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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(11), 369; doi:10.3390/app6110369

Design and Implementation of an Optimal Energy Control System for Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

1
Department of Aerospace and Systems Engineering, Feng Chia University, No. 100, Wenhwa Road, Seatwen District, Taichung 407, Taiwan
2
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, Daxue Road, East District, Tainan 701, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Josep M. Guerrero and Amjad Anvari-Moghaddam
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 29 October 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016

Abstract

In conventional flight control design, the autopilot and the autothrottle systems are usually considered separately, resulting in a complex system and inefficient integration of functions. Therefore, the concept of aircraft energy control is brought up to solve the problem of coordinated control using elevator and throttle. The goal of this study is to develop an optimal energy control system (OECS), based on the concept of optimal energy for fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The energy of an aircraft is characterized by two parameters, which are specific energy distribution rate, driven by elevator, and total specific energy rate, driven by throttle. In this study, a system identification method was employed to obtain the energy model of a small UAV. The proposed approach consists of energy distribution loop and total energy loop. Energy distribution loop is designed based on linear-quadratic-Gaussian (LQG) regulator and is responsible for regulating specific energy distribution rate to zero. On the other hand, the total energy loop, based on simple gain scheduling method, is responsible for driving the error of total specific energy rate to zero. The implementation of OECS was successfully validated in the hard-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of the applied UAV. View Full-Text
Keywords: total energy control system; hard-in-the-loop simulation; unmanned aerial vehicle; system identification; linear-quadratic-Gaussian regulator total energy control system; hard-in-the-loop simulation; unmanned aerial vehicle; system identification; linear-quadratic-Gaussian regulator
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lai, Y.-C.; Ting, W.O. Design and Implementation of an Optimal Energy Control System for Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 369.

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