UAV as a Reliable Wingman: A Flight Demonstration

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S. Waydo, J. Hauser, R. Bailey, E. Klavins, R.M. Murray
Submitted, IEEE T. Control Systems Technology

We present the results from a flight experiment demonstrating two significant advances in software enabled control: optimization-based control using real-time trajectory generation and logical programming environments for formal analysis of control software. Our demonstration platform consisted of a human-piloted F-15 jet flying together with an autonomous T-33 jet. We describe the behavior of the system in two scenarios. In the first, nominal state communications were present and the autonomous aircraft maintained formation as the human pilot flew maneuvers. In the second, we imposed the loss of high-rate communications and demonstrated an autonomous safe “lost wingman” procedure to increase separation and re-acquire contact. The flight demonstration included both a nominal formation flight component and an execution of the lost wingman scenario.