The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

A Helicopter Obstacle Avoidance System Incorporating Non-linear Neurofuzzy Multi-Sensor Data Fusion

Doyle, R.S. and Harris, C.J. (1997) A Helicopter Obstacle Avoidance System Incorporating Non-linear Neurofuzzy Multi-Sensor Data Fusion University of Southampton, : University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis .

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Hazardous weather conditions significantly limit the operational capability of civil helicopters. This limitation arises from the crew's inability to determine the location of obstacles in the environment by sight. In order to assist the crew in these circumstances a range of equipment and sensors may be installed in the helicopter. However, with multiple sensors on board, the problem of efficiently assimilating the large amount of imagery and data available generates a significant workload. A reduction of the workload may be achieved by the automation of this assimilation (sensor fusion) and the design of a system to guide the pilot along obstacle free paths. In order to provide the guidance to avoid obstacles a system must have knowledge about the obstacles' possible positions and likely future positions relative the system's own aircraft. Since the information being provided by the sensors will not be perfect, (i.e. it will have some uncertainty associated with it), and since the process model, which must be used to predict any future positions, will also be uncertain, the required positions must be estimated. As the dynamics of moving obstacles will be a priori unknown, it will be necessary to learn process models for them. The dynamics of the obstacles cannot be guaranteed to be linear, therefore these process models must be capable of reflecting this non-linear behaviour. The uncertain information produced by the various sensors will be related to required knowledge about the obstacles by a sensor model, however this relationship need not be linear, and may even have to be learned. Currently used estimation techniques (e.g. the ordinary extended Kalman filter) are inadequate for estimating the uncertainty involved in the obstacles' positions for the highly non-linear processes under consideration. Neural network approaches to non-linear estimation have recently allowed process and sensor models to be learned (sometimes implicitly), however these approaches have been quite ad hoc in their implementation and have been even more negligent in the estimation of uncertainty. The main contributions of this research are the design of non-linear estimators which may use process and sensor models that result from learning processes, and the use of the output of these estimators to determine guidance for obstacle free paths through the environment in 3 dimensions.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1997
Additional Information: Address: Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Wireless Group


Local EPrints ID: 250033
PURE UUID: a8e7eae9-6c26-469f-9d6d-ea8c454d6b0a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 May 1999
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:44

Export record


Author: R.S. Doyle
Author: C.J. Harris

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.