Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Robust Control Algorithm for Drones

Written By

Parul Priya and Sushma S. Kamlu

Submitted: 03 June 2022 Reviewed: 20 June 2022 Published: 19 August 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.105966

From the Edited Volume

Aeronautics - New Advances

Edited by Zain Anwar Ali and Dragan Cvetković

Chapter metrics overview

255 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


Drones, also known as Crewless Aircrafts (CAs), are by far the most multi - level and multi developing technologies of the modern period. This technology has recently found various uses in the transportation area, spanning from traffic monitoring applicability to traffic engineering for overall traffic flow and efficiency improvements. Because of its non-linear characteristics and under-actuated design, the CA seems to be an excellent platform to control systems study. Following a brief overview of the system, the various evolutionary and robust control algorithms were examined, along with their benefits and drawbacks. In this chapter, a mathematical and theoretical model of a CA’s dynamics is derived, using Euler’s and Newton’s laws. The result is a linearized version of the model, from which a linear controller, the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR), is generated. Furthermore, the performance of these nonlinear control techniques is compared to that of the LQR. Feedback-linearization controller when implemented in the simulation for the chapter, the results for the same was better than any other algorithm when compared with. The suggested regulatory paradigm of the CA-based monitoring system and analysis study will be the subject of future research, with a particular emphasis on practical applications.


  • crewless aircrafts (CA)
  • dynamic controller
  • adaptive controller
  • robust controller
  • LQR
  • PID
  • ANN

1. Introduction

Crewless Aircrafts (CAs) are becoming more common in a variety of industries, including reconnaissance, aerial reconnaissance, rescue operations missions as first responders, and industrial automation. CAs outperform their competitors due to their small size and strong manoeuvrability, allowing them to easily navigate complex trajectories. A CA is a mechanism featuring 6-D-o-F however and four control inputs: the rotor speeds. Individual rotor speeds are adjusted to provide the thrust as well as torques needed to propel the CA. The axis of a CA have to be skewed with respect to the vertical to accomplish propulsion in a specific direction [1]. CA kinematics and control are thus complicated since the CA’s translational motion is connected with its angular orientation.

Prior to controller design, mathematical modelling is perhaps the most important stage in understanding system dynamics. The Newton–Euler and Euler–Lagrange approaches are used to derive the differential equations that govern CA dynamics. Due to modelling limitations, complex interactions such as blades flapping but also rotors stiffness effects are frequently overlooked [2]. CA control is primarily concerned with two types of issues: attitude stability and trajectory tracking. There are three types of controllers used for this purpose: linear controls, model-based nonlinear controllers, and learning-based controllers. Multirotor stand out among CAs for their manoeuvrability, stability, and payload. Initially, the goal of these vehicles’ research was to find controllers capable of maintaining their attitude, as well as the fastest and most powerful dynamics [3]. Backstepping, Feedback-linearization, Sliding Mode, optimum regulation, PID, adaptive control, learning-based control, and other strategies have been used to tackle the stabilisation control problem for the specific instance of a CA.

The difficulty for CAs nowadays is trajectory controls, fault - tolerance control, path planning, or obstacle avoidance, given that stability control has been extensively explored. The trajectory control problem, which is defined as getting a vehicle to follow a pre-determined course in space, can be solved using one of two methods: a trajectory tracking controllers and perhaps a path following controller [4]. A reference described in time is tracked about the trajectory tracking issue, where the path’s references are provided by something like a temporal evolution from each spatial coordinate. Path following (PF) provides a solution of following the path with no pre-assigned timing information, removing the problem’s time dependence [5].

Because the quantity, as well as the complexity of implementations for such systems, is increasing on a daily basis, the control techniques used must likewise improve to provide improved performance and versatility. Considering computational ease and reliable hover flight, simple linear control algorithms were previously used. However, with improved modelling techniques and faster on-board processing capabilities, real-time implementation of comprehensive nonlinear techniques has become a reality. Nonlinear techniques promise to improve the performance and robustness of these systems quickly. This chapter discusses various ways to CA automatic control [6]. The system dynamics are used to design specific linear and nonlinear control strategies.

1.1 Motivation

CA support to various ground domains or terrestrial networks has lately been identified as a critical success factor for a large number of jobs that require significant enhancement of timeframe, connectivity, and flexibility. As a result, a really well notion of this paradigm must be precisely specified while taking into account the various CA criteria. This enables CAs to better support ground-users (GUs) and complete their assigned tasks. CAs can overcome communication gaps in ground networks and monitor hostile settings or disaster zones [3]. Aside from the traditional CA difficulties, a number of new ones, including such technical and standardisation considerations, societal privacy and safety, and mobility optimization, require further attention. The possible benefits of CAs raise the following concerns:

  • What are the control methodologies and advantageous for establish a CA flight control across a terrestrial flight?

