Fault-tolerant flight control using one aerodynamic control surface

Raghu Venkataraman, Peter J Seiler Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper considers a statically stable unmanned aircraft that is equipped with only two aerodynamic control surfaces (called elevons) and one tractor-type propeller. A fault in either of the elevons must, therefore, be managed using only the other elevon and the throttle. Because the fault results in an underactuated aircraft, the reconfiguration possibilities are limited. This paper proposes a strategy of using the throttle for total energy control and the single operable elevon for lateral control. This paper then develops a fault-tolerant controller based on this strategy and demonstrates, via multiple flight tests, the autonomous guidance and final approach of this unmanned aircraft in the presence of a stuck elevon fault. The results indicate that it may be possible to control other aerial bodies, including larger aircraft, using one aerodynamic control surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-584
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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flight control
Flight Control
control surfaces
Fault-tolerant Control
Control surfaces
aerodynamics
Aerodynamics
elevons
aircraft
Elevons
flight
Aircraft
Fault
tractors
lateral control
propellers
flight tests
Propellers
Power control
controllers

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Fault-tolerant flight control using one aerodynamic control surface. / Venkataraman, Raghu; Seiler Jr, Peter J.

In: Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 42, No. 3, 01.01.2019, p. 570-584.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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