Optimal Lateral Guidance for Automatic Landing of a High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System with Crosswind Rejection
Smith, Nathan Allen
University of Kansas
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Unmanned aerial systems will be the dominant force in the aviation industry. Among these aircraft the use of high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial systems has increased dramatically. Based on the geometry of these types of aircraft the possible changing weather conditions during long flights poses many problems. These difficulties are compounded by the push towards fully autonomous systems. Large wingspan and, typically, small in-line landing gear make a landing in crosswind exceedingly difficult. This study uses a modified gain scheduling technique for optimizing the landing attitude for a generic vehicle based on geometry and crosswind speed. This is performed by directly utilizing the crosswind estimation to calculate a desired crab and roll angle that gives the lowest risk attitude for landing. An extended Kalman filter is developed that estimates the aircraft states as well as the 3D wind component acting on the aircraft. The aircraft used in this analysis is the DG808S, a large wingspan lightweight electric glider. The aircraft is modelled using Advanced Aircraft Analysis software and a six degree of freedom nonlinear simulation is implemented for testing. The controller used is a nonlinear model predictive controller. The simulations show that the extended Kalman filter is capable of estimating the crosswind and can therefore be used in the full aircraft simulation. Different crosswind settings are used which include both constant crosswind and gust conditions. Crosswind landing capabilities are increased by 35%. Deviation from the desired path in the cruise phase is reduced by up to 68% and time to path convergence is reduced by up to 53%.
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