Body-centric modelling, identification, and acceleration tracking control of a quadrotor UAV

Mohamad T. Alkowatly, Victor Becerra, William Holderbaum

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    This paper presents the mathematical development of a body-centric nonlinear dynamic model of a quadrotor UAV that is suitable for the development of biologically inspired navigation strategies. Analytical approximations are used to find an initial guess of the parameters of the nonlinear model, then parameter estimation methods are used to refine the model parameters using the data obtained from onboard sensors during flight. Due to the unstable nature of the quadrotor model, the identification process is performed with the system in closed-loop control of attitude angles. The obtained model parameters are validated using real unseen experimental data. Based on the identified model, a Linear-Quadratic (LQ) optimal tracker is designed to stabilize the quadrotor and facilitate its translational control by tracking body accelerations. The LQ tracker is tested on an experimental quadrotor UAV and the obtained results are a further means to validate the quality of the estimated model. The unique formulation of the control problem in the body frame makes the controller better suited for bio-inspired navigation and guidance strategies than conventional attitude or position based control systems that can be found in the existing literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-41
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


    • Quadrotor
    • Modelling
    • System Identification
    • Linear Quadratic Tracking Control


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