Design of a flight control system for a highly maneuverable aircraft using robust dynamic

Jacob Reiner, Gary J. Balas, William L. Garrard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper presents a methodology for the design of flight controllers for aircraft operating over large ranges of angle-of-attack. The methodology is a combination of dynamic inversion and structured singular value (p) synthesis. An inner-loop controller, designed by dynamic inversion, is used to linearize the aircraft dynam­ics. This inner-loop controller lacks guaranteed robustness to uncertainties in the system model and the mea­surements; therefore, a robust, linear outer-loop controller is designed using μ synthesis. This controller minimizes the weighted H norm of the error between the aircraft response and the specified handling quality model while maximizing robustness to model uncertain­ties and sensor noise. The methodology is applied to the design of a pitch rate command system for longitudinal control of a high performance aircraft. Nonlin­ear simulations demonstrate that the controller satisfies handling quality requirements, provides good tracking of pilot inputs, and exhibits excellent robustness over a wide range of angles-of-attack and Mach number. The linear controller requires no scheduling with flight conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1994
EventGuidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 1994 - Scottsdale, United States
Duration: Aug 1 1994Aug 3 1994


OtherGuidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, 1994
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NASA Langley Research Center Grant NAG 1-1380 with Dr. Bart Bacon as technical monitor.


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