By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- Investigators discuss new findings in Control Engineering. According to news originating from Huntsville, Alabama, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "Terminal guidance of autonomous parafoils is a difficult problem in which wind uncertainty and system underactuation are major challenges. Existing strategies almost exclusively use impact error as the criterion for optimality."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Alabama, "Practical airdrop systems, however, must also include other criteria that may be even more important than impact error for some missions, such as ground speed at impact or constraints imposed by drop zones with restrictions on flight patterns. Furthermore, existing guidance schemes determine terminal trajectories using deterministic wind information and may result in a solution that works in ideal wind but may be sensitive to variations. The work described here develops a guidance strategy that uses massively parallel Monte Carlo simulation performed on a graphics processing unit to rank candidate trajectories in terms of robustness to wind uncertainty. The result is robust guidance, as opposed to optimal guidance."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Through simulation results, the proposed path planning scheme proves more robust in realistic dynamic wind environments compared with previous optimal trajectory planners that assume perfect knowledge of a constant wind."
For more information on this research see: Robust Parafoil Terminal Guidance Using Massively Parallel Processing. Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics, 2013;36(5):1336-1345. Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics can be contacted at: Amer Inst Aeronautics Astronautics, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Ste 500, Reston, VA 22091-4344, USA.
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from J. Rogers, University of Alabama, Sch Mech & Aerosp Engn, Huntsville, AL 35899, United States.
Keywords for this news article include: Alabama, Huntsville, United States, Control Engineering, North and Central America
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