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Engineering of Fast and Robust Adaptive Control for Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aircraft

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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As the demand for Unmanned Aerial System UAS technology increases, the current guidance, navigation, and control GNCalgorithms will scale poorly to meet the demand because currently, significant resources are required to certify flight controllers on an individual platform basis. As different airframes are introduced to meet the expanding mission requirements, the resources required to sustain the GNC certification demand will become a limiting factor in scalability. The feasibility of replacing conventional GNC techniques with modern adaptive control theory was conducted on a commercial-off-the-shelf COTS open-source autopilot. This enabled rapid prototyping and integration of an adaptive controller. The adaptive controller architecture was designed to be aircraft non-specific. This ensures the controller easily integrates into any aircraft, therefore minimizing the resource burden of tuning and certification. The adaptive controller tested in this research improved performance over the baseline controller and was rapidly integrated on multiple various airframes with minimal resources. Improved performance over classical feedback was achieved with fast and robust adaptation in multiple regimes of flight.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft

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