Rucco, A; Sujit, PB; Aguiar, AP; Sousa, JB

2016 AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference

ID Authenticus: P-00K-601

DOI: 10.2514/6.2016-0895

Abstract: An important restriction that arises when fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) need to perform several types of persistent missions is the fact that they have limited fuel capacity, which consequently it requires periodic refueling to accomplish the mission. Typically, refueling stations are immobile and the UAV may have to waste fuel and operation time in traveling to the station. Instead, we propose the use of Unmmaned Ground Vehicle (UGV) as a refueling unit where the UAV will rendezvous onto a moving UGV. To accomplish this task successfully with a good performance, the UAV needs to determine an optimal trajectory in 3D taking UAV and UGV dynamics and kinematics into account. Additionally, it is desirable to control the trajectory aggressiveness generated by the UAV through a human operator. In this paper, we propose an optimal control formulation to generate a tunable UAV trajectory for rendezvous on a moving UGV. By a suitable choice of a weighting term in our problem setting, we are able to control some performance features of the UAV trajectory. Numerical results are presented to validate our approach using a nonlinear optimal control solver.