Pilot-Directed Computer-Assisted Helicopter Formation Flying

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-05-C-0088
Agency Tracking Number: A054-011-0110
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2005
Solitcitation Year: 2005
Solitcitation Topic Code: A05-T011
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
500 West Cummings Park - Ste 3000, Woburn, MA, 01801
Duns: 859244204
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Jovan Boskovic
 Senior Research Engineer
 (781) 933-5355
Business Contact
 Raman Mehra
Title: President
Phone: (781) 933-5355
Email: rkm@ssci.com
Research Institution
 Jyl Baldwin
 Sponsored Projects Office, 336 Sproul Hall, Mail-C 5940
Berkley, CA, 94720
 (510) 642-8117
 Nonprofit college or university
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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