Single channel digital controller design for a high spinning rate rolling airframe missile

Suicmez E. C. , KUTAY A. T.

AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, vol.126, no.1305, pp.1815-1833, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 126 Issue: 1305
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/aer.2022.30
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Applied Science & Technology Source, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.1815-1833
  • Keywords: Spinning missile, Coning motion, Single-channel control, Digital control, Flight dynamics, Missile DATCOM, CONING MOTION, STABILITY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Spinning/Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) mostly use an analog (ON-OFF type) control approach that deflects control surfaces (fins) at minimum and maximum positions continuously, and control is achieved by applying phase shift between the minimum and maximum deflections during a complete roll cycle. Therefore, the control signal shape changes continuously during the roll cycle. In this study, a novel single channel digital controller is designed and tested for a high spinning rate (10-20 Hz) RAM. The digital controller adjusts the amplitude of fin deflections instead of applying a phase shift. In this way, control signal shapes are predetermined in design to completely decouple yaw and pitch dynamics. At the beginning of each roll cycle, the algorithm decides on the control signal shape and amplitude to apply throughout the cycle. Delays on the actuator system and sensor measurements which might lead to instability at high spinning rates are handled effectively thanks to the predetermined control signal shapes that are changing with 90-degree intervals. Detailed geometry of a surface-to-air spinning missile is used to obtain aerodynamic coefficients for the entire flight regime (i.e. from launch to terminal phase) via Missile DATCOM. The 6-DOF flight dynamics model and the controller algorithms are built in MATLAB/Simulink environment. The proposed digital controller is tested systematically for various scenarios and the performance is compared with the conventional analog control approach. The digital controller gives better performance compared to the analog approach under the influence of servo delays and sensor noise.