Initial Results from an Energy-Aware Airborne Dynamic, Data-Driven Application System Performing Sampling in Coherent Boundary-Layer Structures

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Eric Frew1, Brian M. Argrow1, Adam L Houston2 and Christopher Weiss3, (1)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, United States, (3)Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, United States
The energy-aware airborne dynamic, data-driven application system (EA-DDDAS) performs persistent sampling in complex atmospheric conditions by exploiting wind energy using the dynamic data-driven application system paradigm. The main challenge for future airborne sampling missions is operation with tight integration of physical and computational resources over wireless communication networks, in complex atmospheric conditions. The physical resources considered here include sensor platforms, particularly mobile Doppler radar and unmanned aircraft, the complex conditions in which they operate, and the region of interest. Autonomous operation requires distributed computational effort connected by layered wireless communication. Onboard decision-making and coordination algorithms can be enhanced by atmospheric models that assimilate input from physics-based models and wind fields derived from multiple sources. These models are generally too complex to be run onboard the aircraft, so they need to be executed in ground vehicles in the field, and connected over broadband or other wireless links back to the field. Finally, the wind field environment drives strong interaction between the computational and physical systems, both as a challenge to autonomous path planning algorithms and as a novel energy source that can be exploited to improve system range and endurance. Implementation details of a complete EA-DDDAS will be provided, along with preliminary flight test results targeting coherent boundary-layer structures.