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This paper presents a trajectory tracking control design which provides the essential spatial-temporal feedback control capability for fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to execute a time critical mission reliably. In this design, a kinematic trajectory tracking control law and a control gain selection method are developed to allow the control law to be implemented on a fixed-wing UAV based on the platform's dynamic capability. The tracking control design assumes the command references of the heading and airspeed control systems are the accessible control inputs, and it does not impose restrictive model assumptions on the UAV's control systems. The control design is validated using a high-fidelity nonlinear six degrees of freedom (6DOF) model and the reported results suggest that the proposed tracking control design is able to track time-parameterized trajectories stably with robust control performance.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Sept. 2010