On-line Path Generation for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using B-Spline Path Templates
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In this study we investigate the problem of generating a smooth, planar reference path, given a family of discrete optimal paths. In conjunction with a path representation by a finite sequence of square cells, the generated path is supposed to stay inside a feasible channel, while minimizing certain performance criteria. Constrained optimization problems are formulated subject to geometric (linear) constraints, as well as boundary conditions in order to generate a library of B-spline path templates. As an application to the vehicle motion planning, the path templates are incorporated to represent local segments of the entire path as geometrically smooth curves, which are then joined with one another to generate a reference path to be followed by a closed-loop tracking controller. The on-line path generation algorithm incorporates the path templates such that continuity and smoothness are preserved when switching from one template to another along the path. Combined with the D∗-lite path planning algorithm, the proposed algorithm provides a complete solution to the obstacle-free path generation problem in a computationally efficient manner, suitable for real-time implementation.