  • What is the best number of CAs and mobility models to use in a particular scenario?

  • How can CAs improve ground network performance as well as better serve GUs?

Inspired from the afforested questions, we present a full overview of CA’s extant achievements and control mechanisms in this chapter.

1.2 Classification

CAs differ in terms of weight, size, kind, altitude, payload, and a variety of other characteristics. According to their type and height, they can be divided into two broad categories (Figure 1). Both category have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Various sorts of CAs are utilised depending on the application scenario. Table 1 shows the classification of CAs.

Figure 1.

Classification of CAs on the basis of the design.

Fixed wing-based
  • Comparatively Simpler Design

  • Simpler maintenance mechanism

  • Aerodynamically steady

  • Improved energy efficiency - Longer flight times with less energy and cost

  • For take-off and landing, need a runway or a launcher.

  • must go forward in a steady moving pace and cannot hover in one place

Rotary wing- based
  • Able to Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)

  • No need for Landing/Takeoff plot

  • Capable for manoeuvring for agile functioning and hover

  • Rigour flying

  • Aerodynamically not very steady and needed on-board computers

  • Comparatively complicated programming and structure

  • Low at energy efficacy

Table 1.

Classifications of CA.

Classification based on the weight of UA (Unmanned Aircraft) as follows:

  • Micro: less than 2 kilogrammes (<2 kg).

  • Mini: Greater than 2 kilogrammes and less than 20 kilogrammes (2–20 kg).

  • Small: Greater than 20 kilogrammes and less than 150 kilogrammes (20–150 kg).

  • Large: Greater than 150 kilogrammes (>150 kg).

Typical physical parameters of small CAs for commercial applications can be summarised as follows as in Table 2.

Take-off weight6–16 lb
Airframe weight5–9 lb
Wing span5–7 ft
Fuselage length4–8 ft
CA speed20–30 mph
Payload5–10 lb
Flight endurance10–25 h
Rating of electric motor1 kW or 1.35 HP (some CAs use gasoline engine, while others use an electric motor)
Take-off speed15–20 mph
Landing speed15-20mph
Runway length40–60 ft
Maximum climb speed16 ft./s
Turn radius35–50 ft
Flight altitude50–6000 ft.(max)
Radio control range3–5 km

Table 2.

Technical parameters of CAs.


2. State of art in CA

CA, sometimes known as drones, has had robust growth in the previous 5 years all over the world. The model UAS fleet is expected to grow from 1.25 million entity to about 1.39 million by 2023, according to the study aerospace projection fiscal years 2019–2039, while the non-model CA fleet is expected to rise from 277,000 CA to over 835,000 CA by 2023. CA’s beneficial applications have the potentiality for saving lives, improving safety and efficiency, and allow for more impactful engineering as well as research [7]. Designers experimenting with small CA for a variety of purposes such as aerial surveillance as well as personal recreational flying, entrepreneurs exploring parcel and medical supply delivery, and search and rescue missions are just a few examples.

While CA have their origins in military uses, they have recently become more helpful towards scientific and commercial purposes [8, 9]. Remote sensing, georeferencing, cartography, customs and border protection, investigation, rescue operations, fire espial, agronomic imaging, traffic surveillance systems, and package delivery are just a few of the applications they have recently discovered around the world.

Due to the rapid growth of CA technology, the extensive usefulness of CAs for numerous applications has been recognised, ranging from transportation services to disaster search and rescue.

While many current control systems still rely heavily on the availability of precise mathematical models (e.g., Model-Predictive-Control (MPC) [10], linear quadratic Gaussian [11, 12], backstepping [13], as well as gain scheduling [14]), this article evaluates extra versatile and intelligent approaches by emphasising the value of evolutionary computation to resolve the actual constraints of model-based control systems.

When building a robust flight control system, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first issue is the closed-loop control’s robustness in the presence of uncertainties [11], including unpredictably extremely high air passes (e.g., violent wind gusts) and modelling errors. A small CA’s mobility can be extremely vulnerable to wind gusts, which might cause the system to deviate from its intended trajectories. This phenomenon can also result in large overshoots and tracking offsets, both of which are undesirable in terms of safety and efficiency.

