Vertical Take-Off and Land (VTOL) Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) possess several desirable characteristics, such as being able to hover and take-off or land in confined areas. One type of VTOL airframe, the tailsitter, has all of these advantages, as well as being able to fly in the more energy-efficient level flight mode. The tailsitter can track trajectories that successfully transition between hover and level flight modes. Three methods for performing transitions are described: a simple controller, a feedback linearization controller, and an adaptive controller. An autopilot navigational state machine with appropriate transitioning between level and hover waypoints is also presented. The simple controller is useful for performing a immediate transition. It is very quick to react and maintains altitude during the maneuver, but tracking is not performed in the lateral direction. The feedback linearization controller and adaptive controller both perform equally well at tracking transition trajectories in lateral and longitudinal directions, but the adaptive controller requires knowledge of far fewer parameters.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Osborne, Stephen R., "Transitions Between Hover and Level Flight for a Tailsitter UAV" (2007). All Theses and Dissertations. 1441.
UAV, tailsitter, VTOL aircraft, adaptive control, MRAC, trajectory tracking, Magicc Lab