A Hybrid Optical/GPS System for UAV Formation Flight Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W9124G-05-C-0001
Agency Tracking Number: A043-075-1298
Amount: $119,559.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: A04-075
Solicitation Number: 2004.3
Small Business Information
34 Lexington Avenue, Ewing, NJ, 08618
DUNS: 096857313
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert McKillip, Jr.
 Senior Associate
 (609) 538-0444
 bob@continuum-dynamics.com
Business Contact
 Barbara Agans
Title: Administrator
Phone: (609) 538-0444
Email: barbara@continuum-dynamics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
UAV operations in known icing conditions present a problem whose solution critically depends upon their flight testing in artificial icing environments. Unfortunately, instrumentation, control, and operational procedures have yet to be developed to support this testing behind manned aircraft, such as the U.S. Army CH-47 Helicopter Icing Spray System (HISS), that may produce the artificial icing cloud. The proposed work leverages a high-fidelity flight simulation tool to support the design and development of a sensor and controller package to enable this capability. The hybrid system combines both GPS guidance and optical detection of the UAV in trail flight to ensure that the UAV maintains a tightly controlled position within the icing spray cloud, while executing safe ingress and egress flight profiles as it approaches and departs the area of the CH-47 HISS aircraft. Phase I will provide risk reduction of the hybrid approach through tradeoff studies, comprehensive simulations, and benchtop tests. The simulation environment will leverage considerable CDI experience in highly accurate flowfield predictions around helicopter and fixed wing platforms, and will be used in a real-time evaluation of various control schemes for validation of the general system approach. Phase II will demonstrate the system on a small UAV platform.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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