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Technical Brief

Ground Target Tracking Guidance Law for Fixed-Wing UAV: a Search and Capture Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Min Zhang

Nanjing University of Aeronau-tics and Astronautics 29 jiangjundadao Street, Nanj-ing, 211106, P.R China
zhangmin@nuaa.edu.cn

Pengfei Tian

Nanjing University of Aeronau-tics and Astronautics 29 jiangjundadao Street, Nanj-ing, 211106, P.R China
tpfwangyi@yeah.net

Xin Chen

Nanjing University of Aeronau-tics and Astronautics 29 jiangjundadao Street, Nanj-ing, 211106, P.R China
chenxin@nuaa.edu.cn

Xin Wang

Nanjing University of Aeronau-tics and Astronautics 29 jiangjundadao Street, Nanj-ing, 211106, P.R China
wangxin2001@nuaa.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036563 History: Received June 12, 2016; Revised April 06, 2017

Abstract

One important problem for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in mission applications is to track ground targets automatically. A major concern is how to keep the tracking process stable and efficient while the motion of the ground targets changes rapidly. In this brief, a new guidance strategy for the ground target "Search and Capture" based on a virtual target is proposed. Firstly, a virtual trajectory, which is composed of straight lines and arcs, is generated based on the motion of the target. The straight lines are used to capture while the arcs are used to search, and switch between straight line and arc when some condition is met; secondly, we design a new guidance law based on line-of-sight (LOS) which makes a UAV to track the virtual target automatically. This new method solves the following three problems simultaneously: 1. the UAV always keeps a constant speed to track the target with changing velocity; 2. the generated trajectory meets the flight constraints of the UAV; 3. the speed range of the ground target can be from the stationary to almost the maximum cruising speed of the UAV. Simulation results show that the proposed guidance strategy can achieve stable tracking for various motions of the ground target.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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