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Development of an autonomous control system for a small fixed pitch helicopter

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conference contribution
posted on 2010-11-24, 17:25 authored by Owen McAree, Jonathan H.A. Clarke, Wen-Hua ChenWen-Hua Chen
The indoor test bed of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory has been used to create a control system for a small fixed pitch helicopter. This paper outlines the challenges posed by such a vehicle and the control system designed to overcome them. The control system utilized a visual tracking system to obtain state information without onboard hardware. Matlab/Simulink environment was used to facilitate rapid prototyping control development. An autopilot consisting of multi-channel PID controllers was implemented for flight tests. Failsafe strategies and gain scheduling were both investigated and implemented with the use of a graphical user interface. A number of flight tests were conducted and the results are provided. The future work of the laboratory is also covered.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


MCAREE, O., CLARKE, J. and CHEN, W.-H., 2010. Development of an autonomous control system for a small fixed pitch helicopter. IN: 2nd International Conference on Advanced Computer Control (ICACC), Shenyang, 27-29 March, pp. 13 - 17




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