While many current dynamic control systems still rely significantly on mathematical equations of the subsystems (e.g., gains scheduling [14] as well as feedback linearization strategies), these approaches may be excessively complex or unworkable in some cases. Gain scheduling control, for example, has been considered one of the most historically dominant adaptive control approaches, but it has a number of technical flaws. Because it significantly leans on the linearization technique of the aviation dynamics over numerous places in the performance envelope, as well as several joint interpolation approaches, the system is extremely mathematical and time-consuming. It could potentially result in a system that lacks global property. Furthermore, in the absence of thorough mathematical models, feedback linearization could be impractical.

Despite the positive results, MBC-based designs face a hurdle in that they rely on the correctness of the mathematical model of a real plant. According to imprecise system information and omnipresent exogenous disruptions, a poorly developed or described model might have a negative impact on later controller synthesis, resulting in inadequate performances or even instability. Uncertainties and disturbances of this nature can be categorised as follows:

  • Parametric uncertainties: These are typically caused by incorrect modelling and/or system depreciation (e.g., inertia changes as well as mass, etc).

  • Stochastic dynamics: These are difficult-to-model, ill-defined, and purposefully neglected components of a nonlinear model, such as sophisticated aerodynamic effects such blade flapping [15], airflow effect [16], ground and ceiling impact [11, 12], and so on.

  • Disruptions and noise: Disturbances might include things like gusty winds and turbulence, whereas noise mostly relates to sensor noise. Because the statistical features of sensor noise are typically non-Gaussian in actuality, the assumptions considered may not be realistic.

To address these issues, a variety of modern control systems have been offered, each with its own set of benefits, restrictions, and drawbacks. Gain Scheduling (GS) [10], for example, is a frequently used strategy that shows good capabilities in dealing with parametric variations and nonlinearities, but frequent and fast changes in the controller gains might make the system unstable [13]. Furthermore, as noted in [14], the cost of implementation rises with the frequency of functioning points. Robust control, on the other hand, is effective when dealing with constrained parametric uncertainties, but it has drawbacks when dealing with boundless ones or stochastic dynamics [17, 18]. Adaptive control is a potential method for managing parametric uncertainties (because to its real-time adaptation strength); nonetheless, there are few commonly acknowledged approaches here to robust adaptive control issue so far [19]. The sliding control technique has been demonstrated to be resistant to modelling mistakes and parameter uncertainty, however frequent controller switches can cause chattering. Furthermore, when exogenous disruptions occur, the insensitivity to parameter changes characteristics may cause problems with self-stabilisation. Last but not least, thanks to using a continually updated model, namely an ultra-local model, Model-Free Control (MFC) approaches that have arisen to tackle stochastic dynamic behaviour as well as ambiguities of nonlinear systems have exhibited outstanding adaptation and estimating capabilities. However, for the time being, this methodology is confined to system dynamics that can be turned into Single-Input Single-Output (SISO) subsystem. There are other issues with analytic stability and evidence of convergence. ANNs have been used to analyse complicated control systems in order to solve the previously mentioned limitations of MBC-based solutions. This is primarily due to ANNs’ perceived advantages in structural analysis and controller design [14, 20], which include their ability to recognise stochastic and multinomial systems [21, 22], their capacity to adapt in real-time, and their relatively simple computation methodology and hardware implementation.

As a result of these characteristics, ANNs are a fantastic tool for building the systems underneath prototype of high accuracy and low sophistication, even if it is distorted by uncertainties and disturbances, as well as for facilitating the implementation process and improving real-time performance. Regardless, there are still obstacles owing to their data-driven essence that limit their industrial applications, to some extent, due to various: a need for huge datasets of training data; the tendency to learn spurious relationships, which can lead to poor generalisation functionalities [23]; dearth of readability due to their own black-box characteristics [24]; and the lack of a structured method for pertaining ANN architecture designs [25] (In other words, given a certain ANN design, the number of hidden layers and synapses, the sort of perceptron, weight update algorithms, and so on are often decided haphazardly than in a structured manner).


3. Dynamic model of CA

Quad-rotor CA systems typically have a cross “X” or plus “+” structure with four rotors attached to each side of the structure. When at the time all of four rotors revolve in the likewise direction, the quad rotor produces a vertical upward lift force, allowing it to move in landing positions, pitch, hover, yaw, roll, take-off.

Two frames, a reference Earth frame as well as a quad-rotor frame, can be used to define and characterise quad-rotor dynamics. Rotational and translational dynamics with 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) are common.

The following is a summary of the deciding set for 6DoF equation that describe the dynamic model of a conventional CA including a longitudinal axis of symmetry treated as a rigid body (Figure 2).


Figure 2.

CAs’ movements and angles description.

