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Pilot-Directed Computer-Assisted Helicopter Formation Flying

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Pilot-Directed Computer-Assisted Helicopter Formation Flying
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W911NF-05-C-0088
Award Amount: $100,000.00


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.

Principal Investigator:

Jovan Boskovic
Senior Research Engineer

Business Contact:

Raman K. Mehra
Small Business Information at Submission:

Scientific Systems Co., Inc.
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000 Woburn, MA 01801

EIN/Tax ID: 043053085
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Sponsored Projects Office, 336 Sproul Hall, Mail-C 5940
Berkley, CA 94720
Contact: Jyl Baldwin
Contact Phone: (510) 642-8117
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university