Autonomous straightening and traversing of shipboard helicopters
This paper describes an investigation into autonomous shipboard helicopter maneuvering and traversing operations using the Aircraft/Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse (ASIST) recovery and handling system developed by Indal Technologies, Inc. The ASIST system continuously monitors the aircraft's position and orientation and provides a means of actuation to maneuver the helicopter on deck. This allows the possibility for completely autonomous aircraft securing, maneuvering, and traversing capability. An autonomous maneuvering algorithm offers the potential for automatically selecting the optimal maneuvering sequence and executing it with greater efficiency and reliability than can be achieved by a human operator. The proposed method takes advantage of the position and orientation of the helicopter measured by the existing Helicopter Position Sensing Equipment thereby not requiring additional sensors on the actual helicopter. The paper presents the development and validation of the autonomous straightening and traversing algorithms using a nonlinear on-deck helicopter maneuvering simulation and the Carleton Experimental Shipboard Helicopter Interface Platform.