Digital Controllers for VTOL Aircraft

Robert F. Stengel, John R. Broussard, Paul W. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Using linear-optimal estimation and control techniques, digital-adaptive control laws have been designed for a tandem-rotor helicopter which is equipped for fully automatic flight in terminal area operations. Two distinct discrete-time control laws are designed to interface with velocity-command and attitude-command guidance logic, and each incorporates proportional-integral compensation for nonzero-set-point regulation, as well as reduced-order Kalman filters for sensor blending and noise rejection. Adaptation to flight condition is achieved with a novel gain-scheduling method based on correlation and regression analysis. The linear-optimal design approach is found to be a valuable tool in the development of practical multivariable control laws for vehicles which evidence significant coupling and insufficient natural stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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