Nashlie Sephus

Chess Center: 337 Cory Hall


Autopilot for an Ultra-light, Fixed-wing Aircraft



Weekly Updates

Week 1: Familiarized myself with MATLAB programming, read papers on autonomous vehicles, formulated pseudocode for reaching local optimal trajectories, reviewed the existing autopilot (written in C), and became familiar with the flight simulator.

Week 2: Started coding in MATLAB, reached local optimal trajectories based on a straight line, added the velocity, acceleration, and turning-rate constraints, and created a plotting function to test the results. Visited the Richmond Flight Station (RFS) to see where the crossbow aircraft would be tested in flight.
Week 3: Formulated and implemented pseudocode for the MATLAB functions which would allow for a more desired, initial trajectory in order to further test the functionality of the optimizing code.
Week 4: Completed the initial trajectory code which also checked constraints on velocity, acceleration, and turning-rates, but made adjustments to allow the vehicle to maintain maximum speed and angular velocities (roll, pitch, yaw). Tested the code with various maximum and minimum constants to obtain values such that the code better represented efficiency and virtual reality of the vehicle.
Week 5: Continued testing the code with various maximum and minimum speeds, accelerations, angular velocities, and constants. Finalized the values and began creating a presentation on the results using the visuals created in MATLAB, since there would be no visuals from the C code implementation.
Week 6: Began implementation and testing in C, reevaluated the method used for determining turning rates, finished presentation, started on poster, started writing abstract for paper.
Week 7: Continued implementation and testing in C, gave presentation, finished poster, wrote first draft of paper.

Week 8: Last week...

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