Path planning using concatenated analytically-defined trajectories for quadrotor UAVs

Jonathan Jamieson, James Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a semi-analytical trajectory planning method for quadrotor UAVs. These trajectories are analytically defined, are constant in speed and sub-optimal with respect to a weighted quadratic cost function of the translational and angular velocities. A technique for concatenating the trajectories into multi-segment paths is demonstrated. These paths are smooth to the first derivative of the translational position and pass through defined waypoints. A method for detecting potential collisions by discretizing the path into a coarse mesh before using a numerical optimiser to determine the point of the path closest to the obstacle is presented. This hybrid method reduces the computation time when compared to discretizing the trajectory into a fine mesh and calculating the minimum
distance. A tracking controller is defined and used to show that the paths are dynamically feasible and the typical magnitudes of the controller inputs required to fly them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Early online date16 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2015


  • UAV
  • trajectory planning
  • quadrotor
  • obstacle avoidance
  • sub-Riemannian curves


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