2011 Volume 53 Issue 182 Pages 283-290
Describing the flight behavior of a helicopter is a difficult challenge in mathematical modeling. A rotorcraft can be considered as a complex arrangement of interacting subsystems, and the problem is dominated by rotor. The rotor blades bend and twist under the influence of unsteady and nonlinear aerodynamic loads, which are themselves a function of blade motion. This problem makes it more difficult to estimate the behavior of a helicopter. Furthermore, it is difficult to design a flight controller for unmanned helicopter systems. In this paper, to obtain a nonlinear dynamic model of a helicopter, parameter identification is performed using flight test data. A globally stable tracking control law for agile and precise landing of an unmanned helicopter is proposed. A near-minimum time control scheme is adopted to design the reference trajectory, and it is shown that the control law is guaranteed to be stable globally in the sense of Lyapunov. A flight test verified the performance of the proposed method. Performance can be improved by choosing the control parameters via optimization. The proposed method can be extended to a multiple output trajectory tracking problem for a precise fixed-wing UAV landing.