Sunday, 9 October 2016

SEMINAR REPORT ON AUTOPILOT



AUTOPILOT


A


SEMINAR PRESENTED


BY


OKERE SEBASTINE KELECHI


CS/12/135


SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

FACULTY OF SCIENCE


MADONNA UNIVERSITY ELELE CAMPUS

RIVERS STATE.


IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.Sc) DEGREE 


IN 

COMPUTER SCIENCE.







DECEMBER 2015



DECLARATION 

This is to certify that this Seminar research on “Autopilot” by Okere Sebastine Kelechi (CS/12/135) has met the conditions for the award of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Computer Science, Madonna University Okija, Elele Campus. It is hereby approved for its contribution to knowledge.







___________________________ _____________________

OKERE SEBASTINE KELECHI DATE

(Name of Student)




MRS. EBERENDU DATE

(Supervisor) 





MRS. EBERENDU DATE

(Head of Department)






DEDICATION



This project work is dedicated to God Almighty whose infinite mercy and blessings has guided me all through the years.







ACKNOWLEDGEMENT



My profound gratitude goes to God Almighty for His infinite mercy, blessings, wisdom, and knowledge, understanding and loving kindness that He bestowed upon me.

I greatly express my gratitude to my project supervisor, Mrs. Eberendu whose advice and courage really made my work a successful One. A special thanks to my parents, I am really proud of them for their unrented effort, guidance and counseling.

I am immensely grateful for the Staff of Computer Science Department for their full-fledged support in attaining academic height in school activities.





ABSTRACT

An autopilot was created to carry out some of the responsibilities of the pilot and also an autopilot is a system used to direct the route of a vehicle without constant 'hands-on' control by a human operator being required. Autopilots do not replace a human operator, but assist them to center on broader aspects of operation. This paper addresses the theory and reality of Autopilot system. It provides an overview of the Autopilot system and how it works. As aircraft range increased allowing flights of many hours, the regular attention led to serious fatigue which also led to the creation of the autopilot system. Inventive control techniques implemented in software, coupled with light weight, strong, and inexpensive hardware components were used in the design of the autopilot.























Table of Contents

DECLARATION.............................................................................................................................. 2


DEDICATION.
............................................................................................................................. 3


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
................................................................................................................. 4


ABSTRACT..
............................................................................................................................ 5


CHAPTER ONE.
............................................................................................................................. 8


INTRODUCTION.
............................................................................................................................. 8


1.1 Background of Study.
............................................................................................................ 8


1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM................................................................................................... 8


1.3 AIM/OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
.................................................................................................... 8


1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY.
................................................................................................... 9


1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY..
................................................................................................................ 9


1.6 LIMITATION OF WORK.
........................................................................................................ 9


1.7 ORGANIZATION OF WORK..
............................................................................................... 10


1.8 GLOSSARY..
......................................................................................................................... 10


CHAPTER TWO..
........................................................................................................................ 11


LITERATURE REVIEW...
........................................................................................................... 11


2.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND..
......................................................................................... 11


CHAPTER THREE..
.................................................................................................................... 13


FINDINGS..
.................................................................................................................................. 13


3.0. A Computer system detail. 
.....................................................................................................13


3.1 Nature and Use.
........................................................................................................................14


3.2 INTEGRATION.. 
...................................................................................................................15


3.3 How Autopilot Works.
............................................................................................................16


3.4 FEATURES.. 
..........................................................................................................................17


3.5 ADVANTAGES..
................................................................................................................... 19


3.6 DISADVANTAGES.
............................................................................................................. 19


CHAPTER FOUR..
...................................................................................................................... 20


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION..
.......................................................................................................................... 20


4.1 SUMMARY..
......................................................................................................................... 20


4.2 CONCLUSION..
.................................................................................................................... 21


4.3 RECOMMENDATIONS.. 
.....................................................................................................21


REFERENCES. 
............................................................................................................................22












CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Study

During the early existence of aviation (Hare, 2014), aircraft required the continuous attention of a pilot in order to fly safely. As aircraft range increased allowing flights of many hours, the constant attention led to serious fatigue. An autopilot is designed to execute some of the jobs of the pilot. Autopilots do not replace a human operator, but help out in controlling the vehicle, allowing pilots to focus on broader aspects of operation, such as monitoring the course, weather and systems. Autopilots are used in aircraft, boats (known as self-steering gear), spacecraft, missiles, and others. Autopilots have evolved significantly over time, from early autopilots that merely held an attitude to modern autopilots capable of performing automated landings under the management of a pilot. The aim of this research is to make us understand the importance of having more automated devices, systems etc. in our modern society.


1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

During the early days of aviation aircraft required constant attention which lead to serious problems for the human operator/pilot, this problems/failures can cause serious damages to the aircraft which can lead to the crashing of the aircraft. In this case, the autopilot system helps in reducing most of the errors. 


1.3 AIM/OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

The objectives of this research study are focused on how the autopilot system works its advantages and disadvantages and also an autopilot can be capable of handling intensive tasks, helping the pilot focus on the overall status of the aircraft and flight. Good use of an autopilot helps automate the process of guiding and controlling the aircraft. Autopilots can automate tasks, such as maintaining an altitude, climbing or descending to an assigned altitude, turning to and maintaining an assigned direction, intercepting a course, guiding the aircraft between waypoints that make up a route programmed into an FMS, and flying a precision or no precision approach. You must perfectly determine the installed options, type of installation, and basic and optional functions available in your detailed aircraft.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

Autopilots are installed on large commercial, military, and many small aircraft. By minimizing pilot workload, autopilots wholly increase air travel safety. This study will be beneficial to us knowing the importance of the autopilot system and how helpful it is to reduce human errors and fatigue.

1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY

This research mostly covers the aircraft aspect of the autopilot system. The autopilot system installed in an aircraft comprises of different complex components and software which allows the autopilot steer the vehicle properly.

Also when inputting co-ordinates or designated locations in an autopilot system, it is said that the human operator should be extremely careful so that the wrong co-ordinates won’t be entered to avoid disaster. 

1.6 LIMITATION OF WORK

The original intentions in regards to this study were highly demanding. Unfortunately, the more advanced the Research was the tougher it became to meet the demands due to a short available timescale.

Finance and lack of internet service was also a barrier to achieving the full expectation of the study.

1.7 ORGANIZATION OF WORK

This research consist of chapter one which contains the introduction, background of study, Aim/objective of study, significance of study, limitation and scope of study. The chapter two contains the historical background of the research, chapter three consist of my findings, importance, advantages and disadvantages. The final chapter contains my summary, conclusion and recommendation. 


1.8 GLOSSARY



AUTOPILOT: It is a device used to control the trajectory of an aircraft or vehicle without constant hands on or any supervision of a human operator. 

INTEGRATION: A combination of parts or objects that work together well.

Servomechanisms: A device or combination of devices that automatically controls a mechanism or a source of power.











CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND



The earliest aircraft autopilot was invented by Sperry Corporation in 1912 (Hare, Now - The Automatic Pilot" , 1930). The autopilot connected a gyroscopic heading indicator and attitude indicator to hydraulically operated elevators and rudder. (Ailerons were not connected as wing dihedral was counted upon to manufacture the necessary roll stability.) It allowed the aircraft to fly straight and level on a compass course without a pilot's attention, greatly reducing the pilot's workload (sperry, 1933).

Lawrence Sperry (the son of famous inventor Elmer Sperry) established it in 1914 at an aviation safety challenge held in Paris. At the challenge, Sperry demonstrated the reliability of the invention by flying the aircraft with his hands away from the controls and visible to observers of the contest. Elmer Sperry Jr., the son of Lawrence Sperry, and Capt Shiras continued work after the war on the same autopilot, and in 1930 they tested a more solid and reliable autopilot which kept a US Army Air Corps aircraft on a true bearing and altitude for three hours.

