Collaborative Control Methods for Automated Air-to-Air Refuelling

Steve E Bullock, Peter R Thomas, Ujjar Bhandari, Tom S Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Unmanned Air Systems are increasingly prevalent in the defence and civil sectors and there is a desire to increase their eectiveness and versatility by adding the capability to perform air-to-air refuelling. Existing work on automated air-to-air refuelling focuses on leader/follower architectures, which do not fully exploit all available control authority. Developments in active drogue control make this premise equally applicable to probe-drogue and boom-receptacle refuelling. This paper presents a survey of control architectures which may be used to couple systems and improve capture eectiveness or operational envelope, then follows with an initial implementation of two architectures. A virtual structure method is applied to a boom-receptacle system, and a MIMO approach is trialled on a two-aircraft
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
Place of PublicationMinneapolis, Minnesota, USA
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2012
EventAIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference - , United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Aug 201216 Aug 2012


ConferenceAIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom


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