Development of a Novel, Two-Processor Architecture for a Small UAV Autopilot System,
Final rept., 20 Jun 2005-19 Mar 2006
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIV RICHMOND SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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The potential uses for small UAVs are quite varied and include such applications as targeting and even small weapons delivery to sensing, surveying, and search and rescue. This class of UAVs typically have a gross weight of less than 100 lbs and their limited payload capacity, interior volume, and power supply, place significant constraints on on-board systems, including the autopilot system used to control them. On the other hand, the capabilities of the aircraft themselves continue to grow which imposes larger computational requirements on the flight control system portion of the autopilot - that portion of the autopilot system that actually controls the vehicles dynamic behavior. This project developed a new autopilot architecture that utilizes a state-of-the-art processor to perform the flight control function for small UAVs. This system provides a light-weight, low-cost autopilot system that is flexible and powerful enough to be used for a wide variety of UAV platforms and because of its open architecture and basis on COTS processors, is easily upgradeable to track the state-of-the-art in commercial processor design.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Flight Control and Instrumentation