Integration of Path/Maneuver Planning in Complex Environments for Agile Maneuvering UCAVs

Koyuncu E., Üre N. K., İnalhan G.

JOURNAL OF INTELLIGENT & ROBOTIC SYSTEMS, vol.57, pp.143-170, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this work, we consider the problem of generating agile maneuver profiles for Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles in 3D Complex environments. This problem is complicated by the fact that, generation of the dynamically and geometrically feasible flight trajectories for agile maneuver profiles requires search of nonlinear state space of the aircraft dynamics. This work suggests a two layer feasible trajectory/maneuver generation system. Integrated Path planning (considers geometrical, velocity and acceleration constraints) and maneuver generation (considers saturation envelope and attitude continuity constraints) system enables each layer to solve its own reduced order dimensional feasibility problem, thus simplifies the problem and improves the real time implement ability. In Trajectory Planning layer, to solve the time depended path planning problem of an unmanned combat aerial vehicles, we suggest a two step planner. In the first step, the planner explores the environment through a randomized reachability tree search using an approximate line segment model. The resulting connecting path is converted into flight way points through a line-of-sight segmentation. In the second step, every consecutive way points are connected with B-Spline curves and these curves are repaired probabilistically to obtain a geometrically and dynamically feasible path. This generated feasible path is turned in to time depended trajectory with using time scale factor considering the velocity and acceleration limits of the aircraft. Maneuver planning layer is constructed upon multi modal control framework, where the flight trajectories are decomposed to sequences of maneuver modes and associated parameters. Maneuver generation algorithm, makes use of mode transition rules and agility metric graphs to derive feasible maneuver parameters for each mode and overall sequence. Resulting integrated system; tested on simulations for 3D complex environments, gives satisfactory results and promises successful real time implementation.