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DRL-RNP: deep reinforcement learning-based optimized RNP flight procedure execution.

Zhu, Longtao; Wang, Jinlin; Wang, Yi; Ji, Yulong; Ren, Jinchang


Longtao Zhu

Jinlin Wang

Yi Wang

Yulong Ji

Jinchang Ren


The required navigation performance (RNP) procedure is one of the two basic navigation specifications for the performance-based navigation (PBN) procedure as proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) through an integration of the global navigation infrastructures to improve the utilization efficiency of airspace and reduce flight delays and the dependence on ground navigation facilities. The approach stage is one of the most important and difficult stages in the whole flying. In this study, we proposed deep reinforcement learning (DRL)-based RNP procedure execution, DRL-RNP. By conducting an RNP approach procedure, the DRL algorithm was implemented, using a fixed-wing aircraft to explore a path of minimum fuel consumption with reward under windy conditions in compliance with the RNP safety specifications. The experimental results have demonstrated that the six degrees of freedom aircraft controlled by the DRL algorithm can successfully complete the RNP procedure whilst meeting the safety specifications for protection areas and obstruction clearance altitude in the whole procedure. In addition, the potential path with minimum fuel consumption can be explored effectively. Hence, the DRL method can be used not only to implement the RNP procedure with a simulated aircraft but also to help the verification and evaluation of the RNP procedure.


ZHU, L., WANG, J., WANG, Y., JI, Y. and REN, J. 2022. DRL-RNP: deep reinforcement learning-based optimized RNP flight procedure execution. Sensors [online], 22(17), article 6475. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 28, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 15, 2022
Journal Sensors
Print ISSN 1424-3210
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 17
Article Number 6475
Keywords Deep reinforcement learning (DRL); Required navigation performance (RNP) procedure; Performance-based navigation (PBN) procedure; Flight control; Path planning
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