Navigation Functionalities for an Autonomous UAV Helicopter

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: This thesis was written during the WITAS UAV Project where one of the goals has been the development of a software/hardware architecture for an unmanned autonomous helicopter, in addition to autonomous functionalities required for complex mission scenarios. The algorithms developed here have been tested on an unmanned helicopter platform developed by Yamaha Motor Company called the RMAX. The character of the thesis is primarily experimental and it should be viewed as developing navigational functionality to support autonomous flight during complex real world mission scenarios. This task is multidisciplinary since it requires competence in aeronautics, computer science and electronics. The focus of the thesis has been on the development of a control method to enable the helicopter to follow 3D paths. Additionally, a helicopter simulation tool has been developed in order to test the control system before flight-tests. The thesis also presents an implementation and experimental evaluation of a sensor fusion technique based on a Kalman filter applied to a vision based autonomous landing problem. Extensive experimental flight-test results are presented.

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