The aforementioned differential equations are nonlinear, linked, which means that each differential equation is dependent on variables that are represented by other nonlinear equations. In most cases, the analytical answers are unknown, and the only way to solve them is numerical. The free motion of a solid body subject to extrinsic forces Fb=XYZT and moments) Mb=LMNT is described by 12 states. These variables are known as state variables in control system design because they entirely characterise the state of a physical system at any given moment. For completeness, the state variables are presented in Table 3.

r=rxryrzTCA’s inertial position vector and its components
Vbg=uvwTBody frame, the components of inertial velocity vector is settled.
ϕθψEuler angles describe the position of body frame in relation to inertial ref. frame.
w=pqrTBody-fixed frame, angular inertial rates are settled.

Table 3.

6DoF equations of motion state variables.

3.1 Problem statement

Nonlinear rotational dynamics can cause hindrance in actuated control torques when paired with modest imperfections in rotating alignments and propeller defects. With the help of internal feedback control scheme for the quadrotor attitude can eliminate the influence of these. External disturbances such as gusty winds, aerodynamic interacts with neighbouring structures, and ground impacts can all be compensated for using the same attitude controller.

In order to create and deploy robust control mechanisms for quadrotor CAs, the following technical difficulties must be explored in a research.

  1. How to develop a dynamic inversion models to improve the performance of a PID controller.

  2. How to include a LQR into the responsive method of improving controller resilience in the context of nonlinearities, variable incompatibility, and wind perturbations.

  3. Application of the LQR-based dynamical inversion control system in practise.


4. Control strategies

The most significant component of the control system is the controller. It is in charge of the control system’s performance. It is a mechanism or method that works to keep the amount of the process variable at a predetermined level.

Based on the input(s), a control method can direct its output(s) to a specific value, complete a sequence of events, or execute an action if the terms are met. The controllers are useful for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Controllers increase steady-state accuracy by lowering steady-state error [4, 26].

  • With the improvement in accuracy for the steady-state, so does the stability [2].

  • Controllers also aid in decreasing the system’s undesired offsets [27].

  • The maximum overrun of the system can be controlled using controllers [28, 29].

  • Controllers can aid in the reduction of noise signals generated by the system [2, 30].

  • Controllers can help boost an overdamped system’s slow reaction.

In this section, we’ll go through the most prevalent path-following control schemes and algorithms. The algorithms are divided into subsections and compared qualitatively. Several control techniques have been implemented due to the CA’s dynamics. Fuzzy logic, LQR (LQG), NN, Proportional Integral Derivative (PID), Sliding Mode Control (SMC), and other control systems can be employed [31, 32]. To deal with parameterized uncertainties and external disturbances, robust control systems are extensively developed. Several methods for CA or unsupervised robot path planning have been proposed in recent years. CA translational and rotational restrictions are rarely taken into account by these methods, hence they are rarely useful in practise [33]. Population-based genetic operators have made significant progress recently as a result of developments of swarm intelligence technology [34], and they continue to have a strong ability to find the best answer in a somewhat more efficient and adaptable manner. Using this strategy, an increasing number of researchers have focused on CA path planning. Artificial bee colony approach (ABC), ant-colony-approach (ACO), genetic-algorithm (GA), and particle swarm algorithm are the most often utilised algorithms (PSO) [35]. The necessity about a robust nonlinear controller in multirotor CAs is dictated by uncertainties originating through propeller rotation, blade flap, shift in propeller rotational speed, and centre of mass position [36]. Each control system, as one might imagine, has certain set of advantages and disadvantages. There were both linear as well as non-linear control designs employed.

One of the control techniques is linear (LQG), whereas the other two are nonlinear (Dynamic feedback and dynamic n-version having nil-dynamics stabilisation provide perfect linearization and non-interacting control [37]). There are several similarities made between these control strategies.

4.1 PID

A diverse variety of controller applications have used the PID-controller. It is, without a doubt, the most widely used controller in industry. The traditional PID linear controllers has the advantages of being easy to alter parameter gains, being simple to construct, and having strong resilience. However, non-linearity connected with both the precise mathematical and the imprecise character of the model to determine to unmodeled or faulty mathematical modelling of a few of the dynamics are two of the CA’s key issues [38]. As a result, using a PID-controller on the CA reduces its performance. The attitude stabilisation of a CA was done with a PID-controller, while the altitude control was done with a Dynamic-Surface-Control (DSC). Researchers were able to verify that all CA signals were uniformly ultimately confined using Lyapunov stability criteria. This signified that now the CA was sturdy enough to hover. The PID-controller, on the other hand, appears to been performed better in pitch angle tracking, although substantial steady-state errors were noted in roll angle tracking [39], according to the model and the experimental plots. The PID-controller was successfully used to the CA, however with significant limitations, according to the literature.

