chapter  8
21 Pages

Guidance of Fixed-Wing UAVs

WithRafael T. Yanushevsky

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent the fastest growing and the most dynamic growth segment within the aerospace industry. The rapidly increasing fleet of UAVs, along with the widening sphere of their applications, puts new problems before their designers. Since the flight of autonomously guided UAVs is, in many features, similar to the flight of missiles, their guidance systems can be built similar to existing missiles. It should be noted that missiles are unmanned aerial vehicles as well. However, guidance of UAVs (according to the existing terminology, a UAV is an aircraft piloted by remote control or onboard computer) is more complicated than missiles. Fixed-wing UAVs can be used as both receivers and tankers. The UAV receiver should follow the above described procedure, i.e., it should fly below the tanker. A formation flight guidance law can guarantee the UAVs safe flight by specifying relative position requirements (a fixed formation) or establishing general rules governing UAV interaction.