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Feedback Control of a Hovercraft over a Wireless Link

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Technical Report

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University of Maryland, College Park College Park United States

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Nonlinear underactuated systems i.e. systems with fewer control inputs than configuration variables present significant challenges for automatic control. This thesis explores feedback control of an underactuated hovercraft over a wireless communication channel using techniques from nonlinear control theory. A family of control laws stabilizing the hovercraft reduced dynamicsincluding zero velocity, constant forwardreverse velocity, and constant angular velocity stabilizationare derived. Lyapunov arguments are used to prove convergence of the reduced dynamics under the control laws. It is shown that heading cannot be stabilized by a continuously differentiable state feedback law. In response, two hybrid control algorithms for heading stabilization are proposed. The control laws are demonstrated on a real RC hovercraft using a distributed autopilot and a Bluetooth network. A two-dimensional aided INS is developed using a MEMs IMU and the CricketRFultrasonic ranging system. Experimental and simulated results from a high fidelity model are shown to agree nicely.

Subject Categories:

  • Helicopters
  • Navigation and Guidance
  • Statistics and Probability

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