Purpose – A simplified global positioning system (GPS) error model including models for a variety of abnormal operational conditions and failures is developed to provide simulation tools for the design, testing, and evaluation of autonomous flight fault tolerant control laws. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – Analysis and experimental data are used to build simplified models for GPS position and velocity errors on all three channels. The GPS model is interfaced with West Virginia University unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) simulation environment and its utility demonstrated through simulation for several autonomous flight scenarios including GPS abnormal operation. Findings – The proposed simplified GPS model achieves desirable levels of accuracy and realism for all components for the purpose of general UAV dynamic simulation and development of fault tolerant autonomous flight control laws. Research limitations/implications – The simplified GPS model allows investigating GPS malfunction effects on the performance of autonomous UAVs and designing trajectory tracking algorithms with advanced fault tolerant capabilities. Practical implications – The simplified GPS model has proved to be a flexible and useful tool for UAV simulation and design of autonomous flight control laws at normal and abnormal conditions. Originality/value – The outcomes of this research effort achieve a level of detail never attempted before in modeling GPS operation at normal and abnormal conditions for UAV simulation and autonomous flight control laws design using a simplified framework.
International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 9, 2015
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