Energy evaluation of low-level control in UAVs powered by lithium polymer battery

Daniel C. Gandolfo*, Lucio R. Salinas, Mario E. Serrano, Juan M. Toibero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, the energetic cost of flying in electric-powered UAVs is one of the key challenges. The continuous evolution of electrical energy storage sources is overcome by the great amount of energy required by the propulsion system. Therefore, the on-board energy is a crucial factor that needs to be further analyzed. In this work, different control strategies applied to a generic UAV propulsion system are considered and a lithium polymer battery dynamic model is included as the propulsion system energy source. Several simulations are carried out for each control strategy, and a quantitative evaluation of the influence of each control law over the actual energy consumed by the propulsion system is reported. This energy, which is delivery by the battery, is next compared against a well-known control-effort-based index. The results and analysis suggest that conclusions regarding energy savings based on control effort signals should be drawn carefully, because they do not directly represent the actual consumed energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalISA Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ISA


  • Battery model
  • Control technique
  • Energy savings
  • Propulsion system
  • State of charge
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle


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