In 1930, the Royal Aircraft Establishment in England developed an autopilot called a ‘pilots' assister’ that used a pneumatically-spun gyroscope to stir the flight controls.

Advance improvement of the autopilot was performed, such as enhanced control algorithms and hydraulic servomechanisms. Also, inclusion of extra instrumentation such as the radio-navigation aids made it achievable to fly during night and in terrible weather. In 1947 a US Air Force C-54 made a transatlantic flight, including takeoff and landing, completely under the control of an autopilot.

In the early 1920s (Parekh, 2008), the Standard Oil tanker J.A. Moffet became the first ship to use an autopilot.

Not the entire passenger plane flying today has an autopilot system. Older and smaller general aviation aircraft particularly are still operated manually, and even undersized airliners with less than twenty seats may also be without an autopilot as they are used on short-duration flights with two pilots. The equipment of autopilots in aircraft with more than twenty seats is commonly made binding by international aviation regulations. There are three levels of control in autopilots for smaller aircraft. A single-axis autopilot controls an aircraft in the roll axis only; such autopilots are also known as "wing levelers," reflecting their restrictions. A two-axis autopilot pedals an aircraft in the pitch axis as well as roll, and may be little more than a "wing leveler" with partial pitch oscillation-correcting capability; or it may accept inputs from on-board radio navigation systems to provide true automatic flight assistance once the aircraft has taken off until shortly before landing; or its abilities may lie somewhere between these two edges. A three-axis autopilot adds control in the yaw axis and is not required in many small aircraft.














CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS



A view of an autopilot system in an aircraft.

auto pilot in an active aircraft
an autopilot in an aircraft





3.0. A Computer system detail

The hardware of an autopilot varies from implementation to implementation, but is generally designed with redundancy and dependability as major considerations. For example, the Rockwell Collins AFDS-770 Autopilot Flight Director System used on the Boeing 777 uses triplicated FCP-2002 microprocessors which have been formally confirmed and are fabricated in a radiation challenging process (bronz, 2009). 

Software and hardware in an autopilot is loosely controlled, and wide test measures are put in place.

Some autopilots also use design diversity. In this safety quality, vital software processes will not only run on separate computers and maybe even using different architectures, but each computer will run software created by different engineering teams, often being programmed in different programming languages. It is generally considered unlikely that different engineering teams will make the same error the previous engineers made. As the software increase in expense and complexity, design range is becoming less common because fewer engineering companies can pay for it. The flight control computers on the Space Shuttle used this design: there were five computers, four of which redundantly ran identical software, and a fifth backup running software that was created independently. The software on the fifth system provided only the basic functions needed to fly the Shuttle, further reducing any possible cohesion with the software running on the four primary systems (paparazzi, 2011).


3.1 Nature and Use

Many aircraft are equipped with autopilots that will fly an aircraft automatically while the pilot focuses on other tasks. These systems vary greatly in complexity, from simple wing levellers to completely integrated flight control systems.
The simplest autopilot is a single-axis system. Most single-axis autopilots are created to control the movement of the aircraft around the aircraft’s longitudinal axis, passing from the front of the aircraft to the rear. When movement around the longitudinal axis becomes unbalanced, then the aircraft will roll, or tip, from side to side. In its simplest form, the single-axis autopilot may be referred to by pilots as a wing leveller. Upon activation, a wing leveller will steady the aircraft by levelling the wings. By adding features such as turn, heading, and navigational control, pilots can use a single-axis system throughout most of the flight.
Another common type of single-axis system is known as the yaw damper. This autopilot maintains control of the aircraft around the vertical axis, running through the aircraft from top to bottom. When faction around the vertical axis becomes unbalanced, the aircraft is said to be slipping or skidding sideways. This shift is known as yaw. Yaw dampers are invented to prevent slipping and skidding. A structure of autopilot commonly used on medium-sized aircraft is the dual-axis system (collins, 2010). A dual-axis autopilot will maintain control of the aircraft around both the lateral and the longitudinal axes. The lateral axis of an aircraft is an imaginary line passing from wingtip to wingtip. Movement around the lateral axis causes the front of the airplane to move up or down.
For example, a dual-axis autopilot will be able to keep both the wings and the nose of the aircraft level. Pilots may use the dual-axis system to grip a particular direction, follow directives from a navigation system, maintain an altitude, and ascend or descend at a precise rate.
The three-axis autopilot is a amalgamation of a dual-axis system and a yaw damper. Airliners and large business aircraft are normally equipped with a three-axis autopilot. Three-axis systems are linked with navigation and flight-management systems. In addition, they may include features such as throttle control and ground steering.



