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What is Lookahead Distance?

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Shubham Kalpande
Shubham Kalpande on 18 May 2021
Commented: Shubham Kalpande on 20 May 2021
I am trying to implement the waypoint follower object in a flight simulation. I have added white noise to dynamical equations of motion for an UAV, and trying to simulate the drift due to integration. The trouble is I see drift only for higher values of look ahead distance, but nothing for small values.
Can you please explain what exactly is this lookahead distance? Nothing is clear from the MATLAB page where it's information is given.
For example in this link, they have tuned the lookahead distance to get smoother trajectory. What exactly is this look ahead distance?

Accepted Answer

Jianxin Sun
Jianxin Sun on 19 May 2021
Hi Shubham,
The lookahead distance determines how far ahead the target location would be for the UAV along the path defined by waypoints. Check the illustration below, the larger L is, the further away target point would be, which usually yield a more consistent flight direction for the UAV. If L is too small, the UAV would need to adjust its heading frequently. If L is too high, the UAV might not converge to the path line fast enough.

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