A. Tarau, B. De Schutter, and H. Hellendoorn, "Travel time control of destination coded vehicles in baggage handling systems," Proceedings of the 17th IEEE International Conference on Control Applications, San Antonio, Texas, pp. 293-298, Sept. 2008.
The process of handling baggage in an airport is time critical. Currently, the fastest way to transport the luggage is to use destination coded vehicles (DCVs). These vehicles transport the bags at high speed on a "mini" railway network. The typical issues of the baggage handling system are coordination and synchronization of the processing units, minimization of the baggage travel time, avoidance of collisions between vehicles, prevention of buffer overflows, and minimization of the transportation costs. In this paper we determine an event-based model of the baggage handling system using DCVs and we investigate the use of centralized control for this system. The proposed control methods are optimal control and model predictive control. This way the optimal route and the optimal speed profile of each vehicle are determined. The considered control methods are compared for several scenarios. Results indicate that optimal control becomes intractable when a large stream of bags has to be handled, while model predictive control can still be used to suboptimally solve the problem.