eVTOL, UAV, Nonlinear Control, Trajectory Tracking, Urban Air Mobility
Current control methods for winged eVTOL UAVs consider the vehicle primarily as a fixed-wing aircraft with the addition of vertical thrust used only during takeoff and landing. These methods provide good long-range flight handling but fail to consider the full dynamics of the vehicle for tracking complex trajectories. We present a trajectory tracking controller for the full dynamics of a winged eVTOL UAV in hover, fixed-wing, and partially transitioned flight scenarios. We show that in low- to moderate-speed flight, trajectory tracking can be achieved using a variety of pitch angles. In these conditions, the pitch of the vehicle is a free variable which we use to minimize the necessary thrust, and therefore energy consumption, of the vehicle. We use a geometric attitude controller and an airspeed-dependent control allocation scheme to operate the vehicle at a wide range of airspeeds, flight path angles, and angles of attack. We provide simulation results and theoretical guarantees for the stability of the proposed control scheme assuming a standard aerodynamic model.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Willis, Jacob and Beard, Randal W., "Nonlinear Trajectory Tracking Control for Winged eVTOL UAVs" (2021). Faculty Publications. 5011.
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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