Tuning the PID-controller might be difficult because it must be done around the equilibrium position, which would be the hover point, in order to achieve better results (Figure 3).

Figure 3.

Depicts the PID-controller bock diagram.

The time domain outcome of such a PID controller, that is equivalent to the control signal to the plant, is computed from the feedback inaccuracy as follows:


First, using the diagram shown above, examine how the PID controller operates in a closed-loop system. The tracking error is represented by the variable (e), which is the gap between the actual actual output (Y) and the desired output (r). This error signal (e) is sent into the PID controller, which computes for both derivative and integral of the error function with respect to time. The proportional gain (Kp) times of the magnitude of the difference adds the integral gain (Ki) repeats the integration of the error in addition of the derivative gain (Kd) times of the derivative for error equals the control signal (u).

The plant receives this control signal (u) and produces the new output (Y). The new output (Y) is then sent back into the loop and evaluated to the reference signal to determine a new error amplitude (e). The controller uses the new error signal to update the control input. This process continues as long as the controller is active.

The Laplace transform of Expression (5) is used to calculate the transfer function for such PID controller.


4.2 LQR

By minimising a suitable cost function, the LQR optimal-control method manages a dynamic system. Boubdallar and colleagues tested the LQR-algorithm on a CA and compared it to the PID-controller’s performance. The PID been used on the CA’s simplified kinematics, whereas, LQR is used on the entire model. Both of approaches produced not so good results, but it seemed evident, the LQR strategy performed better attributed to the reason that it has been implemented to a more comprehensive dynamic model [40]. Upon the comprehensive dynamic system of the CA, a basic trail LQR controller was deployed. Despite the existence of gust and other disturbances, accurate pathway following been demonstrated using simulation utilising of optimal real-time trajectory (ies). After evading a barrier, the controller appeared to lose track. Its effectiveness in the face of several challenges was still being studied.

The LQR technique becomes the Linear-Quadratic-Gaussian (LQG) when combined including a Linear-Quadratic-Estimator (LQE) as well as a Kalman Filter. Considering systems having Gaussian noise and partial state information, this approach is used. In hover mode, the LQG using integral action was used to stabilise the inclination of a CA with good results. The upside of the whole LQG controller is that it can be implemented without having entire state information (Figure 4).

Figure 4.

Schematic representation of a CA’s LQG controller.

If output is to reflect reference r, therefore adding an integrator and specifying error state (e) is integrator output, with is difference between system input and output:


Equation (7) describe a dynamic system.


4.3 Linearization of feedback

Through a change in variables, feedback-linearization control scheme convert a complex nonlinear model into more of an equivalent linear-system. The reduction of granularity due to linearization and the need for a specific set for implementation are two drawbacks of feedback-linearization [41]. On a CA with having dynamic changes in its centre of gravity, feedback-linearization was used as an adaptive control approach for stabilisation and trajectory tracking. When the CA’s centre of gravity shifted, the controller proved able to stabilise and reorganise it in real time [42, 43]. In order to develop a path-following controller, feedback-linearization as well as input dynamic inversion had been used. This allowed the designer to describe the control performance and yaw angle as more of a function as displacement anywhere along path. Two simulation scenarios were evaluated, with the CA cruising at varying speeds throughout the course. The airspeed and yaw angle convergence was seen in both circumstances. In, adaptable sliding mode control was compared to feedback-linearization [14, 44]. The feedback controller proved very vulnerable to sensor noise but not robust, even with simplified dynamics. Under noisy conditions, the SMC operated effectively, and adaptability was able to anticipate uncertainty including ground effect [17]. As a result, nonlinear feedback-linearization control has good-tracking yet poor-disturbance rejection. However, when feed-back-linearization is combined with that another approach that is less sensitive to noise, good results are obtained.

