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Flight Testing of Autopilot Control Laws: Fly the HELIX!

Looye, Gertjan (2009) Flight Testing of Autopilot Control Laws: Fly the HELIX! Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress 2009, Deutschland.

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This paper describes a benchmark manoeuvre for autopilot control laws in the form of a helical flight trajectory. During this manoeuvre, several challenging aspects of autopilot design are encountered, such as co-ordination of longitudinal and lateral modes, accurate tracking of a curved flight path, combined tracking of inertial (the flight path) and air massbased references (the airspeed), and the trade-off between behaviour in turbulence and wind shear. During a helix manoeuvre namely, even little constant wind results in continuous wind shears in lateral and longitudinal directions. For these reasons, the helix manoeuvre is a very interesting trajectory to test and analyse autopilot performance, both in simulations and in flight test. This paper describes the geometry of the helix trajectory and uses basic flight mechanics to derive generally applicable reference variables and high-level control strategies for use with typical autopilot structures. This allows the reader to fly the helix manoeuvre using his or her own autopilot design. Based on recent flight test results from DLR’s fly-by-wire test bed ATTAS, some interesting aspects will be discussed that are typically revealed by flying the proposed manoeuvre.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/62017/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech, Paper)
Title:Flight Testing of Autopilot Control Laws: Fly the HELIX!
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Looye, GertjanGertjan.Looye (at) DLR.deUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Event Title:Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress 2009
Event Location:Deutschland
Event Type:international Conference
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Aircraft Research (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Systems & Cabin (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (until 2012) > System Dynamics and Control (former Control Design Engineering)
Deposited By: Klauer, Monika
Deposited On:17 Dec 2009 16:22
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:50

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