Trajectory design and vehicle guidance for a mid-air rendezvous between tow autonomous aircraft
Author(s)Jourdan, Damien, 1978-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
John J. Deyst.
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The Parent Child Unmanned Air Vehicles (PCUAV) project is the fruit of a four year collaboration between M.I.T. and the Draper Lab. PCUAV aimed at providing close range observation from a distance using a low cost autonomous system. After defining the concept for the two first years, the PCUAV team focused on a key enabler of the system, the autonomous docking of two aircraft in mid-air. This thesis presents the work done by the author regarding the development of avionics by which the two aircraft can autonomously be guided within 15m, one behind the other. The key features needed to achieve this goal are discussed. First, the design of the trajectory, to be followed by the chasing aircraft, is presented. Then, several options for the guidance of the vehicles are explored and the adaptation of Proportional Navigation for PCUAV is discussed. Finally, the synchronization required to bring the two vehicles in trail and 15m from each other is explained. Flight test results validating this work are also presented.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2003.Page 126 blank.Includes bibliographical references (p. 101-102).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.