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High-order derivative fusion estimation of rotorcraft angular rate

Changwu Liu (School of Aerospace Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Haowen Wang (School of Aerospace Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Chen Jiang (School of Aerospace Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 19 March 2021

Issue publication date: 5 April 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims at developing a novel algorithm to estimate high-order derivatives of rotorcraft angular rates to break the contradiction between bandwidth and filtering performance because high-order derivatives of angular rates are crucial to rotorcraft control. Traditional causal estimation algorithms such as digital differential filtering or various tracking differentiators cannot balance phase-lead angle loss and high-frequency attenuation performance of the estimated differentials under the circumstance of strong vibration from the rotor system and the rather low update rate of angular rates.

Design/methodology/approach

The algorithm, capable of estimating angular rate derivatives to maximal second order, fuses multiple attitude signal sources through a first-proposed randomized angular motion maneuvering model independent of platform dynamics with observations generated by cascaded tracking differentiators.

Findings

The maneuvering flight test on 5-kg-level helicopter and the ferry flight test on 230-kg-level helicopter prove such algorithm is feasible to generate higher signal to noise ratio derivative estimation of angular rates than traditional differentiators in regular flight states with enough bandwidth for flight control.

Research limitations/implications

The decrease of update rate of input attitude signals will weaken the bandwidth performance of the algorithm and higher sampling rate setting is recommended.

Practical implications

Rotorcraft flight control researchers and engineers would benefit from the estimation method when implementing flight control laws requiring angular rate derivatives.

Originality/value

A purely kinematic randomized angular motion model for flight vehicle is first established, combining rigid-body Euler kinematics. Such fusion algorithm with observations generated by cascaded tracking differentiators to estimate angular rate derivatives is first proposed, realized and flight tested.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, C., Wang, H. and Jiang, C. (2021), "High-order derivative fusion estimation of rotorcraft angular rate", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 2, pp. 347-353. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-09-2020-0203

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

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