Aircraft manoeuvring for sensor aiming

Murrant, Kevin (2018) Aircraft manoeuvring for sensor aiming. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Airborne sensor aiming can be achieved with a fixed sensor using the manoeuvrability of an aircraft. Such a method offers advantages in potential sensor coverage and reduced payload complexity. Without use of a gimbal, an aircraft can be made more robust and sensor aiming is limited only by the aircraft flight capabilities. A novel method is developed and demonstrated for performing sensor aiming with a fixed-wing aircraft. A creative mathematical framework is presented for both a 3D path following controller and a method to seamlessly achieve sensor aiming while minimizing path deviation. A simulation environment is developed based on a fit-forpurpose aircraft model identified from live flight testing and the control algorithms are validated. Flight test data is presented demonstrating efficacy of the 3D path following controller. These demonstrations also serve to validate the aircraft modelling approach taken during controller development. Two application examples involving airborne radar aiming for detect and avoid and gimbal-less ground target tracking are used to illustrate the sensor aiming method. The proposed sensor aiming methodology is both practical and feasible as supported by results. The proposed method is applicable to both unmanned and manned aircraft. Future work involving the concept of manoeuvrable sensors is proposed in the conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13290
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-89).
Keywords: Aircraft Control, UAV, Sensor Aiming, Path Planning
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Drone aircraft -- Control systems; Remote sensing

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