Experiences with the Barracuda UAV Auto Flight System

Operational surveillance and reconnaissance requirements not only put requirements on the mission systems, but also affect requirements on the reliable and autonomous operation of a UAV platform. To enable the safe and care free operation of UAVs in complex mission scenarios Cassidian has invested in the development of necessary technologies for reliable and autonomous Auto Flight systems for UAVs. Furthermore, due to decreasing budgets the design and development phases of such systems need to be cheaper and faster, even though functional complexity is constantly increasing. This paper details the Cassidian experience with the Auto Flight system on the Barracuda technology demonstrator. The guidance and control functional architecture and control law design are detailed regarding the newly developed Auto Flight system which successfully flew in multiple flight tests in 2012 on the Barracuda UAV demonstrator.