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Modeling and Adaptive Nonlinear Disturbance Observer for Closed-Loop Control of In-Ground-Effects on Multi-Rotor UAVs

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiang He, Marc Calaf, Kam K. Leang

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Paper No. DSCC2017-5210, pp. V003T39A004; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 3: Vibration in Mechanical Systems; Modeling and Validation; Dynamic Systems and Control Education; Vibrations and Control of Systems; Modeling and Estimation for Vehicle Safety and Integrity; Modeling and Control of IC Engines and Aftertreatment Systems; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Their Applications; Dynamics and Control of Renewable Energy Systems; Energy Harvesting; Control of Smart Buildings and Microgrids; Energy Systems
  • Tysons, Virginia, USA, October 11–13, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5829-5
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This paper focuses on modeling and nonlinear control of in-ground-effect (IGE) on multi-rotor aerial vehicles such as quadrotor helicopters (quadcopters). As the vehicle flies and hovers near obstacles such as the ground, walls, and other features, the IGE which is a function of the distance between the rotor and the obstacle induces a thrust that drastically affects flight behavior. This effect on each rotor can be vastly different as the vehicle’s attitude varies. Furthermore, IGE limits the ability for precision flight control, navigation, and landing in tight and confined spaces. A nonlinear model is proposed to predict the IGE for each rotor. To compensate for the IGE, an adaptive nonlinear disturbance observer (ANDO) is designed to enhance closed-loop PID control. The observer and controller are implemented in a simulation framework, where results show significant improvement in performance compared to the case without observing and compensating for the IGE. In particular, it is shown that the ANDO PID closed-loop controller improves the settling time by approximately 60%.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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