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Low-cost instrumentation system for recovery of fixed-wing UAV in a net
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, Department of Engineering Cybernetics.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, Department of Engineering Cybernetics.
2014 (English)MasteroppgaveStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis considers the feasibility of using an inexpensive Real-Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK-GPS) unit to provide position data to support a high precision landing of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) into a net. Both dynamic- and stationary-net platforms were considered and custom guidance controllers were designed for both applications. Fully functioning, the system is intended to remove the need of a pilot when operating UAVs from confined platforms. The ArduPilot Mega (APM) was the selected micro-controller for providing the approach guidance. It already supported autonomous waypoint flight, based on absolute GPS-based position reference. Accommodation of the new RTK-GPS distance vector, a measure of the relative distance between base station and UAV, in custom guidance algorithms constituted the main bulk of work. Real-Time Kinematic Library (RTKLIB), an open source RTK software, was used for calculation of the relative distance vector, also known as baseline vector. The custom guidance controllers utilized model-less controller logic, and the longitudinal and lateral axes were completely uncoupled. The longitudinal controller, governing throttle- and pitch setpoints, was comprised of two Proportional, Integral and Derivtive (PID) controllers. The lateral controller, a non-linear lookahead-based controller, produced a setpoint for the desired aircraft roll. Other main topics of the thesis were; HIL-simulation based on the software XPlane and MissionPlanner and real-life testing with the model aircraft X8 Skywalker. HIL-simulations confirmed the feasibility of the guidance controllers, while real-life testing showed sufficient precision of the entire system, baseline vector and custom guidance controllers combined, for retrieval of a UAV in a 3 m high by 5 m wide net.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutt for teknisk kybernetikk , 2014. , 144 p.
URN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-25992Local ID: ntnudaim:10731OAI: diva2:743305
Available from: 2014-09-03 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved

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