A virtual structure formation guidance strategy for multi-parafoil systems

Qi Chen, Yuxiang Sun, Min Zhao, Ming Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The airdropping of multi-parafoil systems is of great significance to earthquake relief and military material transportation. In order to achieve the coordinated motion of multiple parafoils, a formation guidance strategy based on a virtual structure is proposed, which enables the formation of multiple parafoils to follow the planned trajectory and land at the target precisely. Firstly, since the main movement mode of a parafoil is turning and gliding, a multiphase homing trajectory for the reference point is planned, which mainly consists of a turning and gliding phase. Then, the trajectories of all the points on the virtual structure are generated by superimposing the relative positions of the virtual structure on the planned trajectory. Based on Lyapunov stability theory, a guidance strategy is designed to guide all parafoils to track the corresponding points on the virtual structure and complete the desired formation task. The simulation results show that the guidance strategy based on a virtual structure can effectively guide multiple parafoils to achieve coordinated formation movement. Parafoils dropped from different positions and heading angles can gradually gather together and form a formation, track the planned trajectories, land at the target point precisely and align up against the wind.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8818085
Pages (from-to)123592-123603
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Formation
  • guidance
  • Parafoil
  • Trajectory planning
  • Virtual structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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