Pilot-Directed Computer-Assisted Helicopter Formation Flying
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) and University of California, Berkeley (UCB) jointly propose to develop and implement computer-aided Autonomous Formation Flying Control Technology (AFF-CT) for heterogeneous formations of manned helicopters. One of the objectives of the project is to design a control architecture and corresponding control algorithms that are robust to uncertainties and disturbances even while utilizing minimum inter-vehicle communications. Another objective is to design a formation manager to assure smooth transitioning between different modes of operation including take-off, landing, formation initialization, formation termination, adding vehicles to or removing them from the formation, pop-up threat avoidance, and emergency procedures. In order to achieve these objectives, we plan to carry out the following tasks: (i) Problem formulation for autonomous formation flying for heterogeneous manned helicopters; (ii) Development of decentralized Model Predictive Control (MPC) based formation control algorithms; (iii) Development of a Formation Manager using a Finite State Machine (FSM) approach; and (iv) Implementation and testing of the AFF-CT algorithms on simulations of small-scale and large helicopters. Upon successful demonstration of the feasibility of the AFF-CT system, in Phase II we plan to work with United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and Sikorsky in Phases II and III on transitioning the technology to their helicopters.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Senior Research Engineer
Raman K. Mehra
Research Institution Information:
Scientific Systems Co., Inc.
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000 Woburn, MA 01801
Number of Employees:
Sponsored Projects Office, 336 Sproul Hall, Mail-C 5940
Berkley, CA 94720
Nonprofit college or university