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Reducing Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) of Perception Systems in Small Autonomous Aerial SystemsThe objectives are to examine recent trends in the reduction of size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements of sensor systems for environmental perception and to explore new technology that may overcome limitations in current systems. Improving perception systems to facilitate situation awareness is critical in the move to introduce increasing autonomy in aerial systems. Whether the autonomy is in the current state-of-the-art of increasing automation or is enabling cognitive decisions that facilitate adaptive behavior, collection of environmental information and fusion of that information into knowledge that can direct actuation is imperative to decisions resulting in appropriate behavior. Artificial sensory systems such as cameras, radar, LIDAR, and acoustic sensors have been in use on aircraft for many years but, due to the large size and weight of the airplane and electrical power made available through powerful engines, the SWaP requirements of these sensors was inconsequential. With the proliferation of Remote Piloted Vehicles (RPV), the trend is in significant reduction in SWaP of the vehicles. This requires at least an equivalent reduction in SWaP for the sensory systems. A survey of some currently available sensor systems and changing technology will reveal the trend toward reduction of SWaP of these systems and will predict future reductions. A new technology will be introduced that provides an example of a desirable new trend. A new device replaces multiple conventional sensory devices facilitating synchronization, localization, altimetry, collision avoidance, terrain mapping, and data communication in a single integrated, small form-factor, extremely lightweight, and low power device that it is practical for integration into small autonomous vehicles and can facilitate cooperative behavior. The technology is based on Ultra WideBand (UWB) radio using short pulses of energy rather than continuous sine waves. The characteristics of UWB yield several desirable characteristics to facilitate integration of perception for autonomous activities. The capabilities of this device and its limitations will be assessed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jones, Kennie H.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Gross, Jason
(West Virginia Univ. Morgantown, WV, United States)
Date Acquired
September 8, 2014
Publication Date
June 16, 2014
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2014-2705
Meeting Information
Meeting: Aviation 2014 (The Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition)
Location: Atlanta, GA
Country: United States
Start Date: June 16, 2014
End Date: June 20, 2014
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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