Three Dimensional Path Planning Algorithm for Small UAVs Incorporating Existing Dynamic Soaring Heuristics


Article Preview

An area under consideration of improving the mission effectiveness of small-scale, autonomous Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been the increase of speed. One method is to incorporate dynamic slope soaring maneuvers as part of the flight path during waypoint navigation. Research into autonomous dynamic soaring capability in small-scale UAVs began with selecting a suitable maneuver heuristic. The output from the heuristic model has then been used to formulate a non-iterative trajectory forming algorithm. By utilizing Dubin’s curves, a viable trajectory can be generated between the exit point of the dynamic soaring maneuver and the next waypoint. The result is a complete, easily implemented three-dimensional autonomous dynamic soaring capability.



Main Theme:

Edited by:

R. Varatharajoo, E. J. Abdullah, D. L. Majid, F. I. Romli, A. S. Mohd Rafie and K. A. Ahmad




O. K. Ariff et al., "Three Dimensional Path Planning Algorithm for Small UAVs Incorporating Existing Dynamic Soaring Heuristics", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 225, pp. 403-408, 2012

Online since:

November 2012




[1] Ariff, O.K. Go, T.H. Waypoint Navigation of Small-Scale UAV incorporating Dynamic Soaring , Journal of Navigation Vol. 64 Issue 01.


[2] Dubin, L. On curves of minimal length with a constraint on average curvature, and with prescribed initial and terminal positions and tangents,. American Journal of Mathematics 79, 497–516 (1957)(1957).


[3] Shanmugavel, M. Tsourdos, A Z˙bikowskiz R. and White, B. A 3D Path planning of multiple UAVs using Pythagorean Hodograph curves, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit 20 - 23 August 2007, Hilton Head, South carolina AIAA 2007-6455.


[4] Sussman, Hector J. Shortest 3-dimensional Paths with a prescribed curvature bound, Proceedings of the 34th Conference on Decision and Control December 2005, New Orleans, LA.

[5] Lawrence, Nicholas R.J., and Sukkarieh, Salah A guidance and control strategy for dynamic soaring with a gliding UAV , IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 12-17 Kobe, Japan.


[6] Wharington, J.M. Heuristic control of dynamic soaring, 5th Asian Control Conference (2004).