Available Technology

Aircraft ground effect altimeter for autonomous landing control

Embodiments of the invention use ground effect to determine how close an aircraft is to the ground. An electronic processor communicates with a navigation unit on an aircraft. The aircraft has an electronic instrument cluster for takeoff and landing control. An aircraft model is received from the navigation unit and used to compute aircraft modeled quantities. An initial altitude of the aircraft is received from a barometric altimeter. Initial aircraft velocities and initial aircraft orientations are from the navigation unit. The aircraft model is initialized. Accelerations, rotation, and altitude from the output of accelerometers, gyros, and the barometric altimeter are received. Surface and thrust control settings are received from the electronic instrument cluster. A best hypothesis for ground altitude is computed and the computed ground altitude having the lowest likelihood of error is reported.
Inventors: 

Jeffrey J. Hilde

Patent Number: 
US9317040
Patent Issue Date: 
May 19, 2016
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