Flight control of a tilt duct UAV with emphasis on the over actuated transition flight phase

Thesis Type: Post Graduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009




In the thesis, automatic flight control system is designed for Tilt Duct Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The vehicle is a Vertical Take-Off Landing (VTOL) type with two symmetric rotors on the wings, one aft rotor on the aft body. It behaves like a helicopter but with higher speeds in forward flight. Transition flight of the aircraft from hover to cruise or take-off to forward flight is the primary concern of the thesis study with the nonlinearities and instabilities encountered, together with the over-actuated controls in this mode. A nonlinear simulation code is developed including nonlinear equations of motion together with the nonlinear aerodynamics, environmental e ects, and rotor dynamics. Trim and linearization codes are also developed. Trim conditions for the transition flight phase are calculated for two different transition scenarios. Linear controllers are developed and nonlinear controller is designed for the transition mode. Nonlinear controller uses the state dependent Ricatti equation SDRE approach by using extended linearization. Two loop approach is used in order to increase controllability. In the inner loop, attitude rates are fed back and SDRE approach is used to calculate the feedback gain matrix online. In the outer loop, vehicle attitude is controlled using the eigenvalue assignment. Blended inverse algorithm based control allocation method is used in control of the over-actuated transition phase. This algorithm is shown to be quite effective among different methods in not only generating necessary forces needed for the control, but also allocating with more control authority on the desired actuator.