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Aerospace 2017, 4(2), 23;

Direct Entry Minimal Path UAV Loitering Path Planning

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA
This paper is based on the results presented in Development of an Area of Interest Extended Coverage Loitering Path Planner. In Proceedings of the AIAA Infotech@Aerospace, AIAA SciTech Forum, San Diego, CA, USA, 4–8 January 2016.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Javaan Chahl, David Anderson and Michael Wing
Received: 11 March 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
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Fixed Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) performing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) typically fly over Areas of Interest (AOIs) to collect sensor data of the ground from the air. If needed, the traditional method of extending sensor collection time is to loiter or turn circularly around the center of an AOI. Current Autopilot systems on small UAVs can be limited in their feature set and typically follow a waypoint chain system that allows for loitering, but requires that the center of the AOI to be traversed which may produce unwanted turns outside of the AOI before entering the loiter. An investigation was performed to compare the current loitering techniques against two novel smart loitering methods. The first method investigated, Tangential Loitering Path Planner (TLPP), utilized paths tangential to the AOIs to enter and exit efficiently, eliminating unnecessary turns outside of the AOI. The second method, Least Distance Loitering Path Planner (LDLPP), utilized four unique flight maneuvers that reduce transit distances while eliminating unnecessary turns outside of the AOI present in the TLPP method. Simulation results concluded that the Smart Loitering Methods provide better AOI coverage during six mission scenarios. It was also determined that the LDLPP method spends less time in transit between AOIs. The reduction in required transit time could be used for surveying additional AOIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: path planning; UAV; loitering; AOI; POI path planning; UAV; loitering; AOI; POI

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wilhelm, J.P.; Clem, G.S.; Eberhart, G.M. Direct Entry Minimal Path UAV Loitering Path Planning. Aerospace 2017, 4, 23.

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