University of Minnesota
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Fall 2001 Seminar Series

Research Goals of the Autonomous Rotorcraft Project

Matthew S. Whalley

NASA Ames Research Center


Despite the rhetoric, the truth is that flying vehicle autonomy does not exist. The automated waypoint flying of existing systems does little to extend the coupled guidance and control systems that have existed for forty years. The Autonomous Rotorcraft Project seeks to advance flying vehicle autonomy by taking it into the low-Earth environment and demonstrating that: 1) an air vehicle can be made to maneuver aggressively in the presence of obstacles without human oversight; 2) a state-of-the-art autonomous executive can be dynamically coupled to a vehicle navigation system; 3) top level mission goals can be incorporated directly into path planning; 4) vehicle health can be incorporated as a percept when performing mission planning; and 5) in the event of unforeseen circumstances, mission replanning can be executed rapidly enough given the short time scale environment of rotary wing operations. Satisfaction of these goals will lead to a vast expansion of the UAV's role in airborne operations.

Friday, November 2, 2001
209 Akerman Hall
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Refreshments served after the seminar in 227 Akerman Hall.
Disability accomodations provided upon request.
Contact Kristal Belisle, Senior Secretary, 625-8000.