Model predictive control for autonomous unmanned helicopters

Endra Joelianto (Instrumentation and Control Research Group, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia)
Edwina Maryami Sumarjono (Instrumentation and Control Research Group, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia)
Agus Budiyono (Smart Robot Center, Department of Aerospace and Information Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Dini Retnaning Penggalih (Instrumentation and Control Research Group, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the feasibility of controlling a small‐scale helicopter by using the model predictive control (MPC) method.

Design/methodology/approach

The MPC control synthesis is employed by considering five linear models representing the flight of a small‐scale helicopter from hover to high‐speed cruise. The internal model principle is employed for the trajectory tracking design.

Findings

It is found that the MPC handles well the transition problems between the models, yields satisfactory tracking control performance and produces a suitable control signal. The performance of the tracking control of the helicopter is considerably influenced by the parameter selection in the states and inputs weighting matrices of the MPC. Simulation results also showed that faster dynamics, coupling problems, input and output constraints and changing linearized multi‐inputs multi‐outputs dynamics models in the small‐scale helicopter can be handled simultaneously by the MPC controller.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is limited for the application of MPC for the control of small‐scale helicopters with non‐aggressive maneuvers.

Practical implications

The result can be extended to design a full envelope controller for an autonomous small‐scale helicopter without the need to resort to a conventional gain scheduling technique.

Originality/value

Helicopter control system designs using MPC with a single either linear or non‐linear model have been studied and reported in numerous literatures. The main contribution of the paper is in the application of MPC to handle the control problems of a small‐scale helicopter defined as a mathematical model with several different modes during a flight mission.

Keywords

Citation

Joelianto, E., Maryami Sumarjono, E., Budiyono, A. and Retnaning Penggalih, D. (2011), "Model predictive control for autonomous unmanned helicopters", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 83 No. 6, pp. 375-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/00022661111173252

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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