High performance nap-of-the-earth unmanned helicopter flight

Eric N. Johnson, John G. Mooney, Chester Ong, Vineet Sahasrabudhe, Jonathan Hartman

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

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes recent results from a partnership between the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop, improve, and flight test a sensor, guidance, navigation, control, and real-time flight path optimization system to support high performance Nap-of-the-earth (NOE) helicopter flight. The emphasis here is on optimization for a combination of low height above terrain/obstacles and high speeds. Multiple methods for generating the desired flight path were evaluated, including (1) a simple processing of each laser scan; and (2) a potential field based method. Simulation and flight test results have been obtained utilizing an onboard laser scanner to detect terrain and obstacles while flying at low altitude, and have successfully demonstrated obstacle avoidance at speeds up to 40 ft/s while maintaining a miss distance of 50 ft horizontally and vertically. These results indicate that the technical approach is sound, paving the way for testing of even lower altitudes, higher speeds, and more aggressive maneuvering in future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Helicopter Society International - AHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011
Pages167-175
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011
EventAHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011 - Tempe, AZ, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2011Jan 27 2011

Publication series

NameAmerican Helicopter Society International - AHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011

Other

OtherAHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011
CountryUnited States
CityTempe, AZ
Period1/25/111/27/11

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Cite this

Johnson, E. N., Mooney, J. G., Ong, C., Sahasrabudhe, V., & Hartman, J. (2011). High performance nap-of-the-earth unmanned helicopter flight. In American Helicopter Society International - AHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011 (pp. 167-175). (American Helicopter Society International - AHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011).