Benchmarking of obstacle field navigation algorithms for autonomous helicopters

Bernie Mettler, Zhaodan Kong, Chad Goerzen, Matthew Whalley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper describes a framework for performance evaluation of autonomous guidance systems using benchmarks. The benchmarks consist of six simple problems containing two or fewer geometric primitives, a high resolution height map scanned from an urban area, and a simple vehicle model with hard velocity and acceleration constraints. Performance metrics used to compare trajectories are presented. Two trajectory optimization methods are used to generate near-optimal baseline trajectories: numerical optimization using Nonlinear Programming for simple problems, and the Motion Primitive Automaton for problems with complex terrain. As an example, the Obstacle Field Navigation system developed by the Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate is compared to the baseline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1936-1953
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010
Event66th Forum of the American Helicopter Society: "Rising to New Heights in Vertical Lift Technology", AHS Forum 66 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: May 11 2010May 13 2010


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