Development of occupant-preferred landing profiles for personal aerial vehicle applications

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Lu, L.
Jump, M.
Perfect, P.
White, M.
Aldridge, M.
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Previous studies using both rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft have indicated that providing the pilot with more intuitive physiological information can enhance task performance because of the increased level of pilot’s awareness of aircraft orientation and workload required to control the aircraft. This will also be true for Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAV) operating in a Personal Aerial Transportation System (PATS) because of its anticipated large user base and envisaged concept of operations. A new landing profile, which is motivated from the point of view that "natural-feeling" cues are related to the physiological cues presented during a visual landing, has been developed in the first stage of research under way at the University of Liverpool to develop technologies that will enable the everyday use of a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL)-capable (PAV). The paper reports the continued progress made in the design and assessment of a number of different methods and trajectories to guide PAV occupants from cruising flight, down an approach path, to bring the vehicle to a successful hover. Four profiles: constant deceleration, constant optical flow, and two versions of the "natural-feeling" profiles, have been flown by the test subjects using an automatic landing and a manual flight method using different guidance aids. Subjective and objective assessments were gathered to evaluate the impact in the airspeed profiles and associated control strategies of these four different approach profiles. The results indicate that the test subjects prefer the constant deceleration profile with the automatic landing and the "natural-feeling" profiles for the manual landing. Moreover, it is found that the different tau guide control strategies at the later part of the profile have profound effects on the pilot preference.