Terminal Guidance of Autonomous Parafoils in High Wind-To-Airspeed Ratios
Mechanical & Astronautical Engineering
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Autonomous precision placement of parafoils is challenging because of their limited control authority and sensitivity to winds. In particular, when wind speed is near the airspeed guidance is further complicated by the parafoils inability to penetrate the wind. This article specifically addresses the terminal phase and develops an approach for generating optimal trajectories in real-time based on the inverse dynamics in the virtual domain. The method results in efficient solution of a two-point boundary-value problem using only a single optimization parameter allowing the trajectory to be generated at a high rate, mitigating effects of the unknown winds. It is shown through simulation and experimental results that the proposed algorithm works well even in strong winds and is robust to sensor errors and wind uncertainty.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1243/09544100JAERO749
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