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A Hybrid MAV for Ingress and Egress of Urban Environments

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2 Author(s)
Green, W.E. ; Avionics & Software Dept., Alliant Techsystems, Minneapolis, MN ; Oh, P.Y.

Small bird-sized aerial robots are expendable and can fly over obstacles and through small openings to assist in the acquisition and distribution of intelligence during reconnaissance, surveillance, and search-and-rescue missions in urban environments. However, limited flying space and densely populated obstacle fields require a vehicle that is capable of hovering but is also maneuverable. A secondary flight mode was incorporated into a fixed-wing aircraft to preserve its maneuverability while adding the capability of hovering. An inertial measurement sensor and onboard flight control system were interfaced and used to transition the hybrid prototype from cruise to hover flight and sustain a hover autonomously. Furthermore, the hovering flight mode can be used to maneuver the aircraft through small openings such as doorways. An ultrasonic and infrared sensor suite was designed to follow exterior building walls until an ingress route was detected. Reactive control was then used to traverse the doorway and gather reconnaissance. This paper describes the holistic approach of platform development, sensor suite design, and control of the hybrid prototype.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2009

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