Autonomous Landing

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I have workd on developing an autonomous landing technology for small UAVs. The test bed vehicle, shown in the photo, has a wing span of 2m and the total mass of 2.4kg. It is equipped with autonomous control system including a laser altimeter in order to obtain precise height from ground.

From any initial position and altitude, given the desired landing point and runway direction, the autonomous system generates a proper flight path using a combination of circular arcs and straight lines to guide the vehicle to the final approach line. Then, at a critical altitude the laser altimeter information begins to be used in the feedback control system for flare and touch-down.


The onboard wind estimate is also used for an efficient langing in the overall path planning. For example, the final approach direction is chosen for a head-wind configuration instead of tail-wind. Also, it generates a steeper flight path in the presence of head-wind component so that the required landing space is minimized.


Numerous flight tests have been conducted including the one that is shown below.


Last Update - December 24, 2019