Guiding vector fields in Paparazzi autopilot

06/20/2021 ∙ by Hector Garcia de Marina, et al. ∙ 0

This article is a technical report on the two different guidance systems based on vector fields that can be found in Paparazzi, a free sw/hw autopilot. Guiding vector fields allow autonomous vehicles to track paths described by the user mathematically. In particular, we allow two descriptions of the path with an implicit or a parametric function. Each description is associated with its corresponding guiding vector field algorithm. The implementations of the two algorithms are light enough to be run in a modern microcontroller. We will cover the basic theory on how they work, how a user can implement its own paths in Paparazzi, how to exploit them to coordinate multiple vehicles, and we finish with some experimental results. Although the presented implementation is focused on fixed-wing aircraft, the guidance is also applicable to other kinds of aerial vehicles such as rotorcraft.

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