Aerial Recovery project studies the retrieval strategies for Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) which are unable to return home by themselves. The basic concept is shown in the following figure.
The mothership recovers a MAV by towing a long cable attached to a drogue. The drogue is actuated and maneuver and communicate with the MAV to facilitate successful capture. The MAV uses missile guidance strategies to intercept the drogue.
Drogue Orbit Regulation by Mothership Orbit Maneuver
Given a desired trajectory of the drogue, a motion planning strategy based on differential flatness is employed to calculate the desired trajectory for the mothership.
Vision Based Rendezvous of MAV
Actuated Drogue Design
Dr. Randy Beard, Dallin Briggs, Daniel Carlson, Steve Carlson, Dr. Mark Colton, Scott Condie, Jeff Ferrin, Dr. John Hedengren, Dr. Tim McLain, Larry Moore, Joseph Nichols, Mark Owen, Liang Sun, Jesse Williams
This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under STTR contract No. FA 9550-09-C-0102 to Procerus Technologies and Brigham Young University.
M. Colton, L. Sun, D. Carlson, and R. Beard, “Multi-vehicle dynamics and control for aerial recovery of micro air vehicles”, Int. J. Vehicle Autonomous Systems, vol. 9, pp. 78-107, 2011. PDF
L. Sun and R. W. Beard, “Towed-body trajectory tracking in aerial recovery of micro air vehicle in the presence of wind”. San Francisco, CA, USA: American Control Conference, 2011, pp. 3209-3214. PDF
D. C. Carlson and M. B. Colton, “Out-of-plane orbit estimation and tracking for aerial recovery of micro air vehicles”, in 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 2010. PDF
L. Sun and R. W. Beard, “Towed body altitude stabilization and states estimation in aerial recovery of micro air vehicles”. Toronto, Ontario Canada: AIAA, Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, August 2010. PDF
L. Sun, R. W. Beard, and M. B. Colton, “Motion planning and control for mothership-cable-drogue systems in aerial recovery of micro air vehicles”. Baltimore, MD, USA: American Control Conference (ACC), 2010, pp. 2101-2106. PDF
L. Sun, R. W. Beard, M. B. Colton, and T. W. McLain., “Dynamics and control of cable-drogue system in aerial recovery of micro air vehicles based on Gauss's principle”. St. Louis, MO, USA: 2009 American Control Conference, June 2009, pp. 4729-4734. PDF
M. A. Owen, J. W. Nichols, and M. B. Colton. “Cooperative aerial tracking and rendezvous along time-optimal 3-dimensional curves”. Portland, OR, USA: AIAA, Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, August 2011.
Jeffrey Ferrin, Joseph Nichols, and Timothy McLain. “Design and control of a maneuverable towed aerial vehicle”. Minneapolis, MN, USA: AIAA, Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, August 2012.
Joseph Nichols, Jeff Ferrin, Mark Owen, and Timothy McLain. “Vision-enhanced aerial rendezvous along elliptical paths”. Minneapolis, MN, USA: AIAA, Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, August 2012.
Joseph Nichols and Liang Sun. “Autonomous aerial rendezvous of small unmanned aircraft systems using a towed cable system”. Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA: 43rd Annual Society of Flight Test Engineers Symposium, October 2012.