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Proceedings Paper

Unmanned aircraft systems as wingmen
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Paper Abstract

This paper introduces a concept towards integrating manned and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) into a highly functional team though the design and implementation of 3-D distributed formation/flight control algorithms with the goal to act as wingmen for a manned aircraft. This method is designed to minimize user input for team control, dynamically modify formations as required, utilize standard operating formations to reduce pilot resistance to integration, and support splinter groups for surveillance and/or as safeguards between potential threats and manned vehicles. The proposed work coordinates UAS members by utilizing artificial potential functions whose values are based on the state of the unmanned and manned assets including the desired formation, obstacles, task assignments, and perceived intentions. The overall unmanned team geometry is controlled using weighted potential fields. Individual UAS utilize fuzzy logic controllers for stability and navigation as well as a fuzzy reasoning engine for flight path intention prediction. Approaches are demonstrated in simulation using the commercial simulator X-Plane and controllers designed in Matlab/Simulink. Experiments include trail and right echelon formations as well as splinter group surveillance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7692, Unmanned Systems Technology XII, 76920T (8 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849806
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Garcia, Motile Robotics Inc. (United States)
Laura Barnes, The Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
MaryAnne Fields, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7692:
Unmanned Systems Technology XII
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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