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Proceedings Paper

Sensor-based automated obstacle-avoidance system for nap-of-the-earth rotorcraft missions
Author(s): Richard A. Coppenbarger
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Paper Abstract

A rotorcraft guidance and control system designed for real-time detection and avoidance of terrain and obstacles has been developed and evaluated in a moving-base simulation. The system, referred to as pilot-directed guidance (PDG), relies upon forward-looking sensor information along with digital terrain elevation data to perform automated terrain-following and lateral and vertical obstacle avoidance maneuvering in the presence of flight path obstructions. An important aspect of this system is that it does not restrict the pilot to a predefined nominal course but instead allows for complete flight-path autonomy with no prior surveying of the obstacle environment. The pilot interface has been designed to enable the obstacle-avoidance sub-system to be transparent to the pilot except when performing emergency obstacle avoidance. Back-driven cockpit controls provide cueing to the pilot and also facilitate pilot-override of automated maneuvers when necessary, such as in the event of a sensor failure. The pilot interface also includes HMD symbology to provide the pilot with navigation and system performance information. This paper describes the fundamental components of the PDG system; the forward-looking sensor, data processing and fusion, guidance algorithms, controller design, and pilot interface. Important results from a piloted simulation are then presented that describe the overall performance and workload reduction potential of the PDG system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2735, Head-Mounted Displays, (7 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.241895
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A. Coppenbarger, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2735:
Head-Mounted Displays
Ronald J. Lewandowski; Loran A. Haworth; Wendell Stephens; Henry J. Girolamo, Editor(s)

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