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Simplified GPS model for UAV fault tolerant control laws design

Ghassan Al-Sinbol (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, United States.)
Mario G Perhinschi (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, United States.)
Brenton K Wilburn (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, United States.)

International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems

ISSN: 2049-6427

Article publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

A simplified global positioning system (GPS) error model including models for a variety of abnormal operational conditions and failures is developed to provide simulation tools for the design, testing, and evaluation of autonomous flight fault tolerant control laws. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis and experimental data are used to build simplified models for GPS position and velocity errors on all three channels. The GPS model is interfaced with West Virginia University unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) simulation environment and its utility demonstrated through simulation for several autonomous flight scenarios including GPS abnormal operation.

Findings

The proposed simplified GPS model achieves desirable levels of accuracy and realism for all components for the purpose of general UAV dynamic simulation and development of fault tolerant autonomous flight control laws.

Research limitations/implications

The simplified GPS model allows investigating GPS malfunction effects on the performance of autonomous UAVs and designing trajectory tracking algorithms with advanced fault tolerant capabilities.

Practical implications

The simplified GPS model has proved to be a flexible and useful tool for UAV simulation and design of autonomous flight control laws at normal and abnormal conditions.

Originality/value

The outcomes of this research effort achieve a level of detail never attempted before in modeling GPS operation at normal and abnormal conditions for UAV simulation and autonomous flight control laws design using a simplified framework.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work has been partially supported by the US Army Research Laboratory under Cooperative Agreement No. W911NF-10-2-0110 for the second and third authors. Support for first author was provided by the Higher Committee for Education Development in Iraq. Partial support for the third author has also been provided by NASA WV Space Grant Consortium.

Citation

Al-Sinbol, G., Perhinschi, M.G. and Wilburn, B.K. (2015), "Simplified GPS model for UAV fault tolerant control laws design", International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 39-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIUS-09-2014-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited