Control of Complex Maneuvers for a Quadrotor UAV using Geometric Methods on SE(3)

10 Mar 2010  ·  Taeyoung Lee, Melvin Leok, N. Harris McClamroch ·

This paper provides new results for control of complex flight maneuvers for a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The flight maneuvers are defined by a concatenation of flight modes or primitives, each of which is achieved by a nonlinear controller that solves an output tracking problem. A mathematical model of the quadrotor UAV rigid body dynamics, defined on the configuration space $\SE$, is introduced as a basis for the analysis. The quadrotor UAV has four input degrees of freedom, namely the magnitudes of the four rotor thrusts; each flight mode is defined by solving an asymptotic optimal tracking problem. Although many flight modes can be studied, we focus on three output tracking problems, namely (1) outputs given by the vehicle attitude, (2) outputs given by the three position variables for the vehicle center of mass, and (3) output given by the three velocity variables for the vehicle center of mass. A nonlinear tracking controller is developed on the special Euclidean group $\SE$ for each flight mode, and the closed loop is shown to have desirable closed loop properties that are almost global in each case. Several numerical examples, including one example in which the quadrotor recovers from being initially upside down and another example that includes switching and transitions between different flight modes, illustrate the versatility and generality of the proposed approach.

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