University of Luxembourg (UL), the country’s first and only public university, was founded in 2003 as part of an ambitious national strategy to transition to a knowledge-based economy. Multilingual, international, and research-oriented, it is a modern institution with a personal atmosphere. About 53% of its 6200 students are foreign, originating from 107 different nations. Organized in three Faculties and three Interdisciplinary Centres, the UL has 1400 employees, 400 PhD candidates under employment contract and 225 professors, assistant professors, and senior lecturers. 

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), launched in 2009 by the University of Luxembourg (UL), conducts internationally competitive research in information and communication technology. The center has set up a Partnership Programme with over 69 members targeting strategic areas addressing challenges confronting industry and the public sector in ICT. SnT’s strategic research areas: Autonomous Vehicles, Cybersecurity, FinTech, Internet of Things, Secure and Compliant Data Management and Space Systems.

The Space Robotics Research Group (SpaceR) Prof. Miguel Angel Olivares-Mendez heads the Space Robotics Research Group (SpaceR). The team focused on increasing the autonomy of robots in extreme, confined or space environments with the main focus on exploration, multi-robot collaboration, human interaction, manipulation, AI-based control and digital twins. SpaceR team relevant work for this project involves the research conducted to model, simulate and transfer to real-world systems Deep Reinforcement Learning control strategies, for autonomous navigation and related tasks.

UniLu, in the first phases of the project, will help modeling the simulation tools needed for flight control strategies and implement the AI-based control policies for different operative flight modes (steady, flight, maneuvering, take-off and landing). Subsequently UniLu team will support the integration of the Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) with the perception subsystem, starting from the Software-in-the-Loop (SIL) to the Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) test campaign, ending with the integration of the prototype and field tests.

This WP aims to study and develop innovative guidance, navigation and control techniques tailored for the specific features of the WIGs, as well as self-awareness and situational awareness capabilities for the vehicle. In particular it involves implementing an advanced GNC strategy to handle different operative flight and maneuver modes. Then it will focus on harmonizing the high level mechanisms for self-awareness needed – such as collision avoidance, failure identification and recovery, power management– with the low level perception and control subsystems.