Real-time trajectory generation for target localization using micro air vehicles

Jeffrey B. Corbets, Jack W. Langelaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents an approach to near-optimal target localization for small and micro unmanned aerial vehicles using a family of precomputed parameterized trajectories. These trajectories are precomputed for a set of nominal target locations uniformly distributed over the sensor field of view and stored offline in a nondimensionalized form. Trajectories are parameterized and stored as a sequence of nondimensional waypoints. Upon target detection, a trajectory corresponding to the nearest nominal target location is selected and dimensionalized. An onboard navigation controller follows the dimensionalized trajectory. Thus, trajectory generation occurs in near-constant time, which allows for fast adaptation as the target state estimate is refined. Nondimensionalization of the trajectories with respect to relative vehicle speed, sensor range, and sensor update rate allows the same table to be used for various combinations of sensor package and vehicle or vehicle operating conditions. Results of Monte Carlo simulations show the utility of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aerospace Computing, Information and Communication
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Real-time trajectory generation for target localization using micro air vehicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this