Design and rapid prototyping of flight control and navigation system for an unmanned aerial vehicle
Kaminer, Isaac I.
Yakimenko, Oleg A.
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The work in this thesis is in support of a larger research effort to implement a cluster of autonomous airborne vehicles with the capability to conduct coordinated flight maneuver planning and to perform distributed sensor fusion. It seeks to design and implement an onboard flight control and navigation system for NPS FROG UAV, which will be used as the autonomous airborne vehicle for the research, using the newly marketed xPC Target Rapid Prototyping System from The Mathworks, Inc. Part I briefly introduces the aircraft and explains the necessity for an onboard computer for the UAV. Part II describes the construction of the miniature aircraft computer, INS/GPS and air data sensor integration implementation as well as the rapid prototyping process. Part III covers the process to create a 6DOF model for the aircraft and the design of the aircraft autopilot, while Part IV presents a vision-based navigation algorithm that can be implemented on the UAV to give it some form of autonomous flight trajectory planning capability. Ground test results showing successful onboard data integration are given to conclude this report.
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