System identification using discontinuous data sets and PID loop-shaping control of a vertical take-off and landing drone

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Vertical taking off and landing (VTOL) drones started to emerge at the beginning of this century, and finds applications in the vast areas of mapping, rescuing, logistics, etc. Usually a

Vertical taking off and landing (VTOL) drones started to emerge at the beginning of this century, and finds applications in the vast areas of mapping, rescuing, logistics, etc. Usually a VTOL drone control system design starts from a first principles model. Most of the VTOL drones are in the shape of a quad-rotor which is convenient for dynamic analysis.

In this project, a VTOL drone with shape similar to a Convair XFY-1 is studied and the primary focus is developing and examining an alternative method to identify a system model from the input and output data, with which it is possible to estimate system parameters and compute model uncertainties on discontinuous data sets. We verify the models by designing controllers that stabilize the yaw, pitch, and roll angles for the VTOL drone in the hovering state.

This project comprises of three stages: an open-loop identification to identify the yaw and pitch dynamics, an intermediate closed-loop identification to identify the roll action dynamic and a closed-loop identification to refine the identification of yaw and pitch action. In open and closed loop identifications, the reference signals sent to the servos were recorded as inputs to the system and the angles and angular velocities in yaw and pitch directions read by inertial measurement unit were recorded as outputs of the system. In the intermediate closed loop identification, the difference between the reference signals sent to the motors on the contra-rotators was recorded as input and the roll angular velocity is recorded as output. Next, regressors were formed by using a coprime factor structure and then parameters of the system were estimated using the least square method. Multiplicative and divisive uncertainties were calculated from the data set and were used to guide PID loop-shaping controller design.