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AuthorsCoppa, U.* 
Guarnieri, A.* 
Pirotti, F.* 
Vettore, A.* 
Issue DateJul-2008
model helicopter
Kalman filter
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.09. Instruments and techniques 
AbstractIn the last years UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) systems are become very actractive for various commercial, industrial, public, scientific and military operations. The tasks include pipeline inspection, dam surveillance, photogrammetric survey, infrastructure maintenance, inspection of flooded areas, fire fighting, terrain monitoring, volcano observations and so on. The impressive flying capabilities provided by UAVs require a well trained pilot to be fully and effectively exploited; moreover the flight range of the piloted helicopter is limited to the line-of-sight or the skill of the pilot to detect and follow the orientation of the helicopter. Such issues have motivated the research and the design for autonomous system guidance which could both stabilize and also guide the helicopter precisely along a reference path. The constant growth of research programs and the technological progress in the field of navigation systems, as denoted by the production of more and more performing GPS/INS integrated units, allowed a strong cost reduction and payload miniaturization, making the design of low cost UAV platforms more feasible and actractive. Small autonomous helicopters have demonstrated to be a useful platform for a number of airborne-based applications such as aerial mapping and photography, surveillance (both military and civilian), powerline inspection and agricolture monitoring. In this paper we present the results of a flight simulation system developed for the setup of the servos which our autonomous guidance system will be based on. Building a simulated environment allows, indeed, to evaluate in advance what are the main issues of a complex control system, avoiding to damage fragile and expensive instruments as the ones mounted on a model helicopter.
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