Special Issue "Aircraft Dynamics & Control"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Kamesh Subbarao
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019-0018, USA
Interests: aircraft dynamics, simulation & control; astrodynamics & celestial mechanics; modeling, estimation & control approaches for nonlinear and distributed parameter systems; cooperative control & coordination for multiple unmanned vehicle systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Applications of atmospheric flight dynamics and control encompass most fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft. With advances in computation, advanced materials, sensing, and actuation, novel flight concepts such as morphing aircraft, control configured vehicles, distributed and collocated sensor-actuator enabled aircraft are getting a lot more traction and mainstream acceptance. Flight dynamics and control essentially combines principles from aerodynamics, mechanics and control theory. In this context, even structural dynamics is a discipline very often tightly integrated with the aforementioned topics, especially in relation to aeroelasticity and aeroservoelasticity.

As such, flight dynamics and control are still studied and taught, in the classical sense, where the aerodynamic forces and moments are expressed as functions of vehicle states to facilitate analysis. While these traditional methods are suitable for conventional aircraft motion, the nonlinear interactions in proximity operation of two aircraft (such as aerial refueling), carrier deck landing (influence of carrier wake on the approaching aircraft) in high sea states call for a different approach and need non-classical treatment of the dynamics and control problems. Better modeling of aerodynamic coupling and the nonlinear effects will enhance our understanding of the flight dynamics, which, in turn, enables the engineer and the practitioner to devise suitable control laws.

This collection invites papers that address the areas of flight dynamics and control of atmospheric flight vehicles (mostly fixed-wing and rotorcraft). Of interest are papers that address nonlinear regimes of flight, analysis and recovery from departure modes, dynamics of non-traditional aircraft, rotorcraft, guidance, navigation, and control, use of computational tools for real-time flight control synthesis, performance optimization, control allocation and reconfiguration, inflight stall margin predictions, certifiable non-linear control algorithms.

Assoc. Prof. Kamesh Subbarao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • autonomous systems
  • aerodynamic technologies
  • guidance navigation and control
  • fixed-wing aircraft
  • rotorcraft
  • reconfigurable/fault tolerant control
  • flight dynamics
  • carrier deck landing
  • real-time performance optimization
  • certifiable non-linear control
  • control allocation
  • stall margin prediction
  • recovery from departure modes
  • aeroelasticity and aeroservoelasticity
  • morphing aircraft
  • aircraft proximity operations (refueling, formation flight)

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Robust Autoland Design by Multi-Model ℋ Synthesis with a Focus on the Flare Phase
Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace5010018 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recent advances in the resolution of multi-model and multi-objective control problems via non-smooth optimization are exploited to provide a novel methodology in the challenging context of autoland design. Based on the structured H control framework, this paper focuses on the demanding flare [...] Read more.
Recent advances in the resolution of multi-model and multi-objective control problems via non-smooth optimization are exploited to provide a novel methodology in the challenging context of autoland design. Based on the structured H control framework, this paper focuses on the demanding flare phase under strong wind conditions and parametric uncertainties. More precisely, the objective is to control the vertical speed of the aircraft before touchdown while minimizing the impact of windshear, ground effects, and airspeed variations. The latter is indeed no longer controlled accurately during flare and strongly affected by wind. In addition, parametric uncertainties are to be considered when designing the control laws. To this purpose, extending previous results published by the authors in a conference paper, a specific multi-model strategy taking into account variations of mass and center-of-gravity location is considered. The methodology is illustrated on a realistic aircraft benchmark proposed by the authors, which is fully described in this paper and freely available from the SMAC (Systems Modeling Analysis & Control) toolbox website (http://w3.onera.fr/smac). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Dynamics & Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Robust Control Design for Quad Tilt-Wing UAV
Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace5010017 - 07 Feb 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper describes the design method of a flight control system of a Quad Tilt-Wing (QTW) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A QTW-UAV is necessary to design a controller considering its nonlinear dynamics because of the appearance of the nonlinearity during transition flight between [...] Read more.
This paper describes the design method of a flight control system of a Quad Tilt-Wing (QTW) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A QTW-UAV is necessary to design a controller considering its nonlinear dynamics because of the appearance of the nonlinearity during transition flight between hovering and level flight. A design method of a flight control system using Dynamic Inversion (DI) that is one of linearization method has been proposed for the UAV. However, the design method based on an accurate model has a possibility of deterioration of control performance and system stability. Therefore, we propose a flight control system that considers uncertainties such as modeling error and disturbances by applying an H-infinity controller to the linearized system. The validity of the proposed control system is verified through numerical simulation and experiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Dynamics & Control)
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Open AccessArticle
A Macroscopic Performance Analysis of NASA’s Northrop Grumman RQ-4A
Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace5010006 - 10 Jan 2018
Abstract
This paper presents the process of identification, from a macroscopic point of view, of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk Remote-Piloted Aircraft System from real, but limited flight information. Performance parameters and operational schemes will be extracted by analyzing available data from two [...] Read more.
This paper presents the process of identification, from a macroscopic point of view, of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk Remote-Piloted Aircraft System from real, but limited flight information. Performance parameters and operational schemes will be extracted by analyzing available data from two specific science flights flown by the Global Hawk back in 2010. Each phase of the flight, take-off, climb, cruise climb, descent and landing, is analyzed from various points of view: speed profile, altitude, climb/descent ratios and rate of turn. The key performance parameters derived from individual flights will be confirmed by performing a wider statistical validation with additional flight trajectories. Derived data are exploited to validate a simulated RQ-4A vehicle employed in extensive real-time air traffic management simulated integration exercises and to complement the development of a future RQ-4A trajectory predictor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Dynamics & Control)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Testing-Based Approach to Determining the Divergence Speed of Slung Loads
Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace5010024 - 28 Feb 2018
Abstract
When a rotorcraft carries an external slung load, flight speed is often limited by the fear of divergent oscillations, rather than vehicle performance. Since slung objects can be of any shape, incorporating the aerodynamics with sufficient accuracy to predict safe speed has been [...] Read more.
When a rotorcraft carries an external slung load, flight speed is often limited by the fear of divergent oscillations, rather than vehicle performance. Since slung objects can be of any shape, incorporating the aerodynamics with sufficient accuracy to predict safe speed has been a problem. The uncertainty forces certifying authorities to set conservative limits on speed to avoid divergence. Obtaining the aerodynamic coefficients of bluff bodies was excessively time-consuming in experiments, and impractical in computations. This review traces the evolution of progress in the area. Prior thinking was to use computations for prediction, with the computational codes validated using a few samples of experiments. This approach has not led to valid general predictions. Data were sparse and a-priori predictions were rarer. A continuous rotation approach has enabled swift measurements of 6-degrees-of-freedom aerodynamic load maps with high resolution about several axes of rotation. The resulting knowledge base in turn permits a swift determination of dynamics up to divergence, with wind tunnel tests where necessary to fill interpolation gaps in the knowledge base. The essence of efficient and swift dynamics simulation with a few well-tested assumptions is described. Under many relevant conditions, the vehicle flight dynamics can be safely decoupled from those of the slung load. While rotor wake swirl causes the payload to rotate at liftoff and landing, this effect can be incorporated into the simulation. Recent success in explaining two well-documented flight test cases provides strong evidence that predictions can be made for most missions swiftly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Dynamics & Control)
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