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Vector Field Path Following for Miniature Air Vehicles

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4 Author(s)
Nelson, D.R. ; Northrop Grumman Corp., San Diego ; Barber, D.B. ; McLain, T.W. ; Beard, R.W.

In this paper, a method for accurate path following for miniature air vehicles is developed. The method is based on the notion of vector fields, which are used to generate desired course inputs to inner-loop attitude control laws. Vector-field path-following control laws are developed for straight-line paths and circular arcs and orbits. Lyapunov stability arguments are used to demonstrate asymptotic decay of path-following errors in the presence of constant wind disturbances. Experimental flight tests have demonstrated mean path-following errors on less than one wingspan for straight-line and orbit paths and less than three wingspans for paths with frequent changes in direction.

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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 3 )