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Introduction to feedback control of underactuated VTOLvehicles: A review of basic control design ideas and principles

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4 Author(s)
Minh-Duc Hua ; Inst. des Syst. Intelligents et de Robotiques, Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France ; Hamel, T. ; Morin, P. ; Samson, C.

This article is an introduction to feedback control design for a family of robotic aerial vehicles with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities such as quadrotors, ducted-fan tail-sitters, and helicopters. Potential applications for such devices, like surveillance, monitoring, or mapping, are varied and numerous. For these applications to emerge, motion control algorithms that guarantee a good amount of robustness against state measurement/ estimation errors and unmodeled dynamics like, for example, aerodynamic perturbations, are needed. The feedback control methods considered here range from basic linear control schemes to more elaborate nonlinear control solutions. The modeling of the dynamics of these systems is first recalled and discussed. Then several control algorithms are presented and commented upon in relation to implementation issues and various operating modes encountered in practice, from teleoperated to fully autonomous flight. Particular attention is paid to the incorporation of integral-like control actions, often overlooked in nonlinear control studies despite their practical importance to render the control performance more robust with respect to unmodeled or poorly estimated additive perturbations.

Published in:

Control Systems, IEEE  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )