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Proceedings Paper

Closely supervised control of a target-steered UAV
Author(s): Curtis H. Spenny; Roy G. Glassco; Randall Green
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Paper Abstract

Orientation of a camera onboard an uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) that is used for reconnaissance is performed manually by an operator using a two degree-of-freedom joystick that commands camera azimuth and elevation. The flight path of the UAV is accomplished autonomously by an autopilot that transforms camera orientation into guidance commands that cause the UAV to fly to a destination, loiter or track a target as instructed by the operator. This control mode permits single-person operation of the UAV mission. In a manual mode, the aircraft circles the target at a fixed standoff distance from the UAV that is determined by instantaneous camera orientation and if available, ranging information to the target. The operator must continually track the target in this mode. In a shared control mode, the target location in an earth-fixed frame is determined from the camera orientation at a single point in time, in conjunction with the concurrent UAV position, the latter assumed to be available from GPS or an onboard inertial guidance system. This leaves the operator free to pan for other targets or perform other tasks. He can update target location or switch between the manual and shared modes at any time. This method also provides the added benefit that if the feed from the remote operator is lost, the aircraft will continue on its current heading or loiter smaller to current UAV operation. This teleoperation concept is being validated in Wright State University's CAVE automated virtual environment located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3840, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VI, (8 November 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.369279
Show Author Affiliations
Curtis H. Spenny, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Roy G. Glassco, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Randall Green, Wright State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3840:
Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies VI
Matthew R. Stein, Editor(s)

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