Applied Nonlinear Control of Unmanned Vehicles with Uncertain Dynamics
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The presented research concerns the control of unmanned vehicles. The results introduced in this dissertation provide a solid control framework for a wide class of nonlinear uncertain systems, with a special emphasis on issues related to implementation, such as control input amplitude and rate saturation, or partial state measurements availability. More specifically, an adaptive control framework, allowing to enforce amplitude and rate saturation of the command, is developed. The motion control component of this framework, which works in conjunction with a saturation algorithm, is then specialized to different types of vehicles. Vertical take-off and landing aerial vehicles and a general class of autonomous marine vehicles are considered. A nonlinear control algorithm addressing the tracking problem for a class of underactuated, non-minimum phase marine vehicles is then introduced. This motion controller is extended, using direct and indirect adaptive techniques, to handle parametric uncertainties in the system model. Numerical simulations are used to illustrate the efficacy of the algorithms. Next, the output feedback control problem is treated, for a large class of nonlinear and uncertain systems. The proposed solution relies on a novel nonlinear observer which uses output measurements and partial knowledge of the systemâ s dynamics to reconstruct the entire state for a wide class of nonlinear systems. The observer is then extended to operate in conjunction with a full state feedback control law and solve both the output feedback control problem and the state observation problem simultaneously. The resulting output feedback control algorithm is then adjusted to provide a high level of robustness to both parametric and structural model uncertainties. Finally, in a natural extension of these results from motion control of a single system to collaborative control of a group of vehicles, a cooperative control framework addressing limited communication issues is introduced.
- Doctoral Dissertations 
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