Nonlinear Adaptive and Sliding Mode Flight Path Control of FA-18 Model

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems





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The question of inertial trajectory control of aircraft in the three-dimensional space is discussed. It is assumed that the nonlinear aircraft model has uncertain aerodynamic derivatives. The control system is decomposed into a variable structure outer loop and an adaptive inner loop. The outer-loop feedback control system accomplishes (x,y,z) position trajectory and sideslip angle control using the derivative of thrust and three angular velocity components (p,q,r) as virtual control inputs. Then an adaptive inner feedback loop is designed, which produces the desired angular rotations of aircraft using aileron, elevator, and rudder control surfaces to complete the maneuver. Simplification in the inner-loop design is obtained based on a two-time scale (singular perturbation) design approach by ignoring the derivative of the virtual angular velocity vector, which is a function of slow variables. These results are applied to a simplified F/A-18 model. Simulation results are presented which show that in the closed-loop system asymptotic trajectory control is accomplished in spite of uncertainties in the model at different flight conditions.


Adaptive control systems; Aerodynamics; Aerospace control; Aircraft; Airplanes — Control surfaces; Airplanes — Control systems; Angular velocity; Angular velocity control; Control systems; Feedback control systems; Flight control; Programmable control; Sliding mode control


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