Closing the loop in dynamic soaring

John J. Bird, Jack W. Langelaan, Corey Montella, John Spletzer, Joachim Grenestedt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

41 Scopus citations


This paper examines closed-loop dynamic soaring by small autonomous aircraft. Wind field estimation, trajectory planning, and path-following control are integrated into a system to enable dynamic soaring. The control architecture is described, performance of components of the architecture is assessed in Monte Carlo simulation, and the trajectory constraints imposed by existing hardware are described. Hardware in the loop simulation using a Piccolo SL autopilot module are used to examine the feasibility of dynamic soaring in the shear layer behind a ridge, and the limitations of the system are described. Results show that even with imperfect path following dynamic soaring is possible with currently existing hardware. The effect of turbulence is assessed through the addition of Dryden turbulence in the simulation environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
StatePublished - 2014
EventAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference 2014 - SciTech Forum and Exposition 2014 - National Harbor, MD, United States
Duration: Jan 13 2014Jan 17 2014

Publication series

NameAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference


OtherAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference 2014 - SciTech Forum and Exposition 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNational Harbor, MD

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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