Precision Guided Airdrop for Vertical Replenishment of Naval Vessels
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This paper addresses the investigation into the feasibility of the use of precision guided airdrop as a means to deliver cargo to naval vessels at sea. In this context, precision guided airdrop means delivering unmanned cargo packages that, once dropped from an aircraft at high altitude, have the capability to guide themselves to a precise landing point by con- trolling an aerodynamic decelerator (parafoil or parachute) to which the cargo package is attached. The paper describes the problem of replenishment of naval vessels at sea and describes the bene ts that the application of precision airdrop might provide. Improved accuracy of aerial delivery systems is the major focus of analysis, and how the application of model predictive control has potential to achieve the necessary improvements in accuracy that would make shipboard landings possible. A simple example is developed of a model predictive control algorithm adapted to track a target landing area that is moving with constant velocity. Additional techniques are also surveyed, as well as other potential applications of precision airdrop to maritime operations.
Proceedings of the 20th AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar, Seattle, WA, May 4-7, 2009.
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