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Research Experience: Autonomous Vehicles
Capture definitions for a pursuit/evasion
game between fixed-wing aircraft (colloquially known as a
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
I joined the SEC project during its final year, and participated
in the Capstone Demonstration by participating in the design
and implementation of two experiments in the demonstration,
each of which was flown on a live aircraft in June 2004
at Edwards AFB. SEC was the DARPA Software Enabled Control
project, headed by Program Manager Dr. John Bay.
involved the development of a model predictive controller
that tracked a final waypoint, as well as avoided a
moving pursuit aircraft through the same controller.
The timescale of this project was about 6 months. We
successfully demonstrated the algorithms and code against
a trained pilot, who was flying an F-15 (see videos
This MPG movie is of a symmetric PEG between
our UAV (Yellow) and our adversary F-15 (Blue),
which is piloted by a human.
This MPG movie is of a "chicken" game,
where the adversary F-15 pulls out all the stops,
and flies at maximum speed toward our speed-restricted
aircraft, to see how long we can last before capture
in a worst case scenario.
The project was performed with much advice from
and thanks to John Hauser (University of Colorado,
Boulder) and Richard Murray (Caltech).
- J. Mikael Eklund, Jonathan Sprinkle, S. Shankar
Sastry, "Implementing and Testing a Nonlinear
Model Predictive Tracking Controller for Aerial
Pursuit Evasion Games on a Fixed Wing Aircraft", Proceedings
of American Control Conference (ACC) 2005,
1509--1514, Portland, OR, Jun., 8--10, 2005.
- Jonathan Sprinkle, J. Mikael Eklund, H. Jin Kim,
S. Shankar Sastry, "Encoding Aerial Pursuit/Evasion
Games with Fixed Wing Aircraft into a Nonlinear
Model Predictive Tracking Controller", Proceedings
of the 43rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,
vol. 3, 2609--2614, Nassau, Bahamas, Dec., 14--17,
of safe UAV landing.
demonstration involved the calculation of safe sets
which described the regions of the UAV statespace (3-D
position, 3-D attitude, and velocity) from which a
UAV could safely land on a runway. We used level-set
methods as our model of computation for the reachable
sets, and generated them offline using a toolbox. Once
we had the level sets, we transformed them into an
executable which ran at runtime to give real-time decisions
- Jonathan Sprinkle, J. Mikael Eklund, S. Shankar
Sastry, "Deciding to Land a UAV Safely in
Real Time", Proceedings of American Control
Conference (ACC) 2005, 3506--3511, Portland,
OR, Jun., 8--10, 2005.
- Jonathan Sprinkle, Aaron D. Ames, J. Mikael Eklund,
Ian Mitchell, S. Shankar Sastry, "Online Safety
Calculations for Glideslope Recapture", Innovations
in Systems and Software Engineering, vol. 1,
no. 2, pp. 157--175, Aug., 2005.