A Hybrid Optical/GPS System for UAV Formation Flight Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W9124G-06-C-0001
Agency Tracking Number: A043-075-1298
Amount: $729,816.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
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
Business Contact
 Barbara Agans
Title: Administrator
Phone: (609) 538-0444
Email: barbara@continuum-dynamics.com
Research Institution
Qualifying UAVs for operation in known icing conditions presents a problem whose solution critically depends upon the ability to conduct flight tests in controlled 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 can produce the required icing cloud. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of a hybrid system that combined GPS and inertial guidance signals with optical detection of a UAV in trail flight to ensure that the UAV maintains a tightly controlled position within the icing cloud, while executing safe ingress and egress flight profiles in the area of the CH-47 HISS aircraft. The proposed Phase II will continue this promising development path, leveraging high-fidelity flight simulation tools to support finalization of the design and development of the required sensor and controller package. Phase II will also entail a stepped sequence of benchtop and ground tests of system components, culminating in a series of flight tests on a small UAV with increasing levels of realism during the second year of the effort that will enable rapid transition to operational use.

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

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