Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Multi-Objective UAS Flight Management in Time Constrained Low Altitude Local Environments

By P. P. Narayan, D. A. Campbell and R. A. Walker


This paper presents a new framework for Multi-Objective Flight Management of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), operating in partially known environments, where planning time constraints are present. During UAS operations, civilian UAS may have multiple objectives to meet including: platform safety; minimizing fuel, time, distance; and minimizing deviation from the current path. The planning layers within the framework use multi-objective optimization to converge to a solution which better reflects overall mission requirements. The solution must be generated within the available decision window, else the UAS must enter a safety state; this potentially limits mission efficiency. Local or short range planning at low altitudes requires the classification of terrain and infrastructure in proximity as potential obstacles. The potential increase in the number of obstacles present further reduces the decision window in comparison to high altitude flight. A novel Flight Management System (FMS) has been incorporated within the framework to moderate the time available to the environment abstraction, path and trajectory planning layers for more efficient use of the available decision window. Enabling the FMS during simulation increased the optimality of the output trajectory on systems with sufficient computational power to run the algorithm in real time. Conversely, the FMS found sub-optimal solutions for the system with insufficient computational capability once the objective utility threshold was decreased from 0.95 to 0.85. This allowed the UAS to continue operations without having to resort to entering a safe state

Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). Civil UAV Capability Assessment (Draft Version),"

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.