Unmanned air vehicle testbed for cooperative control experiments

T.W. McLain, R.W. Beard
2004 Proceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference   unpublished
This paper describes the MAGICC Lab unmanned air vehicle (UAV) testbed at Brigham Young University. Motivation for pursuing experimental research with UAVs is given as well as a historical perspective of the UAV testbed development. Lessons learned through the development and use of the testbed over the past several years are summarized. I. MOTIVATION FOR EXPERIMENTAL TESTBED BYU has been active in UAV research since 1999. Although our early work was simulation based, from the beginning we had
more » ... n interest in testing our concepts experimentally. Our motivations were driven by our research and educational objectives. A. Research Objectives Our UAV research interests have centered around cooperative control of multiple vehicle systems and real-time trajectory generation [1], [2], [3]. Our primary objectives for experimental testing of our research are to validate the feasibility of practical implementation of our methods and to foster innovation to overcome implementation challenges. For the control of UAVs, real-world issues such as sensor noise, communication dropout, communication delay, and computation latency can degrade performance and lead to catastrophic failures. Sensors that are inherently asynchronous with varied sample rates can pose challenges for estimation and coordination. Airframe payload capacity influences the choice of sensors and onboard computers and thus the inherent capabilities of the vehicle. Environmental factors, such as wind, weather, and lighting can adversely affect sensor and control system performance. Field tests often expose the unanticipated challenges that must be dealt with in a real-world scenario [4] . Furthermore, these challenges often force significant innovations to occur to enable success. B. Educational Objectives
doi:10.23919/acc.2004.1384699 fatcat:utxuanxyoje4vln7oe4kpntjwy