Control of an Autonomous Radio-Controlled Helicopter in a Modified Simulation Environment Using Proportional Integral Derivative Algorithms

Report No. ARL-CR-609
Authors: Ainsmar X. Brown; Richard D. Garcia
Date/Pages: June 2008; 42 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), along with groups like the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, acts as a resource in developing on-field technologies under the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command. Currently, ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate is interested in expanding its Unmanned Vehicles Division to include rotary wing and microsystems control. ARL intends to use unmanned aircraft systems not only for reconnaissance missions, but also for targeting and lethal attacks. This project documents ongoing work expanding ARL's program in research and simulation of autonomous control systems. A proportional integral derivative control algorithm was modeled in MathWorks Simulink and communicates to a flight simulator modeling a physical radio-controlled helicopter. Waypoint navigation and flight-envelope testing were then systematically evaluated to the final goal of a feasible autopilot design.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2008