Service abstraction layer for UAV flexible application development

Source: OAI

ABSTRACT An Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is an uninhabited airplane, piloted by embed- ded avionics and supervised by an operator on ground. Unmanned Aerial Systems were designed to operate in dangerous situations, like military missions. With the avionics tech- nological evolution, Unmanned Aerial Systems also become a valid option for commercial applications, specially for dull and tedious surveillance applications. Cost considerations will also deviate some mission done today with conventional aircrafts to Unmanned Aerial Systems. In order to build economically viable UAS solutions, the same platform should be able to implement a variety of missions with little reconfiguration time and overhead. This paper describes a software abstraction layer for a Unmanned Aerial System distributed architecture. The proposed abstraction layer allows the easy and fast design of missions and solves in a cost-effective way the reusability of the system. The distributed architecture of the Unmanned Aerial System is service oriented. Func- tional units are implemented as independent services that interact each other using commu- nication primitives in a network centric approach. The paper presents a set of predefined services useful for reconfigurable civil missions and the directives for their communication. Postprint (published version)

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    ABSTRACT: Integrated modular avionics (IMA) architecture is a trend in current avionics that employs a partitioned environment in which different avionics functions share a unique computing environment. UAS avionics, especially in small UAS, are usually of less complexity than not the present on airliners, however, in real autonomous UAS, the onboard avionics should control not only the flight and navigation but also the mission and payload of the aircraft. This involves more complex software as it should implement ldquointelligentrdquo or at least autonomous behavior. This need of both flexibility and complexity management while keeping low costs in the UAS avionics field requires new architectures to cope with. In this article, we describe a modular avionics architecture based on services. The avionics functionality is divided in distributed elements, the services, which are interconnected by a communication middleware. This article also proposes a configuration and deployment infrastructure and its related procedures that complete our vision of UAS avionics.
    Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 2008. DASC 2008. IEEE/AIAA 27th; 11/2008
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    ABSTRACT: The development of Flight Control Systems (FCS) coupled with the availability of other Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) components is enabling the introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the civil market. UAS have great potential to be used in a wide variety of civil applications such as environmental applications, emergency situations, surveillance tasks and more. In general, they are specially well suited for the so-called D-cube operations (Dirty, Dull or Dangerous). Current technology greatly facilitates the construction of UAS. Sophisticated flight con- trol systems also make them accessible to end users with little aeronautical expertise. How- ever, we believe that for its successful introduction into the civil market, progress needs to be made to deliver systems able to perform a wide variety of missions with minimal reconfiguration and with reduced operational costs. Most current flight plan specification mechanisms consist in a simple list of waypoints, an approach that has important limitations. This paper proposes a new specification mech- anism with semantically richer constructs that will enable the end user to specify more complex flight plans. The proposed formalism provides means for specifying iterative be- havior, conditional branching and other constructs to dynamically adapt the flight path to mission circumstances. Collaborating with the FCS, a new module on-board the UAS will be in charge of executing these plans. This research also studies how the proposed flight plan structure can be tailored to the specific needs of remote sensing. For these type of applications well structured and efficient area and perimeter scanning is mandatory. In this paper we introduce several strategies focused to optimize the scanning process for tactical or mini UAS. The paper also presents a prototype implementation of this module and the results obtained in simulations. Postprint (published version)

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May 21, 2014