3.2 INTEGRATION

Many autopilots can connect to, or be incorporated with, a navigation system. In a single-axis autopilot, this may simply be a connection to the directional gyro. In a complex three-axis system, all of the navigation devices may be attached to the autopilot. In this case, the autopilot could be measured an integrated flight control system.
Most integrated flight control systems include a special attitude indicator known as a flight director indicator. In addition to the figurative airplane and horizon reference line found in most attitude indicators, a flight director indicator includes an exceptional set of needles called flight director, or directive, bars. The flight director bars will move up, down, right, and left to indicate where the autopilot intends to fly. Often, these bars are operated by a special computer running in parallel with the autopilot computer. In case of an autopilot failure, the flight director computer will still be able to manipulate the flight director bars. Pilots can manually fly a precise flight path by keeping the bars centred. By allowing the flight director computer to make the complex calculations involved in flying a precise flight path, pilots are still able to reduce their workload.




3.3 How Autopilot Works

An autopilot is maybe one of the most highly developed and technically sophisticated instruments you can have in a machine. It does have all the acumen needed to automatically guide your vehicle ones you have assigned it the direction to move or where you want to go. Ones installed its quiet easy to use it but it can be good to understand how it’s works and why it acts in the way it does if the condition gets out of hand. Knowing your equipment is important for safety. 

In order to control the aircraft, an autopilot must be able to sense attitude. To do this, autopilots rely on gyroscopic instruments, or accelerometer-based sensors. Often, the attitude gyro is used to convey information regarding pitch and roll stance to the autopilot system. A turn and bank indicator or a turn and slip indicator can be used to supply yaw information. The autopilot computer will equal up to the authentic flight attitude of the aircraft with the desired flight attitude and, if necessary, move the appropriate control surface.
The device that operates the control surfaces of the aircraft is called a servo. A servo converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Servos may be electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic. Electric and hydraulic servos are quite common. Electric servos are widely used on aircraft with mechanical or fly-by-wire controls, and hydraulic servos are widely used on aircraft with hydraulic controls.
Electric servos contain a small, electric motor. In this type of system, the computer sends a voltage to the servo, causing the motor to rotate. The motor is connected to the aircraft controls, and as the motor turns, the controls are moved.
Hydraulic servos contain a small, electrically controlled, hydraulic actuator. In this type of system, the computer sends a voltage to the actuator. Valves within the actuator channel hydraulic fluid in and out of small cylinders containing pistons. The pistons are connected to the control surface, and, as they move, the surface moves.
Pneumatic servos contain electrically operated valves. These valves channel air into bellows that are connected to the aircraft controls. The inflation and deflation of the bellows causes the controls to move.


3.4 FEATURES

The autopilots today have many new features that did not exist before;

- Good heading sensors and now with interior fast heading sensors which progress the course holding capabilities of the autopilot and also make available heading information for functions such as radar overlay.

- Auto self-learn features that makes setup much easier 

– Auto-adapt so that the autopilot keeps learning the planes handling even during continued use.



