Propagating A* searching state graphs in order to find a valid instrument approach configuration
Bottin, Trent L.
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The helicopter community has consistently been overlooked in the development of the National Airspace System. The unique flight characteristics of these aircraft make them ideally suited for a wide range of missions that are critical to national defense, medical first response and disaster relief. Full exploitation of these capabilities is limited during inclimate weather because the existing airspace plan was developed around fixed wing aircraft. More specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration lacks the resource to generate terminal area procedures for aircraft not restricted to prepared landing surfaces. This thesis focuses on the development of a suitable terminal instrument approach procedure generation capability. Artificially intelligent path planning and computer graphics-based collision detection techniques are used to find valid approach procedures that are compliant with the requirements set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. A variant of the classic A* graph search algorithm is introduced that propagates state change information to successor nodes. The propagation technique allows the algorithm to search the graph in a single pass even though children nodes often impose a state change on their parent nodes.
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