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Flight in Flow Fields. Ricardo Bencatel . Department of Aerospace Engineering University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. April 22nd, 2013. Air Force Relevance. Why? Persistent operations Fuel savings Low noise signature Smaller logistical footprint - Smaller UAVs.

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flight in flow fields

Flight in Flow Fields

Ricardo Bencatel

Department of Aerospace Engineering

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

April 22nd, 2013

air force relevance
Air Force Relevance

Why?

  • Persistent operations
  • Fuel savings
  • Low noise signature
  • Smaller logistical footprint - Smaller UAVs

Can standard UAVs fly without fuel?

motivation
Motivation
  • Extended UAVs endurance and range
  • Standard UAV = Sensor & energy collector
  • Harvest air flow energy

*Edwards, D., “Implementation Details and Flight Test Results of an AutonomousSoaringController”, 2008

flight in flow fields1
Flight in Flow Fields

How can standard UAVs fly without fuel?

application
Application

Applications:

    • Dynamic soaring
      • High-altitude: Jet Stream
      • Low/medium altitude: mountain ridges
      • Low altitude: oceans, lakes, flat landscapes
      • Generally: Gusts
    • Static soaring
      • Plains (including desertand ice/snow)
      • Mountain ridges
  • Preliminary results
    • Smaller UAVs benefit the most
    • Existing fleet endurance/range extension
research focus

Models

Research Focus
  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation
  • Exploration Methods
  • Estimation
  • Endurance Extension
  • Observability
current contributions
Current Contributions
  • Conditions for perpetual flight (Ph.D. dissertation)
  • New models (Accepted for publication in the Journal of Progress in Aerospace Sciences)
    • 2 3D thermal models
    • 3 wind shear models
  • Formation flight controller with collision avoidance(Presented at the CDC 2011)
  • Observability and estimators (Ph.D. dissertation)
    • Thermals (Presented at the AIS 2010)
    • Wind Shear (Presented at the GNC 2011)
outline
Outline
  • Flow Field Phenomena
  • Formation Flight
  • Dynamic Soaring
flow field phenomena

Models

  • Models
Flow Field Phenomena
  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation
  • Exploration Methods
  • Estimation
  • Endurance Extension
  • Observability
flow field phenomena1
Flow Field Phenomena
  • Wind currents
  • Wind gradients

Bencatel, R., Sousa, J. B., and Girard, A. R., “Atmospheric Flow Field Models Applicable for Aircraft Endurance Extension," Accepted for Publication in Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 2013.

slide13

Models

  • Model Validation

Formation Flight

  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation
  • Exploration Methods
  • Estimation
  • Endurance Extension
  • Observability
slide14

Formation Flight

  • Validate Thermal’s flow field model
  • Safely take spatially distributed samples
sliding mode controller
Inter-UAV relative frame

Collision Avoidance strategy over the “connecting” axis:

Maximum velocity strategy over the orthogonal axis:

Sliding Mode Controller
sliding mode controller1
Kinematic Model

Controller (Feedback Linearization and Sliding Mode)

Information structure

All UAVs know each other and the leader

Sliding Mode Controller

Ricardo Bencatel, MariamFaied, João Sousa, and Anouck Girard, “Formation Control with Collision Avoidance,” 50th IEEE CDC and ECC, 2011

dynamic soaring

Models

  • Exploitation Methods
Dynamic Soaring
  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation
  • Exploration Methods
  • Estimation
  • Endurance Extension
  • Observability
conclusions1

Models

  • Observability
  • Models
  • Flow Field Estimation
  • Exploitation Methods
  • Model Validation
Conclusions

Formation Flight

ThermalsWind ShearGusts

  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation

Wind

Thermals

  • Exploration Methods
  • Estimation
  • Endurance Extension
  • Observability

Dynamic Soaring

publications
Publications
  • Ph.D. dissertation
  • 1 accepted journal paper
  • 4 accepted conference papers
collaborations
Collaborations
  • AFRL:
    • Dynamic Soaring
    • Precision air drops
  • University of Porto & Portuguese Air Force
future work
Future Work
  • Can a flow field exploitation controller be introduced in a USAF UAV mission?
  • How should the exploitation trajectories be combined?
  • Can we harvest more energy if we have an electrical regeneration system?
  • Are the presented thermal and wind shear models valid?
  • Usefulness - How frequent are the studied?
future work1

Model Validation

  • Endurance Extension
  • Models
  • Exploration Methods
  • Precision Air Drops
  • Flow Field Estimation
  • Exploitation Methods
Future Work

Formation Flight

  • Exploitation
  • Methods
  • Validation

Landing Point Approach Control

Wind

Gradients

Volume

  • Exploration Methods
  • Endurance Extension
  • Estimation
  • Observability

Dynamic Soaring

flight in flow fields2

Flight in Flow Fields

Ricardo Bencatel

[email protected]

Department of Aerospace Engineering

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

April 22nd, 2013

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