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A decentralized method for collision detection and avoidance applied to civil aircraft

Haotian Niu, Cunbao Ma, Pei Han

Abstract: With the increasing density level of airspace, the flawed logic of resolution in air conflict has become a potential hazard to keep flight safety for civil aviation. A powerful decision-support system is needed to identify and resolve potential conflicts on planned trajectory in advance. Existing studies on this subject mainly focus on the centralized means, but seldom consider the decentralized approaches. In this paper, a decentralized method is proposed so that each aircraft can generate the collision-free Reference Business Trajectory (RBT) autonomously, and resolve potential conflicts while conforming to the unified rules. Firstly, a Synchronous Discrete-Time-Discrete-Space trajectory modeling is developed to divide the continuous planned trajectory into multiple trajectory segments according to motion state. Thus, the collision can be accurately located at one certain risky segment, and the corresponding collision time can be acquired precisely. Through a weight analysis of collision time, the critical trajectory segment is determined to implement the task of conflict resolution. Then, the Optimal Reciprocal Collision Avoidance (ORCA) algorithm is adopted and extended to determine the collision-free maneuver with the consideration of direction selectivity. At last, the Trajectory Change Points (TCPs) are achieved by the quadratic program for each aircraft. The proposed method can help aircraft generate collision-free RBT in decentralized way successfully. Several simulations are conducted to confirm the validity and efficiency of the proposed approach.
Keywords: Decentralized collision detection and avoidance / synchronous trajectory modeling / collision-free reference business trajectory / trajectory change points / direction selectivity / DORCA / decision support system

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