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A Real-Time Expert Control System For Helicopter Autorotation

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A control algorithm for autonomous helicopter autorotation is proposed and evaluated. The algorithm consists of a multiphase control law with fuzzily defined transitions and provides outputs in the form of collective commands, desired forward speed, and maximum pitch and roll angle limits. The algorithm is designed to be used in conjunction with an inner loop velocity tracking controller. A unique feature of the proposed control law is its use of estimated time to ground impact to compute near-optimal flare trajectories from a wide range of initial conditions. The performance of the proposed expert control system is evaluated through six degree-of-freedom simulation of both a full-size helicopter and a small hobby-size helicopter, and Monte Carlo examples demonstrate robustness to various initial flight conditions. Limited flight-test results are presented, demonstrating suitable performance of the algorithm in realistic disturbance environments.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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  • The Journal of the AHS is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by The Vertical Flight Society and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of VTOL design, research and development. (Please note that VFS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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