Design of Longitudinal Motion Controller of a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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Ahmed Elsayed 1,* Ashraf Hafez 1 A. N. Ouda 2 Hossam Eldin Hussein Ahmed 3 Hala Mohamed Abd-Elkader 1

1. Shoubra Faculty of Engineering, Benha University, Egypt

2. Military technical college, Cairo, Egypt

3. Faculty of Electronic Engineering, Menufiya University, Menouf, Egypt

* Corresponding author.


Received: 27 Jan. 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 Jul. 2015 / Published: 8 Sep. 2015

Index Terms

Nonlinear equations of motion, longitudinal motion controller, pitch tracker, altitude hold controller, sensors noise, environment effects


The need for autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is very interesting nowadays. Autonomous UAVs provide the possibility of performing tasks and missions that are currently hazardous or can cost humans or money, enable autonomous search, persistent combat intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and many other applications. This paper presents an overview of autopilot design with a detailed design of longitudinal autopilot of a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV). The designed autopilot is applied to an Ultrastick-25e fixed wing UAV depending on longitudinal linear model and analytic linear model with trimmed values of straight and leveling scenario. The longitudinal motion controller design is started with the design of most inner loop (pitch rate feedback) of the longitudinal system, then pitch tracker design with a Proportional Integral (PI)- controller. The guidance and control system is related with the design of altitude hold controller with P-controller as an example of outer loop controller design. The performance of two classic controller approaches for the design of autopilot are compared and evaluated for both linear and non-linear models. The proposed controller is chosen for design due to its higher performance than the classic one. At last the climbing turn scenario is applied to the whole autopilot (longitudinal and lateral) for the evaluation process. The results show a good performance in both disturbance rejection and robustness against sensors noise.

Cite This Paper

Ahmed Elsayed, Ashraf Hafez, A. N. Ouda, Hossam Eldin Hussein Ahmed, Hala Mohamed Abd-Elkader,"Design of Longitudinal Motion Controller of a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle", International Journal of Intelligent Systems and Applications(IJISA), vol.7, no.10, pp.37-47, 2015. DOI:10.5815/ijisa.2015.10.05


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