The overall objective of the Wallenberg Laboratory for Information Technology and Autonomous Systems (WITAS) at Linköping University is the development of an intelligent command and control system, containing vision sensors, which supports the operation of a unmanned air vehicle (UAV) in both semi- and full-autonomy modes. One of the UAV platforms of choice is the APID-MK3 unmanned helicopter, by Scandicraft Systems AB. The intended operational environment is over widely varying geographical terrain with traffic networks and vehicle interaction of variable complexity, speed, and density.
The present version of APID-MK3 is capable of autonomous take-off, landing, and hovering as well as of autonomously executing pre-defined, point-to-point flight where the latter is executed at low-speed. This is enough for performing missions like site mapping and surveillance, and communications, but for the above mentioned operational environment higher speeds are desired. In this context, the goal of this thesis is to explore the possibilities for achieving stable ‘‘aggressive’’ manoeuvrability at high-speeds, and test a variety of control solutions in the APID-MK3 simulation environment.
The objective of achieving ‘‘aggressive’’ manoeuvrability concerns the design of attitude/velocity/position controllers which act on much larger ranges of the body attitude angles, by utilizing the full range of the rotor attitude angles. In this context, a flight controller should achieve tracking of curvilinear trajectories at relatively high speeds in a robust, w.r.t. external disturbances, manner. Take-off and landing are not considered here since APIDMK3 has already have dedicated control modules that realize these flight modes.
With this goal in mind, we present the design of two different types of flight controllers: a fuzzy controller and a gradient descent method based controller. Common to both are model based design, the use of nonlinear control approaches, and an inner- and outer-loop control scheme. The performance of these controllers is tested in simulation using the nonlinear model of APID-MK3.