Approach Methods for Autonomous Precision Aerial Drop from a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIFAC-PapersOnLine. 2017, 50 (1), 3566-3573. 10.1016/j.ifacol.2017.08.624
One of the many basic operations that a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) should master autonomously is to deliver an object to a precise position. Among several possible delivery approaches, this paper chooses to focus on releasing the object from the UAV, at a carefully calculated state, and let it fall freely to the selected landing location. In such an operation, the computation of suitable release positions, velocity and attitude is essential. Due to time-varying disturbances like wind, a previously calculated release state may not be suitable once it has been reached by the aircraft. On account of these challenges, this paper suggests a dynamic calculation of the release state with respect to the wind velocity and current state of the UAV, with a sufficient re-optimization frequency. This is tested in simulation and with field tests, and compared with results from a static calculation approach.