4.4 Intelligent adaptive control (artificial-neural-networks and fuzzy-logic controller)

Two simulation scenarios were evaluated, with the CA cruising at varying speeds throughout the course. The airspeed and yaw angle convergence was seen in both circumstances. In, adaptable sliding mode control was compared to feedback-linearization. The feedback controller proved very vulnerable to sensor noise but not robust, even with simplified dynamics. Under noisy conditions, the SMC operated effectively, and adaptability was able to anticipate uncertainty including ground effect [45]. As a result, nonlinear feedback-linearization control has good tracking yet poor disturbance rejection [46]. However, when feed-back linearization is combined with another approach that is less sensitive to noise, good results are obtained. The use of a trial and error strategy to tune input variables was, however, a key shortcoming of this study. The strategy was shown to be more effective in terms of achieving the target attitude as well as reducing weight drift [47]. To learn the whole dynamics of the CA, including unmodeled dynamics, outputting feedback control been implemented on a CA employing NN for leader-follower CA generation. From four control inputs, a virtual NN control was used to govern all 6DoF. In the context of a sinusoidal disturbance, an adaptive neural network approach was used to stabilise CAs. Decreased error function and so no weight drifts were achieved using the proposed technique of two simultaneous single hidden layers (Figures 5 and 6).

Figure 5.

On the CA, a schematic representation of FLC.

Figure 6.

On the CA, a schematic representation of ANN.


5. Matlab-simulink result and comparison

In this chapter, we display the Mat lab-Simulink findings and discuss the divergence between the various controllers shown above. The step-response of the endogenous variable x, y, z and ψ is shown for each control, followed by the double circular or elliptical trajectories along the simulated outcomes.

With LQR control is utilised, some distinctive characteristics of the step-response are shown using Table 4 (Figures 7 and 8).

Figure 7.

The LQR’s Yaw and position for a step-input response.

Figure 8.

Exact linearization position and yaw response with no interfering control by dynamic-feedback to a step-input.

Table 5 depicts the exact linearization position and yaw response with no interfering control by dynamic-feedback to a step-input (Figure 9).

Figure 9.

Dynamic inversion’s position and yaw response to a step input with zero-dynamics stabilisation.

Table 6 Exhibits some typical features from the step response, while using dynamic inversion using zero-dynamics stabilisation control.

5.1 Comparison

Whenever different Controllers are used, the step-response of the dependent variable x, y, z, and ψ is shown in the diagram below (Figure 10).

Figure 10.

The three controls’ position and yaw responses to a step-input.

Tables 710 demonstrate some of the step response’s characteristic parameters, where D-FBL denotes Dynamic-Feedback-Linearization and S-FBL denotes Static-Feedback-Linearization.


Table 4.

Distinctive characteristics of the step-response.


Table 5.

Distinctive characteristics of the step-response.


Table 6.

Distinctive characteristics of the step-response.


Table 7.

Using the control techniques discussed above, assign distinguishing attributes for a step response to x (t) variable.


Table 8.

Using the control techniques discussed above, assign characteristic attributes for a step input to y (t) variable.


Table 9.

Using the control techniques discussed above, assign characteristic attributes for a step input to z(t) variable.


Table 10.

Using the control techniques discussed above, assign characteristic attributes to a step input to (t) variable.

We can deduce the following from the information shown in these tables:

  • The LQR’s control is slower and has a low overshoot value.

  • Although the dynamic inverting with zero-dynamics stabilisation control is faster, it has a higher overshoot value.

  • Because the related linear-system shows the fourfold integrators after feedback-linearization, dynamic inversion of zero-dynamics stabilisation control is slower to dynamic inversion of zero-dynamics stabilisation control.


6. Conclusion

The dynamic model of a crewless aircraft is discussed in this chapter, as well as a comparison of linear or nonlinear control algorithms and the t, S Trajectories control challenge, which can be handled using a track follower or trajectory controlling tracking algorithm. The CA’s dynamic theory is obtained using the Newton-Euler method. The ‘RT’, ‘OS’, and ‘ST’ of any and all three controllers were all investigated. When applying the Feedback-linearization controller, the best results are attained. Path-following control strategies are a concept that has been defined. All simulations in this study were conducted under the assumption that the CA’s whole motion happens at a significant altitude from the ground, and also that the CA does not perform take-off or landing. Another issue is that due to the complexity of modelling uncertainties like wind velocities as well as ground impacts, the proposed theoretical model does not include them. The controllers must be made resilient so that they can deal successfully with external disturbances that were not taken into account during the modelling process. A next step towards achieving is to design a controller which can deal with the malfunction with one or more rotors.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


RTRise Time
STSettling Time

Table A1.

List of abbreviations used for parameters.


