Modelling and Model Based Control Design For Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Designing high performance control of rotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) requires a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of the vehicle. The model is derived from first principle modelling, such as rigid-body dynamics, actuator dynamics and etc. It is found that simplified decoupled model of RUAV has slightly better data fitting compared with the complex model for helicopter attitude dynamics in hover or near hover flight condition. In addition, the simplified modelling approach has made the analysis of system dynamics easy. System identification method is applied to identify the unknown intrinsic parameters in the nominal model, where manual piloted flight experiment is carried out and input-output data about a nominal operating region is recorded for parameters identification process. Integral-based parameter identification algorithm is then used to identify model parameters that give the best matching between the simulation and measured output response. The results obtained show that the dominant dynamics is captured. The advantages of using integral-based method include the fast computation time, insensitive to initial parameter value and fast convergence rate in comparison with other contemporary system identification methods such as prediction error method (PEM), maximum likelihood method, equation error method and output error method. Besides, the integral-based parameter identification method can be readily extended to tackle slow time-varying model parameters and fast varying disturbances. The model prediction is found to be improved significantly when the iterative integral-based parameter identification is employed and thus further validates the minimal modelling approach.
From the literature review, many control schemes have been designed and validated in simulation. However, few of them has really been implemented in real flight as well as under windy and severe conditions, where unpredictable large system parameters variations and unexpected disturbances are present. Therefore, the emphasis on this part will be on the control design that would have satisfactory reference sequence tracking or regulation capability in the presence of unmodelled dynamics and external disturbances. Generalised Predictive Controller (GPC) is particularly considered as the helicopter attitude dynamics control due to its insensitivity with respect to model mismatch and its capability to address the control problem of nominal model with deadtime. The robustness analysis shows that the robustness of the basic GPC is significantly improved using the Smith Predictor (SP) in place of optimal predictor in basic GPC. The effectiveness of the proposed robust GPC was well proven with the control of helicopter heading on the test rig in terms of the reference sequence tracking performance and the input disturbance rejection capability. The second motivation is the investigation of adaptive GPC from the perspective of performance improvements for the robust GPC. The promising experimental results prove the feasibility of the adaptive GPC controller, and especially evident when the underlying robust GPC is tuned with low robustness and legitimates the use of simplified model. Another approach of robust model predictive control is considered where disturbance is identified in real‐time using an iterative integral‐based method.