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Angle-only based collision risk assessment for unmanned aerial vehicles
Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Vinkelbaserad kollisionsriskbedömning för obemannade flygfarkoster (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the crucial problem of collision avoidance for autonomous vehicles.  An anti-collision system for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is studied in particular. The purpose of this system is to make sure that the own vehicle avoids collision with other aircraft in mid-air. The sensor used to track any possible threat is for a UAV limited basically to a digital video camera. This sensor can only measure the direction to an intruding vehicle, not the range, and is therefore denoted an angle-only sensor. To estimate the position and velocity of the intruder a tracking system, based on an extended Kalman filter, is used. State estimates supplied by this system are very uncertain due to the difficulties of angle-only tracking. Probabilistic methods are therefore required for risk calculation. The risk assessment module is one of the essential parts of the collision avoidance system and has the purpose of continuously evaluating the risk for collision. To do this in a probabilistic way, it is necessary to assume a probability distribution for the tracking system output. A common approach is to assume normality, more out of habit than on actual grounds. This thesis investigates the normality assumption, and it is found that the tracking output rapidly converge towards a good normal distribution approximation. The thesis furthermore investigates the actual risk assessment module to find out how the collision risk should be determined. The traditional way to do this is to focus on a critical time point (time of closest point of approach, time of maximum collision risk etc.). A recently proposed alternative is to evaluate the risk over a horizon of time. The difference between these two concepts is evaluated. An approximate computational method for integrated risk, suitable for real-time implementations, is also validated. It is shown that the risk seen over a horizon of time is much more robust to estimation accuracy than the risk from a critical time point. The integrated risk also gives a more intuitively correct result, which makes it possible to implement the risk assessment module with a direct connection to specified aviation safety rules.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 112 p.
UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle, collision avoidance, sense & avoid, risk assessment, conflict detection
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15757ISRN: LiTH-ISY-EX--08/4192--SEOAI: diva2:127227
2008-11-28, Glashuset, Linköpings universitet, 581 83 LINKÖPING, Linköping, 11:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2008-12-04 Created: 2008-12-02 Last updated: 2008-12-31Bibliographically approved

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Lindsten, Fredrik
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