Automating human thought processes for a UAV forced landing

Eng, Pillar C., Mejias, Luis, Liu, Xi, & Walker, Rodney A. (2009) Automating human thought processes for a UAV forced landing. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 57(1 - 4), pp. 329-349.

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This paper describes the current status of a program to develop an automated forced landing system for a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This automated system seeks to emulate human pilot thought processes when planning for and conducting an engine-off emergency landing. Firstly, a path planning algorithm that extends Dubins curves to 3D space is presented. This planning element is then combined with a nonlinear guidance and control logic, and simulated test results demonstrate the robustness of this approach to strong winds during a glided descent. The average path deviation errors incurred are comparable to or even better than that of manned, powered aircraft. Secondly, a study into suitable multi-criteria decision making approaches and the problems that confront the decision-maker is presented. From this study, it is believed that decision processes that utilize human expert knowledge and fuzzy logic reasoning are most suited to the problem at hand, and further investigations will be conducted to identify the particular technique/s to be implemented in simulations and field tests. The automated UAV forced landing approach presented in this paper is promising, and will allow the progression of this technology from the development and simulation stages through to a prototype system

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 28708
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Unmanned Aircraft System, Forced Landing, Computer Vision, Path Planning, Decision Making
DOI: 10.1007/s10846-009-9389-8
ISSN: 0921-0296
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Computer Vision (080104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > AEROSPACE ENGINEERING (090100) > Avionics (090105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Adaptive Agents and Intelligent Robotics (080101)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Springer Verlag
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at
Deposited On: 19 Nov 2009 01:59
Last Modified: 27 May 2012 23:19

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