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Old August 22nd 17, 12:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bruce Hoult
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Posts: 961
Default Microsoft Teaches Autonomous Gliders to Make Decisions on the Fly

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 2:24:38 PM UTC+3, Martin Gregorie wrote:
On Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:35:12 -0700, Bruce Hoult wrote:

Of interest to glider pilots is that this project managed to
successfully find and centre in thermals using only the data available
from a GPS: the 5m model glider carried a pressure-based altimeter but
got better results by using GPS altitude and ROC calculated from it
because that was a less noisy signal than the pressure altimeter could
provide.


That seems very strange and completely against the experience of every
glider pilot with both a GPS and a modern MEMS pressure sensor based
computerised vario.

Yes, I agree. All I know is what it says in the detailed description
published as NRL/FR/5712--15-10,272. It is marked as an unclassified
document.

This work was done in 2006/7: I know nothing about the quality of
electronic pressure sensors at that time and I don't recall any
description of how the pressure sensor was connected to the rest of the
system or anything about what, if any, filtering or smoothing was applied
to the pressure sensor. Nor, for that matter have I heard anything about
people using GPS altitude information as vario input for our use. The
sampling rate, at least, is similar to the response rate of many
electronic varios so that approach may work for us too.

You can find what looks like a full description he
https://www.dsiac.org/resources/jour...2016-volume-3-
number-2/pursuit-persistent-isr

or search on the document reference: the first search result identifies
the {PDF version that I have a private copy of but the site is either
dead or very slow indeed. If the above reference doesn't give enough
information you can contact me off-list: the copy I have is marked
unclassified.


When in extreme scratching situations, the pressure altitude from my 1994 Cambridge Aero Instruments "GPSNAV" (one of the first units, hired to a competitor in the 1994 pre-Worlds in Omarama) has saved my bacon a number of times by letting me know whether I'd gained three feet or lost five feet in the last circle.

By 2006/7 something used in a military project should be excellent!
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