Panel-method-based path planning for eVTOL in urban environment


77th Annual Vertical Flight Society Forum and Technology Display: The Future of Vertical Flight, FORUM 2021, Virtual, Online, 10 - 14 May 2021 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
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  • City: Virtual, Online


Copyright © 2021 by the Vertical Flight Society. All rights reserved.In this study the panel method used in fluid dynamics, is applied to the path planning problem of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in urban environment. For an urban air mobility scenario the path planning problem of these vehicles includes the simultaneous operation of large number of vehicles around complex shaped buildings and architectural structures. Using the panel method, flow around complex shaped obstacles is modeled and calculated stream-lines of the fluid flow are used as trajectories for the eVTOL traffic. Since, streamlines do not cross each other or obstacles, using streamlines as vehicle trajectories guarantees collision free paths for vehicles. Moreover, source and sink elements are used to avoid collision of vehicles with each other in case of emergency, and attract the vehicles to target points. The application of panel method provides a solution to the whole path planning problem for multiple vehicles in a single step. Assuming complete knowledge of the city map, the path of each eVTOL vehicle in an air taxi fleet can be determined simultaneously.