Energy Efficient Integrated Design of Flight Management Systems and Autopilots with Terrain Avoidance Capabilities

The amount of emissions to the atmosphere is currently an important environmental concern as policy makers and Heads of State are starting to demonstrate a strong interest in energy efficient transportation, in particular energy efficient aircraft. However, current autopilot technology will often not take into account the energy used to perform a given maneuver which can lead to potentially larger fuel consumption and larger atmospheric emissions than what is strictly necessary. The task of energy optimization is typically left to a flight management system (FMS). However, the next generation aircraft will require additional functionality in fuel efficiency that can benefit from a tighter and better interaction of the FMS and the autopilot subsystems. For such a scenario, this research proposes to perform an integrated design of the FMS-autopilot ensemble to be more energy efficient. A first collaborative effort of the applicants, has involved the study of energy efficient autopilot design methods for fixed set points. We now propose to study optimal control solutions for the interconnection of the FMS to the autopilot and propose new techniques of design of the FMS-autopilot ensemble seen as a synergetic unit.

Jesus Villarroel & TBD
Faculty Supervisor: 
Luis Rodrigues
Project Year: