Robust trajectory planning for unmanned aerial vehicles in uncertain environments
Author(s)Luders, Brandon (Brandon Douglas)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
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As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) take on more prominent roles in aerial missions, it becomes necessary to increase the level of autonomy available to them within the mission planner. In order to complete realistic mission scenarios, the UAV must be capable of operating within a complex environment, which may include obstacles and other no-fly zones. Additionally, the UAV must be able to overcome environmental uncertainties such as modeling errors, external disturbances, and an incomplete situational awareness. By utilizing planners which can autonomously navigate within such environments, the cost-effectiveness of UAV missions can be dramatically improved.This thesis develops a UAV trajectory planner to efficiently identify and execute trajectories which are robust to a complex, uncertain environment. This planner, named Efficient RSBK, integrates previous mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) path planning algorithms with several implementation innovations to achieve provably robust on-line trajectory optimization. Using the proposed innovations, the planner is able to design intelligent long-term plans using a minimal number of decision variables. The effectiveness of this planner is demonstrated with both simulation results and flight experiments on a quadrotor testbed.Two major components of the Efficient RSBK framework are the robust model predictive control (RMPC) scheme and the low-level planner. This thesis develops a generalized framework to investigate RMPC affine feedback policies on the disturbance, identify relative strengths and weaknesses, and assess suitability for the UAV trajectory planning problem. A simple example demonstrates that even with a conventional problem setup, the closed-loop performance may not always improve with additional decision variables, despite the resulting increase in computational complexity. A compatible low-level troller is also introduced which significantly improves trajectory-following accuracy, as demonstrated by additional flight experiments.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 145-153).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.