Real-time motion planning with a fixed-wing UAV using an agile maneuver space
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Small fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming increasingly capable of flying at low altitudes and in constrained environments. This paper addresses the problem of automating the flight of a fixed-wing UAV through highly constrained environments. The main contribution of this paper is the development of a maneuver space, integrating steady and transient agile maneuvers for a class of fixed-wing aircraft. The maneuver space is integrated into the rapidly-exploring random trees (RRT) algorithm. The RRT-based motion planner, together with a flight control system, is demonstrated in simulations and flight tests to efficiently generate and execute a motion plan through highly constrained 3D environments in real-time. The flight experiments—which effectively demonstrated the usage of three highly agile maneuvers—were conducted using only on-board sensing and computing.
KeywordsAerial robotics Real-time motion planning Agile flight Control
This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Grant no. PGSD3-490220-2016) and by le Fonds de Recherche du Quebec - Nature et Technologies (Grant no. 2016-PR-191001).
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