• Real-time four-dimensional trajectory generation based on gain-scheduling control and a high-fidelity aircraft model

      Obajemu, Olusayo; Mahfouf, Mahdi; Maiyar, Lohithaksha M.; Al-Hindi, Abrar; Weiszer, Michal; Chen, Jun; University of Sheffield; University of Bedfordshire; Queen Mary University of London (Elsevier Ltd, 2021-03-19)
      Aircraft ground movement plays a key role in improving airport efficiency, as it acts as a link to all other ground operations. Finding novel approaches to coordinate the movements of a fleet of aircraft at an airport in order to improve system resilience to disruptions with increasing autonomy is at the center of many key studies for airport airside operations. Moreover, autonomous taxiing is envisioned as a key component in future digitalized airports. However, state-of-the-art routing and scheduling algorithms for airport ground movements do not consider high-fidelity aircraft models at both the proactive and reactive planning phases. The majority of such algorithms do not actively seek to optimize fuel efficiency and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. This paper proposes a new approach for generating efficient four-dimensional trajectories (4DTs) on the basis of a high-fidelity aircraft model and gain-scheduling control strategy. Working in conjunction with a routing and scheduling algorithm that determines the taxi route, waypoints, and time deadlines, the proposed approach generates fuel-efficient 4DTs in real time, while respecting operational constraints. The proposed approach can be used in two contexts: ① as a reactive decision support tool to generate new trajectories that can resolve unprecedented events; and ② as an autopilot system for both partial and fully autonomous taxiing. The proposed methodology is realistic and simple to implement. Moreover, simulation studies show that the proposed approach is capable of providing an up to 11% reduction in the fuel consumed during the taxiing of a large Boeing 747-100 jumbo jet.