Robust Control Design and Analysis for Small Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aircraft Systems Using Integral Quadratic Constraints
Palframan, Mark C.
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The main contributions of this work are applications of robust control and analysis methods to complex engineering systems, namely, small fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Multiple path-following controllers for a small fixed-wing Telemaster UAS are presented, including a linear parameter-varying (LPV) controller scheduled over path curvature. The controllers are synthesized based on a lumped path-following and UAS dynamic system, effectively combining the six degree-of-freedom aircraft dynamics with established parallel transport frame virtual vehicle dynamics. The robustness and performance of these controllers are tested in a rigorous MATLAB simulation environment that includes steady winds, turbulence, measurement noise, and delays. After being synthesized off-line, the controllers allow the aircraft to follow prescribed geometrically defined paths bounded by a maximum curvature. The controllers presented within are found to be robust to the disturbances and uncertainties in the simulation environment. A robust analysis framework for mathematical validation of flight control systems is also presented. The framework is specifically developed for the complete uncertainty characterization, quantification, and analysis of small fixed-wing UAS. The analytical approach presented within is based on integral quadratic constraint (IQC) analysis methods and uses linear fractional transformations (LFTs) on uncertainties to represent system models. The IQC approach can handle a wide range of uncertainties, including static and dynamic, linear time-invariant and linear time-varying perturbations. While IQC-based uncertainty analysis has a sound theoretical foundation, it has thus far mostly been applied to academic examples, and there are major challenges when it comes to applying this approach to complex engineering systems, such as UAS. The difficulty mainly lies in appropriately characterizing and quantifying the uncertainties such that the resulting uncertain model is representative of the physical system without being overly conservative, and the associated computational problem is tractable. These challenges are addressed by applying IQC-based analysis tools to analyze the robustness of the Telemaster UAS flight control system. Specifically, uncertainties are characterized and quantified based on mathematical models and flight test data obtained in house for the Telemaster platform and custom autopilot. IQC-based analysis is performed on several time-invariant H∞ controllers along with various sets of uncertainties aimed at providing valuable information for use in controller analysis, controller synthesis, and comparison of multiple controllers. The proposed framework is also transferable to other fixed-wing UAS platforms, effectively taking IQC-based analysis beyond academic examples to practical application in UAS control design and airworthiness certification. IQC-based analysis problems are traditionally solved using convex optimization techniques, which can be slow and memory intensive for large problems. An oracle for discrete-time IQC analysis problems is presented to facilitate the use of a cutting plane algorithm in lieu of convex optimization in order to solve large uncertainty analysis problems relatively quickly, and with reasonable computational effort. The oracle is reformulated to a skew-Hamiltonian/Hamiltonian eigenvalue problem in order to improve the robustness of eigenvalue calculations by eliminating unnecessary matrix multiplications and inverses. Furthermore, fast, structure exploiting eigensolvers can be employed with the skew-Hamiltonian/Hamiltonian oracle to accurately determine critical frequencies when solving IQC problems. Applicable solution algorithms utilizing the IQC oracle are briefly presented, and an example shows that these algorithms can solve large problems significantly faster than convex optimization techniques. Finally, a large complex engineering system is analyzed using the oracle and a cutting-plane algorithm. Analysis of the same system using the same computer hardware failed when employing convex optimization techniques.
- Doctoral Dissertations