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Trajectory Planning in Time-Varying Adverse Weather for Fixed-Wing Aircraft Using Robust Model Predictive Control

Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Munich, 80335 Munich, Germany
Aerospace 2019, 6(6), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6060068
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Trajectory Design and Optimization)
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Abstract

The avoidance of adverse weather is an inevitable safety-relevant task in aviation. Automated avoidance can help to improve safety and reduce costs in manned and unmanned aviation. For this purpose, a straightforward trajectory planner for a single-source-single-target problem amidst moving obstacles is presented. The functional principle is explained and tested in several scenarios with time-varying polygonal obstacles based on thunderstorm nowcast. It is furthermore applicable to all kinds of nonholonomic planning problems amidst nonlinear moving obstacles, whose motion cannot be described analytically. The presented resolution-complete combinatorial planner uses deterministic state sampling to continuously provide globally near-time-optimal trajectories for the expected case. Inherent uncertainty in the prediction of dynamic environments is implicitly taken into account by a closed feedback loop of a model predictive controller and explicitly by bounded margins. Obstacles are anticipatory avoided while flying inside a mission area. The computed trajectories are time-monotone and meet the nonholonomic turning-flight constraint of fixed-wing aircraft and therefore do not require postprocessing. Furthermore, the planner is capable of considering a time-varying goal and automatically plan holding patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: trajectory planning; weather avoidance; moving obstacle; model predictive control; nonholonomic constraint; fixed-wing aircraft trajectory planning; weather avoidance; moving obstacle; model predictive control; nonholonomic constraint; fixed-wing aircraft
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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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Mothes, F. Trajectory Planning in Time-Varying Adverse Weather for Fixed-Wing Aircraft Using Robust Model Predictive Control. Aerospace 2019, 6, 68.

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