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Backpropagating constraints-based trajectory tracking control of a quadrotor with constrained actuator dynamics and complex unknowns

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journal contribution
posted on 21.09.2018 by Ning Wang, Shun-Feng Su, Min Han, Wen-Hua Chen
In this paper, a backpropagating constraints-based trajectory tracking control (BCTTC) scheme is addressed for trajectory tracking of a quadrotor with complex unknowns and cascade constraints arising from constrained actuator dynamics, including saturations and dead zones. The entire quadrotor system including actuator dynamics is decomposed into five cascade subsystems connected by intermediate saturated nonlinearities. By virtue of the cascade structure, backpropagating constraints (BCs) on intermediate signals are derived from constrained actuator dynamics suffering from nonreversible rotations and nonnegative squares of rotors, and decouple subsystems with saturated connections. Combining with sliding-mode errors, BC-based virtual controls are individually designed by addressing underactuation and cascade constraints. In order to remove smoothness requirements on intermediate controls, first-order filters are employed, and thereby contributing to backstepping-like subcontrollers synthesizing in a recursive manner. Moreover, universal adaptive compensators are exclusively devised to dominate intermediate tracking residuals and complex unknowns. Eventually, the closed-loop BCTTC system stability can be ensured by the Lyapunov synthesis, and trajectory tracking errors can be made arbitrarily small. Simulation studies demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed BCTTC scheme for a quadrotor with complex constrains and unknowns.


This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 51009017 and Grant 51379002, in part by the Fund for Dalian Distinguished Young Scholars under Grant 2016RJ10, in part by the Innovation Support Plan for Dalian High-level Talents under Grant 2015R065, and in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant 3132016314 and Grant 3132018126.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems


1 - 16


WANG, N. ... et al, 2018. Backpropagating constraints-based trajectory tracking control of a quadrotor with constrained actuator dynamics and complex unknowns. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 49 (7), pp.1322-1337.




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