Figure 3.1 a simple Autopilot


diagram of a simple autopilot
simple autopilot





Figure 3.2 Entering goals in a primary flight display


diagram of Entering goals in a primary flight display
diagrams of entering goals in primary flight display



Primary flight displays (PFDs) frequently integrate all controls that allow modes to be entered for the autopilot. The PFD shown in Figure 4-2 offers knobs that permit you to enter modes without turning attention away from the primary flight instruments. Modes entered using the controls on a PFD are transferred to the autopilot.

Engagement of Autopilot Function Every autopilot offers a collection of buttons that allow you to choose and engage autopilot modes and functions. Buttons used to engage autopilot modes appear along the bottom of the autopilot shown in Figure 4-1. The system shown in Figure 4-3 does not use a separate device for autopilot controls; it integrates the autopilot function buttons into another cockpit display.

Verification of Autopilot Function Engagement It is very important to verify that an autopilot mode has engaged, and the aircraft is tracking the intended flight

How Autopilot Functions Work once an autopilot mode has been engaged, the autopilot: 

1. Determines which control movements are required to follow the flight profile entered by the pilot,       and 

2. Moves the controls to affect tracking of the flight profile.



3.5 ADVANTAGES

The advantages of the autopilot are;

1. It reduces pilot fatigue especially during long flights.

2. It also makes an aircraft fly in bad weather, since it is stable and steady.

3. It performs the same duties as a highly trained pilot.

4. Autopilots don’t just make fight smoother, the make them safer.



3.6 DISADVANTAGES

1. An autopilot can be dangerous if it malfunctions.

2. If any instrument in the system fails, it sends a warning signal and the pilot immediately switches       to manual mode.

3. Autopilots can and do fail.

4. It can’t be override.

5. An autopilot is bound to crash if pilots failed to extricate the system before landing.





CHAPTER FOUR

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION


4.1 SUMMARY

Automated flight control can make a long flight easy for you by relieving you of the tiresome second-by-second operation and control of the aircraft. Overdependence on automated flight controls can cost you hard-earned aircraft handling skills, and allow you to lose the situational awareness important to safe flight. You must practice your skills and cross-check.

Automated flight controls require you to study and learn the system’s programming and mode selection actions. You must also learn what actions disconnect the autopilot, whether commanded or not. In preflight planning you must determine the limitations on the autopilot and what the installation in that aircraft permits.

It is important for you to be aware of what functions are automated and what activates those functions and the actions or conditions that revoke or reduce those functions. Remember that, in most aircraft, you must set the power and manage the power plant(s). Even in very expensive aircraft equipped with auto throttle, you must supervise the power plant(s) and be ready to intervene to ensure operation within safe parameters.



4.2 CONCLUSION

Through this paper, a brief overview of the Autopilot system was given to show how they autopilot systems works and how essential and important it is. Autopilot systems and, more broadly, flight control systems are multifarious systems that generally are sensitive systems. However, in order for flight to be smooth, the systems must be robust and able to handle disturbances. If a disturbance could potentially cause instability, the flight would become dangerous. However, to combat these unforeseen instabilities, most flight systems are 2 and 3 times redundant: they have several backup systems that can step in and take over in the event of a failure. These emergency systems can mean the difference between flight and a crash in the event of a sudden disturbance. However, it is still up the control systems on the aircraft to insure that the plane will make it from point A to point B and back again.



4.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

Autopilot system should be enhanced and applied in almost every aspect of the machine world. With this, automated systems can help reduce fatigue and so many human errors that occur when manually operating devices or machines. These automated devices will now serve as major assistance to the Human operators. 







REFERENCES



Bronz, M. (2009). Towards a long Endurance MAV. International journal of micro air vehicle .

Collins, R. (2010). Autopilot Directed Systems.

Hare, T. V. (2014). George the Autopilot. historic wings .

Hare, T. V. (1930). Now - The Automatic Pilot" . Popular Science Monthly .

Paparazzi. (2011). Paparazzi Software. Paparazzi.enac.fr .

Parekh, A. (2008). Autopilot RC Plane". Hacked Gadgets .

Sperry. (1933). How Fast Can You Fly Safely . Popular Mechanics .





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