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An acceleration measurements-based approach for helicopter nonlinear flight control using Incremental Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Pedro V M Simplicio
  • Marilena Pavel
  • Erik-Jan van Kampen
  • Q.P. Chu
Original languageEnglish
JournalControl Engineering Practice
DatePublished - Aug 2013


Due to the inherent instabilities and nonlinearities of rotorcraft dynamics, its changing properties during flight and the engineering difficulties to predict its aerodynamics with high levels of fidelity, helicopter flight control requires the application of special strategies. These strategies must allow to cope with the nonlinearities of the system and assure robustness in the presence of inaccuracies and changes in configuration.In this paper, a novel approach based on an Incremental Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion is applied to simplify the design of helicopter flight controllers. With this strategy, by employing the feedback of acceleration measurements to avoid the need for information relative to any aerodynamic change, the control system does not need any model data that depends exclusively on its states, thus enhancing its robustness to model uncertainties.The overall control system is tested by simulating two tasks with distinct agility levels as described in the ADS-33 helicopter handling qualities standard. The analysis shows that the controller provides an efficient tracking of the commanded references. Furthermore, with the robustness properties verified within the range of inaccuracies expected to be found in reality, this novel method seems to be eligible for a potential practical implementation to helicopter vehicles.


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