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From Motion Planning to Control - A Navigation Framework for an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
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2006 (English)In: Proceedings of the 21st Bristol UAV Systems Conference (UAVS), 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which can operate autonomously in dynamic and complex operational environments is becoming increasingly more common. While the application domains in which they are currently used are still predominantly military in nature, in the future we can expect wide spread usage in thecivil and commercial sectors. In order to insert such vehicles into commercial airspace, it is inherently important that these vehicles can generate collision-free motion plans and also be able to modify such plans during theirexecution in order to deal with contingencies which arise during the course of operation. In this paper, wepresent a fully deployed autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle, based on a Yamaha RMAX helicopter, whichis capable of navigation in urban environments. We describe a motion planning framework which integrates two sample-based motion planning techniques, Probabilistic Roadmaps and Rapidly Exploring Random Treestogether with a path following controller that is used during path execution. Integrating deliberative services, suchas planners, seamlessly with control components in autonomous architectures is currently one of the major open problems in robotics research. We show how the integration between the motion planning framework and thecontrol kernel is done in our system.

Additionally, we incorporate a dynamic path reconfigurability scheme. It offers a surprisingly efficient method for dynamic replanning of a motion plan based on unforeseen contingencies which may arise during the execution of a plan. Those contingencies can be inserted via ground operator/UAV interaction to dynamically change UAV flight paths on the fly. The system has been verified through simulation and in actual flight. We present empirical results of the performance of the framework and the path following controller.

National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-36792Local ID: 32592OAI: diva2:257641
Available from2009-10-10 Created:2009-10-10 Last updated:2012-01-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Navigation Functionalities for an Autonomous UAV Helicopter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Navigation Functionalities for an Autonomous UAV Helicopter
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis was written during the WITAS UAV Project where one of the goals has been the development of a software/hardware architecture for an unmanned autonomous helicopter, in addition to autonomous functionalities required for complex mission scenarios. The algorithms developed here have been tested on an unmanned helicopter platform developed by Yamaha Motor Company called the RMAX. The character of the thesis is primarily experimental and it should be viewed as developing navigational functionality to support autonomous flight during complex real world mission scenarios. This task is multidisciplinary since it requires competence in aeronautics, computer science and electronics. The focus of the thesis has been on the development of a control method to enable the helicopter to follow 3D paths. Additionally, a helicopter simulation tool has been developed in order to test the control system before flight-tests. The thesis also presents an implementation and experimental evaluation of a sensor fusion technique based on a Kalman filter applied to a vision based autonomous landing problem. Extensive experimental flight-test results are presented.

Publisher, range
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2007. 74 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1307
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Control System, Path Following, Path Planning, Sensor Fusion, Vision Based Landing, Kalman Filter, Real-Time
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21966 (URN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2007:16 (Local ID)978-91-85715-35-0 (ISBN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2007:16 (Archive number)LiU-Tek-Lic-2007:16 (OAI)
2007-03-30, Alan Turing, hus E, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from2009-10-15 Created:2009-10-07 Last updated:2009-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Wzorek, MariuszConte, GianpaoloRudol, PiotrMerz, TorstenDuranti, SimoneDoherty, Patrick
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