Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


The thesis seeks a solution to the requirement for a highly reliable and capable Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) to support a wide array of missions and applications that require close proximity flight to structures. The scope of the project includes the drafting of a concept of operations (CONOPs) describing how the mission requirements might be met using the sensor, operators, and air vehicle described here in. The demonstration of the wall-following section of that CONOPs is performed by cart testing a custom algorithm and evaluating its ability to react to its environment. Finally, a flight test was performed to characterize the capabilities of an RTK-GPS system to stably hold a UAV in a single position, and minimize vehicle yaw, as a potential means of minimizing environmental sensing requirements in GPS permissive environments. The results for RTK-GPS were, position hold standard of deviation 8.0 x 10.1cm at a 5m flight altitude, and 17cm x 12.7cm at 8m flight altitude. Yaw variation results were a standard of deviation of 1.7° at 5m and 3.7° at 8m. The LIDAR wall-following tests proved the feasibility of using a decision tree style coding approach to proximity flight near a structure, but still has some changes that should be considered before being used operationally.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number