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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

    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

    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.




    Flight in flow fields

    • Model Validation

    Formation Flight

    • Exploitation

    • Methods

    • Validation

    • Exploration Methods

    • Estimation

    • Endurance Extension

    • Observability


    Flight in flow fields

    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

    • Exploitation Methods

    Dynamic Soaring

    • Exploitation

    • Methods

    • Validation

    • Exploration Methods

    • Estimation

    • Endurance Extension

    • Observability







    Conclusions1

    • 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

    • 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

    bencatel@umich.edu

    Department of Aerospace Engineering

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

    April 22nd, 2013