Innovative Micro Air Vehicles & Control Techniques for Urban Environments

Period of Performance: 03/28/2008 - 12/28/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Radiance Technologies Inc.
350 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) will provide an important capability for both military and civilian uses, including reconnaissance, target identification, search and rescue, and bomb damage indication. The development of effective MAVs for these missions will require the production of a real-time autonomous flight navigation and obstacle avoidance system for operation in complex urban environments which is suitable for implementation on these small vehicles. The flight platforms will have limited payloads which will require trade-offs in computational power and sensor type, including sensor resolution and frame rate. To conduct the obstacle detection and collision avoidance Radiance proposes a MAV flight control system that utilizes appropriate sensors in real time to autonomously construct a 3-D obstacle map, which effectively encapsulates physical objects within the MAV's potential flight path, and guide the MAV along a safe trajectory that positions the MAV for successful completion of its mission objectives. The geometry building algorithms are envisioned to provide the added benefit of geometric feature extraction and detecting real-time change within the geometry to identify non-cooperative moving objects.