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A Quintic Spline Approach to 4D Trajectory Generation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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Existing autonomous navigation procedures are mostly done in 3D whilst actual flight plan fulfillment requires 4D navigation. The present work deals with 4D navigation trajectory generation for autonomous aerial vehicles along given sequences of waypoints with time constraints at specified check points. Because passing through the exact position of a waypoint is not always necessary, a tolerance is used around it, enabling to fly in a neighborhood defined by a sphere centered at the waypoint. Based on a quintic spline approximation method, an algorithm is proposed to find the minimum length trajectory between two consecutive waypoints. The proposed method has been validated successfully on a UAV model for 4D trajectory generation in the framework of area surveillance.
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4D Waypoint Navigation; Path Planning; Trajectory Generation; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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