  1. 1. Kanellakis C, Nikolakopoulos G. Survey on computer vision for UAVs: Current developments and trends. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems. 2017;87(1):141-168
  2. 2. Han D, Gwak DY, Lee S. Noise prediction of multi-rotor UAV by RPM fluctuation correction method. Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology. 2020;34:1429-1443
  3. 3. Fotouhi A, Qiang H, Ding M, Hassan M, Giordano LG, Garcia-Rodriguez A, et al. Survey on UAV cellular communications: Practical aspects, standardization advancements, regulation, and security challenges. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials. 2019;21(4):3417-3442
  4. 4. Atyabi A, Mahmoud-Zadeh S, Nefti-Meziani S. Current advancements on autonomous mission planning and management systems: An AUV and UAV perspective. Annual Reviews in Control. 2018;46:196-215
  5. 5. Bonna R, Camino JF. Trajectory tracking control of a UAV using feedback linearisation. Proceedings of the XVII International Symposium on Dynamic Problems of Mechanics DINAME-2015.-2015, February; 2015
  6. 6. Bouabdallah S, Noth A, Siegwart R. PID vs LQ control techniques applied to an indoor micro UAV. Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2004. (IROS 2004), IEEE; Vol. 3, 2004; pp. 2451-2456
  7. 7. Song H, Srinivasan R, Sookoor T, Jeschke S. Smart Cities: Foundations, Principles and Applications. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley; 2017
  8. 8. Zhou G, Ambrosia V, Gasiewski AJ, Bland G. Foreword to the special issue on unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) sensing systems for earth observations. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 2009;47:687-689
  9. 9. Nex FC, Remondino F. UAV for 3D mapping applications: A review. Applied Geomatics. 2013;6:1-15
  10. 10. Singh L, Fuller J. Trajectory generation for a UAV in urban terrain, using nonlinear MPC. In: Proceedings of the American Control Conference, Vol. 3; June 2001. pp. 2301-2308
  11. 11. Santoso F, Liu M, Egan G. H2 and H∞ robust autopilot synthesis for longitudinal flight of a special unmanned aerial vehicle: A comparative study. IET Control Theory and Applications. 2008;2(7):583-594
  12. 12. Santoso F, Liu M, Egan G. Optimal control linear quadratic synthesis for an unconventional aircraft. In: Proceedings of the 12th Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC), March 2006
  13. 13. Azinheira JR, Moutinho A. Hover control of an UAV with backstepping design including input saturations. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. 2008;16(3):517-526
  14. 14. Hernández-García RG, Rodríguez-Cortés H. Transition flight control of a cyclic tiltrotor UAV based on the gain-scheduling strategy. In: Proceedings of the International Conference Unmanned Aircraft System (ICUAS), June 2015, pp. 951-956
  15. 15. Santoso F, Garratt MA, Anavatti SG. State-of-the-art intelligent flight control systems in unmanned aerial vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. 2018;15(2):613-627
  16. 16. Das A, Subbarao K, Lewis F. Dynamic inversion with zero-dynamics stabilisation for UAV control. IET Control Theory and Applications. 2009;3(3):303-314
  17. 17. Arisoy A, Temeltas H. Attitude control of a UAV. Fourth International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technologies, 2009. RAST’09, June, IEEE; 2009. pp. 722–727
  18. 18. Lee D, Jin Kim H, Sastry S. Feedback-linearization vs. adaptive sliding mode control for a UAV helicopter. International Journal of Control, Automation and Systems. 2009;7(3):419-428
  19. 19. Li L, Sun L, Jin J. Survey of advances in control algorithms of UAV unmanned aerial vehicle. 2015 IEEE 16th International Conference on Communication Technology (ICCT), October, IEEE; 2015. pp. 107-111
  20. 20. Luukkonen T. Modelling and control of UAV, independent research project in applied mathematics, Espoo. 2011
  21. 21. Sabatino F. UAV control: Modeling, nonlinear control design, simulation, 2015
  22. 22. Slotine JJE, Li W. Applied Nonlinear Control; Vol. 199(1). Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1191
  23. 23. Ramon Soria P, Arrue BC, Ollero A. Detection, location and grasping objects using a stereo sensor on UAV in outdoor environments. Sensors. 2017;17(1):103
  24. 24. Xiao B, Yin S. Exponential tracking control of robotic manipulators with uncertain dynamics and kinematics. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. 2018;15(2):689-698
