Optimal pilot decisions and flight trajectories in air combat

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Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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32, [99]
Research reports / Helsinki University of Technology, Systems Analysis Laboratory. A, 90
The thesis concerns the analysis and synthesis of pilot decision-making and the design of optimal flight trajectories. In the synthesis framework, the methodology of influence diagrams is applied for modeling and simulating the maneuvering decision process of the pilot in one-on-one air combat. The influence diagram representations describing the maneuvering decision in a one sided optimization setting and in a game setting are constructed. The synthesis of team decision-making in a multiplayer air combat is tackled by formulating a decision theoretical information prioritization approach based on a value function and interval analysis. It gives the team optimal sequence of tactical data that is transmitted between cooperating air units for improving the situation awareness of the friendly pilots in the best possible way. In the optimal trajectory planning framework, an approach towards the interactive automated solution of deterministic aircraft trajectory optimization problems is presented. It offers design principles for a trajectory optimization software that can be operated automatically by a nonexpert user. In addition, the representation of preferences and uncertainties in trajectory optimization is considered by developing a multistage influence diagram that describes a series of the maneuvering decisions in a one-on-one air combat setting. This influence diagram representation as well as the synthesis elaborations provide seminal ways to treat uncertainties in air combat modeling. The work on influence diagrams can also be seen as the extension of the methodology to dynamically evolving decision situations involving possibly multiple actors with conflicting objectives. From the practical point of view, all the synthesis models can be utilized in decision-making systems of air combat simulators. The information prioritization approach can also be implemented in an onboard data link system.
air combat, decision analysis, dynamic decision-making, game theory, influence diagram, nonlinear programming, optimal control, simulation, team decision theory, uncertainty
  • Virtanen, K., Raivio, T., and Hämäläinen, R. P., 1999. Decision theoretical approach to pilot simulation. Journal of Aircraft 36, number 4, pages 632-641. [article1.pdf] © 1999 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). By permission.
  • Virtanen, K., Raivio, T., and Hämäläinen, R. P., 2003. Influence diagram modeling of decision making in a dynamic game setting. In: Proceedings of the 1st Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop of the 19th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence. Acapulco, Mexico, 7-10 August 2003. [article2.pdf] © 2003 by authors.
  • Virtanen, K., Hämäläinen, R. P., and Mattila, V., Team optimal signaling strategies in air combat. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part A: Systems and Humans, accepted for publication. [article3.pdf] © 2005 by authors and © 2005 IEEE. By permission.
  • Virtanen, K., Ehtamo, H., Raivio, T., and Hämäläinen, R. P., 1999. VIATO – visual interactive aircraft trajectory optimization. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part C: Applications and Reviews 29, number 3, pages 409-421. [article4.pdf] © 1999 IEEE. By permission.
  • Virtanen, K., Raivio, T., and Hämäläinen, R. P., 2004. Modeling pilot's sequential maneuvering decisions by a multistage influence diagram. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 27, number 4, pages 665-677. [article5.pdf] © 2004 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). By permission.
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