Informed scenario-based RRT* for aircraft trajectory planning under ensemble forecasting of thunderstorms Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2021

start page

  • 103232

end page

  • 103253


  • 129

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0968-090X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-2359


  • Thunderstorms represent a major hazard for flights, as they compromise the safety of both the
    airframe and the passengers. To address trajectory planning under thunderstorms, three variants
    of the scenario-based rapidly exploring random trees (SB-RRTs) are proposed. During an iterative
    process, the so-called SB-RRT, the SB-RRT* and the Informed SB-RRT* find safe trajectories by
    meeting a user-defined safety threshold. Additionally, the last two techniques converge to solutions
    of minimum flight length. Through parallelization on graphical processing units the
    required computational times are reduced substantially to become compatible with near real-time
    operation. The proposed methods are tested considering a kinematic model of an aircraft flying between two waypoints at constant flight level and airspeed; the test scenario is based on a realistic weather forecast and assumed to be described by an ensemble of equally likely members. Lastly, the influence of the number of scenarios, safety margin and iterations on the results is analyzed. Results show that the SB-RRTs are able to find safe and, in two of the algorithms, closeto- optimum solutions.


  • Aeronautics


  • aircraft path planning; parallel programming; sampling-based algorithms; uncertain thunderstorm avoidance