Intelligent control of a ducted fan VTOL UAV with conventional control surfaces

Omar, Z 2010, Intelligent control of a ducted fan VTOL UAV with conventional control surfaces, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Intelligent control of a ducted fan VTOL UAV with conventional control surfaces
Author(s) Omar, Z
Year 2010
Abstract Utilizing UAVs for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is beneficial in both military and civil applications. The best candidates for successful close range ISR missions are small VTOL UAVs with high speed capability. Existing UAVs suffer from the design tradeoffs that are usually required, in order to have both VTOL capability and high speed flight performance. In this thesis, we consider a novel UAV design configuration combining several important design elements from rotorcraft, ducted-fan, tail-sitter, and fixed-wing vehicles. While the UAV configuration is more towards the VTOL type, high speed flight is achieved by performing a transition maneuver from vertical attitude to horizontal attitude. In this unique approach, the crucial characteristics of VTOL and high speed flight are attained in a single UAV design. The capabilities of this vehicle come with challenges of which one of the major ones is the development an effective autonomous controller for the full flight envelope. Ducted-fan type UAVs are unstable platform with highly nonlinear behaviour, and with complex aerodynamic, which lead to inaccuracies in the estimation of the vehicle dynamics. Conventional control approaches have limitations in dealing with all these issues. A promising solution to a ducted-fan flight control problem is to use fuzzy logic control. Unlike conventional control approaches, fuzzy logic has the ability of replicating some of the ways of how humans make decisions. Furthermore, it can handle nonlinear models and it can be developed in a relatively short time, as it does not require the complex mathematics associated with classical control theory. In this study, we explore, develop, and implement an intelligent autonomous fuzzy logic controller for a given ducted-fan UAV through a series of simulations.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) VTOL
Ducted-fan UAV
Autonomous Flight Control
Fuzzy logic
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Created: Fri, 10 Dec 2010, 15:47:25 EST
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