  25. 25. Yang C, Jiang Y, Na J, Li Z, Cheng L, Su CY. Finitetime convergence adaptive fuzzy control for dual-arm robot with unknown kinematics and dynamics. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems. 2018;27(3):574-588
  26. 26. Jamisola RS Jr, Mastalli C, Ibikunle F. Modular relative jacobian for combined 3-arm parallel manipulators. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. 2016;5(2):90-95
  27. 27. Jamisola RS, Kormushev PS, Roberts RG, Caldwell DG. Task-space modular dynamics for dual-arms expressed through a relative jacobian. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems. 2016;83(2):205-218
  28. 28. Chen S, Laefer DF, Mangina E. State of technology review of civilian UAVs. Recent Patents on Engineering. 2016;10(3):160-174
  29. 29. Dupont QF, Chua DK, Tashrif A, Abbott EL. Potential applications of UAV along the construction’s value chain. Procedia Engineering. 2017;182:165-173
  30. 30. Otto A, Agatz N, Campbell J, Golden B, Pesch E. Optimization approaches for civil applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or aerial drones: A survey. Networks. 2018;72(4):411-458
  31. 31. Gaffey C, Bhardwaj A. Applications of unmanned aerial vehicles in cryosphere: Latest advances and prospects. Remote Sensing. 2020;12(6):1-40
  32. 32. Huo X, Huo M, Karimi HR. Attitude stabilization control of a UAV by using backstepping approach. Mathematical Problems in Engineering. 2014;2014:1-9
  33. 33. Mahony R, Kumar V, Corke P. Multirotor aerial vehicles: Modeling, estimation, and control of UAV. Robotics Automation Magazine. 2012;19:20-32. DOI: 10.1109/MRA.2012.2206474
  34. 34. Lee B-Y, Lee H-I, Tahk M-J. Analysis of adaptive control using on-line neural networks for a UAV. Thirteenth International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems (ICCAS), 20-23 October 2013; 2013. pp. 1840-1844
  35. 35. Diao C, Xian B, Yin Q, Zeng W, Li H, Yang Y. A nonlinear adaptive control approach for UAVs. Proceedings of the 8th Asian Control Conference (ASCC), Kaohsiung, 15-18 May 2011. 2011. pp. 223-228
  36. 36. Palunko I, Fierro R. Adaptive control of a UAV with dynamic changes in the center of gravity. Proceedings of the 18th IFAC World Congress, Milan, 28 August-2 September 2011; 2011. pp. 2626-2631
  37. 37. De Monte P, Lohmann B. Position trajectory tracking of a UAV helicopter based on L1 adaptive control. Proceedings of the 2013 European Control Conference (ECC), Zurich, 17-19 July 2013. 2013. pp. 3346-3353
  38. 38. Jung W, Lim S, Lee D, Bang H. Unmanned aircraft vector field path following with arrival angle control. Journal of Intelligent Robotic & Systems. 2016;84(1):311-325. DOI: 10.1007/s10846-016-0332-5
  39. 39. Kaminer I, Yakimenko O, Pascoal A, Ghabcheloo R. Path generation, path following and coordinated control for time-critical missions of multiple UAV s. In: 2006 American Control Conference, Proceedings of the American Control Conference. Vol. 1-12; 2006. p. 4906. Doi: 10.1109/ACC.2006.1657498
  40. 40. Klausen K, Fossen TI, Johansen TA, Aguiar AP. Cooperative path-following for multirotor UAVs with a suspended payload. In: 2015 IEEE Conference on Control and Applications (CCA 2015); 2015. pp. 1354-1360
  41. 41. Kokotovic PV, Sussmann HJ. A positive real condition for global stabilization of nonlinear-systems. Systems and Control Letters. 1989;13(2):125-133
  42. 42. Kukreti S, Kumar M, Cohen K. Genetically tuned Lqr based path following for CAs under wind disturbance. In: 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS); 2016. pp. 267-274. Doi: 10.1109/ICUAS.2016.7502620
  43. 43. Hoffmann G, Huang H, Waslander S, Tomlin C. Quadrotor helicopter flight dynamics and control: Theory and experiment. In: AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference and Exhibit; 2007. p. 6461
  44. 44. Conyers SA, Rutherford MJ, Valavanis KP. An empirical evaluation of ground effect for small-scale rotorcraft. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA); 2018. pp. 1244-1250
  45. 45. Kothari M, Postlethwaite I, Gu DW. A suboptimal path planning algorithm using rapidly-exploring random trees. International Journal of Aerospace Innovations. 2009;2:93-104
  46. 46. Ali ZA, Wang D, Aamir M. Fuzzy-based hybrid control algorithm for the stabilization of a tri-rotor UAV. Sensors. 2016;16(5):652
  47. 47. Espinoza-Fraire T, Saenz A, Salas F, Juarez R, Giernacki W. Trajectory tracking with adaptive robust control for quadrotor. Applied Sciences. 2021;11(18):8571

Written By

Parul Priya and Sushma S. Kamlu

Submitted: 03 June 2022 Reviewed: 20 June 2022 Published: 19 August 2022