Minimum-Time Paths for a Light Aircraft in the Presence of Regionally-Varying Strong Winds

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dc.contributor.author Bakolas, Efstathios
dc.contributor.author Tsiotras, Panagiotis
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-11T19:13:01Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-11T19:13:01Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Bakolas, E. and Tsiotras, P., "Minimum-Time Paths for a Light Aircraft in the Presence of Regionally-Varying Strong Winds,'' Infotech at Aerospace, Atlanta, GA, April 20-22, 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.other AIAA 2010-3380
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1853/36887
dc.description Copyright © 2010 by E. Bakolas and P. Tsiotras. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. en_US
dc.description.abstract We consider the minimum-time path-planning problem for a small aircraft flying horizontally in the presence of obstacles and regionally-varying strong winds. The aircraft speed is not necessarily larger than the wind speed, a fact that has major implications in terms of the existence of feasible paths. First, it is possible that there exist configurations in close proximity to an obstacle from which a collision may be inevitable. Second, it is likely that points inside the obstacle-free space may not be connectable by means of an admissible bidirectional path. The assumption of a regionally-varying wind field has also implications on the optimality properties of the minimum-time paths between reachable configurations. In particular, the minimum-time-to-go and minimum-time-to-come between two points are not necessarily equal. To solve this problem, we consider a convex subdivision of the plane into polygonal regions that are either free of obstacles or they are occupied with obstacles, and such that the vehicle motion within each obstacle-free region is governed by a separate set of equations. The equations of motion inside each obstacle-free region are significantly simpler when compared with the original system dynamics. This approximation simplifies both the reachability/accesibility analysis, as well as the characterization of the locally minimum-time paths. Furthermore, it is shown that the minimum-time paths consist of concatenations of locally optimal paths with the concatenations occurring along the common boundary of neighboring regions, similarly to Snell’s law of refraction in optics. Armed with this representation, the problem is subsequently reduced to a directed graph search problem, which can be solved by employing standard algorithms. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Georgia Institute of Technology en_US
dc.subject Path planning en_US
dc.subject Wind fields en_US
dc.subject Small aircraft en_US
dc.title Minimum-Time Paths for a Light Aircraft in the Presence of Regionally-Varying Strong Winds en_US
dc.type Paper en_US
dc.contributor.corporatename Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Aerospace Engineering
dc.publisher.original American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


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