Title: Robustness investigation of a ducted-fan aerial vehicle control, using linear, adaptive, and model predictive controllers

Authors: Seyyed Ali Emami; Afshin Banazadeh

Addresses: Department of Aerospace Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran ' Department of Aerospace Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Abstract: A comparison of three common controllers for stabilising a vertical take-off and landing air vehicle is presented. RMIT is a small sized tail-sitter ducted fan air vehicle with a particular configuration layout, multiple control surfaces, low weight, and high-speed flight capability. The main problem here is control effectiveness at low flight speeds and transition manoeuvres because of the inherent instability. In the current study, a comprehensive nonlinear model is firstly developed for RMIT, followed by a validation process. Subsequently, linear, adaptive and model predictive controllers are designed in vertical flight. Based on the simulation results, it is shown that the linear controller is not able to eliminate the inherent instability of the vehicle in hover, while the adaptive and model predictive controllers are able to tune for stabilisation. However, simulation results show that adaptive controller cannot eliminate the large external disturbances from the system, while the MPC has a robust behaviour against them and provide an acceptable closed-loop performance over a wide range of external disturbances.

Keywords: ducted fan aerial vehicles; control effectiveness; nonlinear modelling; adaptive control; model predictive control; MPC; robustness; linear control; controller design; vertical take-off and landing; VTOL aircraft; low flight speed; transition manoeuvres; simulation; external disturbances.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMECHS.2015.070713

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, 2015 Vol.6 No.2/3, pp.108 - 117

Received: 30 Dec 2014
Accepted: 13 Apr 2015

Published online: 20 Jul 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article