Automated landing of an intelligent unmanned aerial vehicle in crosswind conditions using total energy control
Please cite as follows:
Le Roux, C. T. & Engelbrecht, J. A. A. 2014. Automated landing of an intelligent unmanned aerial vehicle in crosswind conditions using total energy control, in Proceedings of the First International Conference on the use of Mobile Informations and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa UMICTA 2014, 9-10 December 2014, STIAS Conference Centre, Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, South Africa, ISBN: 978-0-7972-1533-7.
The conference is available at http://mtn.sun.ac.za/conference2014/
See also the record http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95703
This paper presents the development, implementation and verification of a flight control system for the automated landing of an intelligent unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in crosswind conditions. There is an increasing number of commercial opportunities for UAVs in business, agriculture, industry and mining, the emergency services and security services. The major barrier to commercialisation of UAVs is the certification process, where automated take-off and landing is a key feature required. The automated landing system presented in this paper uses a longitudinal control system based on the total energy control system (TECS), and a lateral control system that combines a heading and guidance controller with a cross-track error controller. A software state machine is used to advance the flight control system through the different stages of the automated landing. The TECS architecture allows the airspeed and flight path angle to be decoupled, while the Cross-Track Controller uses a limited integrator to drive the cross-track error to zero in the presence of crosswind. The automated landing system is implemented on a UAV with an on-board computer, sensors and actuators, and is verified in simulation and with practical flight tests. The hardware simulation results show that the UAV is able to land autonomously in crosswinds up to 3.6 metres per second, with a landing accuracy of 3.50 metre in-track and 0.12 metre cross-track.
- Collection D240