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A Survey of Controller Designs for New Generation UAVs: The Challenge of Uncertain Aerodynamic Parameters

Michail G. Michailidis*, Matthew J. Rutherford, and Kimon P. Valavanis
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 18, no. 4, pp.801-816, 2020

Abstract : This paper presents a survey of controller design techniques aimed at autonomous navigation and control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), focusing on the challenge of aerodynamic uncertainty. Although many roadblocks exist, the most significant and challenging task for UAV navigation and control is the one of aerodynamic/model uncertainty. Current autopilots and controller designs for autonomous airplanes are mainly concerned with the feature of constant, unknown aerodynamic parameters, i.e., control and stability derivatives of the platform. This research focuses on a thorough investigation of the related theory and its applicability, centering on specific techniques that are able to control UAVs with rapidly changing, time-varying aerodynamic characteristics during flight. The scientific merit of this work is the comprehensive overview provided and the technical study that is performed, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages for each technique with respect to its efficiency and performance.

Keyword : Flight control, model uncertainty, robust control, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

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