Research and Publications

Research Areas

Motion planning for helicopters with slung-loads

A helicopter’s capability to carry large and heavy loads externally, as well as pick them up and drop them o ff in unprepared sites, is one of its primary advantages over fixed-wing aircraft. Despite the difficulties of flying with a slung-load, aggressive maneuvers are possible. Motion planning has long been studied for a wide range of robotics applications, and could enable unmanned slung-load operations as well as augment human pilots in this difficult task. This works examines one method in particular which seems well-suited for planning for slung-loads is Rapidly-Exploring Random Trees (RRTs), due to their ability to easily handle nonlinear models with arbitrary constraints.ModelDiagramLongTwoDOF

Multi-agent search and pursuit

The ability to use a collaborating team of UAS will, in many cases, have an advantage over operating a single UAS. However, there are costs associated with UAS collaboration. Establishing communication, task allocation, coordination, synchronization, collision avoidance, and an effective user interface are just the beginning of the problem. This research focuses on use of one or two aircraft to collaborate to solve a search and pursuit problem, focused on decentralized autonomous aircraft guidance.

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Autonomous obstacle avoidance

One of the major unsolved problems inhibiting widespread employment of autonomous low altitude aircraft is their ability to avoid colliding with terrain. This research employed several different techniques to convert data from an onboard laser range finder into a fly-able trajectory which maintains clearance distance from terrain. Results have been obtained in both simulation and flight test.

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Publications

2016 (2)

2015 (1)

2014 (2)

2013 (5)

2011 (2)

2010 (1)

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