Improving Algorithm Conflict Resolution Manoeuvres with Reinforcement Learning

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Abstract

Future high traffic densities with drone operations are expected to exceed the number of aircraft that current air traffic control procedures can control simultaneously. Despite extensive research on geometric CR methods, at higher densities, their performance is hindered by the unpredictable emergent behaviour from surrounding aircraft. In response, research has shifted its attention to creating automated tools capable of generating conflict resolution (CR) actions adapted to the environment and not limited by man-made rules. Several works employing reinforcement learning (RL) methods for conflict resolution have been published recently. Although proving that they have potential, at their current development, the results of the practical implementation of these methods do not reach their expected theoretical performance. Consequently, RL applications cannot yet match the efficacy of geometric CR methods. Nevertheless, these applications can improve the set of rules that geometrical CR methods use to generate a CR manoeuvre. This work employs an RL method responsible for deciding the parameters that a geometric CR method uses to generate the CR manoeuvre for each conflict situation. The results show that this hybrid approach, combining the strengths of geometric CR and RL methods, reduces the total number of losses of minimum separation. Additionally, the large range of different optimal solutions found by the RL method shows that the rules of geometric CR method must be expanded, catering for different conflict geometries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalAerospace
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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