CLARKE, J.H.A. and CHEN, W-H, 2012. Trajectory generation for autonomous soaring UAS. International Journal of Automation and Computing, 9 (3), pp. 248 - 256
As unmanned aerial vehicles are expected to do more and more advanced tasks, improved range and persistence is required. This paper presents a method of using shallow layer cumulus convection to extend the range and duration of small unmanned aerial vehicles. A simulation model of an X-models XCalubur electric motor-glider is used in combination with a refined 4D parametric thermal model to simulate soaring flight. The parametric thermal model builds on previous successful models with refinements to more accurately describe the weather in northern Europe. The implementation of the variation of the MacCready setting is discussed. Methods for generating efficient trajectories are evaluated and recommendations are made regarding implementation.