Autonomous navigation and landing of large jets using Artificial Neural Networks and learning by imitation
Published: 1 November 2017
2017 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI) pp 1-10; https://doi.org/10.1109/ssci.2017.8280916
Abstract: We introduce the Intelligent Autopilot System (IAS) which is capable of autonomous navigation and landing of large jets such as airliners by observing and imitating human pilots using Artificial Neural Networks and Learning by Imitation. The IAS is a potential solution to the current problem of Automatic Flight Control Systems of being unable to perform full flights that start with takeoff from a given airport, and end with landing in another. A navigation technique, and a robust Learning by Imitation approach are proposed. Learning by Imitation uses human pilots to demonstrate the task to be learned in a flight simulator while training datasets are captured from these demonstrations. The datasets are then used by Artificial Neural Networks to generate control models automatically. The control models imitate the skills of the human pilot when banking to navigate between waypoints, and when performing final approach and landing, while a flight manager program generates the flight course, and decides which ANNs to be fired given the current flight phase. Experiments show that, even after being presented with limited examples, the IAS can handle such flight tasks with high accuracy. The proposed IAS is a novel approach towards achieving full control autonomy of large jets using ANN models that match the skills and abilities of experienced human pilots.
Keywords: Artificial neural networks / Aircraft / Task analysis / Aircraft navigation / Global Positioning System / Autonomous robots / Aerospace control
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