International audience; During the last few years, several concepts concerning the delegation to commercial aircraft flight crew of some tasks currently performed by the air traffic controllers have emerged [3]. Among these new ideas, relative guidance has appeared to be of some interest to contribute to the enhancement of air traffic capacity [1] though it rises hard technical challenges. Indeed, this kind of maneuver appears difficult to perform manually, and may induce an excessive increase of the flight crew workload, thus requiring a new on-board automated function, as suggested in [7]. This paper investigates the design of an autopilot mode dedicated to the trailing aircraft for merging and maintaining station keeping behind a leading aircraft. The investigated approach is based on feedback linearization control. We use a new form of relative position error which results in a singularity free stabilizing controller. Moreover, we take explicitly into account the separation between the two aircraft in order to safely manage the maneuver. Some properties of such a controller are also discussed on the basis of a case study including wind.

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Published on 01/01/2003

Volume 2003, 2003
DOI: 10.2514/6.2003-5410
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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