

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3 A Diagnostic Comparative Analysis of on Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) Models for Indoor and Outdoor Route Planning and Obstacle Avoidance

Authors: Seyed Esmail Seyedi Bariran, Khairul Salleh Mohamed Sahari


In robotics literature, the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is commonly associated with a priori-posteriori problem. The autonomous vehicle needs a neutral map to spontaneously track its local position, i.e., “localization” while at the same time a precise path estimation of the environment state is required for effective route planning and obstacle avoidance. On the other hand, the environmental noise factors can significantly intensify the inherent uncertainties in using odometry information and measurements obtained from the robot’s exteroceptive sensor which in return directly affect the overall performance of the corresponding SLAM. Therefore, the current work is primarily dedicated to provide a diagnostic analysis of six SLAM algorithms including FastSLAM, L-SLAM, GraphSLAM, Grid SLAM and DP-SLAM. A SLAM simulated environment consisting of two sets of landmark locations and robot waypoints was set based on modified EKF and UKF in MATLAB using two separate maps for indoor and outdoor route planning subject to natural and artificial obstacles. The simulation results are expected to provide an unbiased platform to compare the estimation performances of the five SLAM models as well as on the reliability of each SLAM model for indoor and outdoor applications.

Keywords: route planning, obstacle, estimation performance, FastSLAM, L-SLAM, GraphSLAM, Grid SLAM, DP-SLAM

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2 Autonomous Flight Control for Multirotor by Alternative Input Output State Linearization with Nested Saturations

Authors: Yong Eun Yoon, Eric N. Johnson, Liling Ren


Multirotor is one of the most popular types of small unmanned aircraft systems and has already been used in many areas including transport, military, surveillance, and leisure. Together with its popularity, the needs for proper flight control is growing because in most applications it is required to conduct its missions autonomously, which is in many aspects based on autonomous flight control. There have been many studies about the flight control for multirotor, but there is still room for enhancements in terms of performance and efficiency. This paper presents an autonomous flight control method for multirotor based on alternative input output linearization coupled with nested saturations. With alternative choice of the output of the multirotor flight control system, we can reduce computational cost regarding Lie algebra, and the linearized system can be stabilized with the introduction of nested saturations with real poles of our own design. Stabilization of internal dynamics is also based on the nested saturations and accompanies the determination of part of desired states. In particular, outer control loops involving state variables which originally are not included in the output of the flight control system is naturally rendered through this internal dynamics stabilization. We can also observe that desired tilting angles are determined by error dynamics from outer loops. Simulation results show that in any tracking situations multirotor stabilizes itself with small time constants, preceded by tuning process for control parameters with relatively low degree of complexity. Future study includes control of piecewise linear behavior of multirotor with actuator saturations, and the optimal determination of desired states while tracking multiple waypoints.

Keywords: automatic flight control, input output linearization, multirotor, nested saturations

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1 Multi-Agent Searching Adaptation Using Levy Flight and Inferential Reasoning

Authors: Sagir M. Yusuf, Chris Baber


In this paper, we describe how to achieve knowledge understanding and prediction (Situation Awareness (SA)) for multiple-agents conducting searching activity using Bayesian inferential reasoning and learning. Bayesian Belief Network was used to monitor agents' knowledge about their environment, and cases are recorded for the network training using expectation-maximisation or gradient descent algorithm. The well trained network will be used for decision making and environmental situation prediction. Forest fire searching by multiple UAVs was the use case. UAVs are tasked to explore a forest and find a fire for urgent actions by the fire wardens. The paper focused on two problems: (i) effective agents’ path planning strategy and (ii) knowledge understanding and prediction (SA). The path planning problem by inspiring animal mode of foraging using Lévy distribution augmented with Bayesian reasoning was fully described in this paper. Results proof that the Lévy flight strategy performs better than the previous fixed-pattern (e.g., parallel sweeps) approaches in terms of energy and time utilisation. We also introduced a waypoint assessment strategy called k-previous waypoints assessment. It improves the performance of the ordinary levy flight by saving agent’s resources and mission time through redundant search avoidance. The agents (UAVs) are to report their mission knowledge at the central server for interpretation and prediction purposes. Bayesian reasoning and learning were used for the SA and results proof effectiveness in different environments scenario in terms of prediction and effective knowledge representation. The prediction accuracy was measured using learning error rate, logarithm loss, and Brier score and the result proves that little agents mission that can be used for prediction within the same or different environment. Finally, we described a situation-based knowledge visualization and prediction technique for heterogeneous multi-UAV mission. While this paper proves linkage of Bayesian reasoning and learning with SA and effective searching strategy, future works is focusing on simplifying the architecture.

Keywords: Levy flight, distributed constraint optimization problem, multi-agent system, multi-robot coordination, autonomous system, swarm intelligence

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