Model predictive flight control systems for rotorcraft UAS

Colautti, Stefano (2011) Model predictive flight control systems for rotorcraft UAS, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria: progetto n. 1 "Disegno e metodi dell’ingegneria industriale e scienze aerospaziali", 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3497.
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Constraints are widely present in the flight control problems: actuators saturations or flight envelope limitations are only some examples of that. The ability of Model Predictive Control (MPC) of dealing with the constraints joined with the increased computational power of modern calculators makes this approach attractive also for fast dynamics systems such as agile air vehicles. This PhD thesis presents the results, achieved at the Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of Bologna in collaboration with the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratories (NLR), concerning the development of a model predictive control system for small scale rotorcraft UAS. Several different predictive architectures have been evaluated and tested by means of simulation, as a result of this analysis the most promising one has been used to implement three different control systems: a Stability and Control Augmentation System, a trajectory tracking and a path following system. The systems have been compared with a corresponding baseline controller and showed several advantages in terms of performance, stability and robustness.


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