Autonomous Formation Flight for Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Rotorcraft Using MPC
Final rept 15 Oct 2004-14 Jun 2005
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY
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Formation flight is the primary movement technique for teams of helicopters. However, the potential for accidents is greatly increased when helicopter teams are required to fly in tight formations and under harsh conditions. This project proposed that automation of helicopter formations is a realistic solution capable of alleviating risks. Our ultimate research objective is to develop technologies that work for both manned and unmanned rotorcraft, since it is our sense that they will be working together in the future. We also deeply believe that it is important to develop tools for human-centered automation as a via-point to complete automation starting point is to design a distributed control law attenuating external disturbances coming into a formation, so that each vehicle can safely maintain sufficient space between it and all other vehicles. While conventional methods are limited to homogeneous formations, our decentralized MPC approach allows for heterogeneity in formation.