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Dubins Waypoint Navigation of Small-Class Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: This paper considers a variation on the Dubins path problem and proposes an improved waypoint navigation (WN) algorithm called Dubins waypoint navigation (DWN). Based on the Dubins path problem, an algorithm is developed that is updated in real-time with a horizon of three waypoints. The purpose of DWN is to overcome a problem that we find in existing WN for small-class fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of not accurately reaching waypoints. This problem results at times in high overshoot and, in the presence of wind disturbances, it can cause a vehicle to miss the waypoint and swirl around it. To prevent this, the DWN creates “new waypoints” that are in the background, called turning points. Examples illustrate the improvement of the performance of WN achieved using the DWN algorithm in terms of the targeting of waypoints while reducing fuel and time.

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