Unmanned aircraft collision avoidance using partially observable Markov decision processes
September 22, 2009
Before unmanned aircraft can fly safely in civil airspace, robust airborne collision avoidance systems must be developed. Instead of hand-crafting a collision avoidance algorithm for every combination of sensor and aircraft configuration, this project investigates the automatic generation of collision avoidance logic given models of aircraft dynamics, sensor performance, and intruder behavior. By formulating the problem of collision avoidance as a partially-observable Markov decision process (POMDP), a generic POMDP solver can be used to generate avoidance strategies that optimize a cost function that balances flight-plan deviation with collision. Experimental results demonstrate the suitability of such an approach using three different sensor modalities and two aircraft performance models.