unmanned aerial vehicles, path optimization, trajectory optimization, many obstacles


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used in an increasing number of applications. Such applications may include navigating through heavy traffic and highly congested airways, where numerous static and dynamic obstacles impinge upon a UAV's flight. It is imperative that a UAV successfully avoids these obstacles, while improving its planned flight path according to certain criteria. We have modeled UAV path planning as a single objective optimization problem that utilizes a receding horizon approach, where the path is constrained to avoid obstacle collision and to account for flight aerodynamic constraints. The proposed method is gradient based, allowing for quick and robust convergence to a near optimal solution. This heuristic method converges closely to full-knowledge optimal solutions and will allow UAVs to be implemented in a greater amount of tasks and missions than before while lessening the risk to the safety of others and the safety of the UAV.

Original Publication Citation

Ingersoll, B., Ingersoll, K., DeFranco, P., and Ning, A., “UAV Path-Planning using Bézier Curves and a Receding Horizon Approach,” AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, Washington, DC, Jun. 2016. doi:10.2514/6.2016-3675

Document Type

Conference Paper

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor