This paper aims to describe a methodology to optimize the trajectory of unconventional airship performing a high-altitude docking manoeuvre.
The trajectories are based upon Bezier curves whose control points positions are optimized through particle swarm optimization algorithm. A minimum energy strategy is implemented by considering the airship physical properties. The paper describes the mathematical model of the airships, the trajectories modelling through Bezier’s curves and the optimization framework. A series of test cases has been developed to evaluate the proposed methodology.
Results obtained show that the implemented procedure is able to optimize the airship trajectories and to support their in-flight docking; a strong influence of the wind speed and course on the trajectories planning is highlighted.
The wind speed considered in these simulations depends only on altitude, and gusts effect has been neglected.
The proposed model can support the study of unconventional airship trajectories and can be useful to evaluate best in-air docking strategies.
The paper addresses the problem of trajectory optimization for a class of new air vehicles with an heuristic approach.
This research has been supported by the European Union, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013), under grant agreement No FP7-AAT GA-2011-285602-MAATMultibody Advanced Airship for Transport.
Ceruti, A. and Marzocca, P. (2017), "Heuristic optimization of Bezier curves based trajectories for unconventional airships docking", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 76-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-11-2014-0200Download as .RIS
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