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Design and Testing of a Flight Control System for Unstable Subscale Aircraft
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Fluid and Mechatronic Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The primary objective of this thesis was to study, implement, and test low-cost electronic flight control systems (FCS) in remotely piloted subscale research aircraft with relaxed static longitudinal stability. Even though this implementation was carried out in small, simplified test-bed aircraft, it was designed with the aim of being installed later in more complex demonstrator aircraft such as the Generic Future Fighter concept demonstrator project. The recent boom of the unmanned aircraft market has led to the appearance of numerous electronic FCS designed for small-scale vehicles and even hobbyist-type model aircraft. Therefore, the purpose was not to develop a new FCS from scratch, but rather to take advantage of the available technology and to examine the performance of different commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) low-cost systems in statically unstable aircraft models. Two different systems were integrated, calibrated and tested: a simple, gyroscope-based, single-axis controller, and an advanced flight controller with a complete suite of sensors, including a specifically manufactured angle-of-attack transducer. A flight testing methodology and appropriate flight-test data analysis tools were also developed. The satisfactory results are discussed for different flight control laws, and the controller tuning procedure is described. On the other hand, the different test-bed aircraft were analysed from a theoretical point of view by using common aircraft-design methods and conventional preliminary-design tools. The theoretical models were integrated into a flight dynamics simulator, which was compared with flight-test data obtaining a reasonable qualitative correlation. Possible FCS modifications are discussed and some future implementations are proposed, such as the integration of the angle-of-attack in the control laws.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 88 p.
Keyword [en]
aircraft design, systems integration, subscale flight testing, avionics, flight control system, remotely piloted aircraft
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121819ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A--15/02190--SEOAI: diva2:859608
Subject / course
Mechanical Engineering
2015-06-12, A33, A-building, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-13 Created: 2015-10-07 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved

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Sobron, Alejandro
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