A reconfigurable flight control method is developed to be implemented on an Unmanned Aircraft (UA), a thirty percent scale model of the Cessna 150. This paper presents the details of the UAV platform, system identification, reconfigurable controller design, development, and implementation on the UA to analyze the performance metrics. A Crossbow Inertial Measurement Unit provides the roll, pitch and yaw accelerations and rates along with the roll and pitch. The 100400 mini-air data boom from spaceage control provides the airspeed, altitude, angle of attack and the side slip angles. System identification is accomplished by commanding preprogrammed inputs to the control surfaces and correlating the corresponding variations at the outputs. A Single Network Adaptive Critic, which is a neural network based optimal controller, is developed as part of a nonlinear flight control system. An online learning neural network is augmented to form an outer loop to reconfigure and supplement the optimal controller to guarantee a "practical stability" for the airplane. This paper also presents some simulations from the hardware-in-the-loop testing and concludes with an analysis of the flight performance metrics for the controller under investigation.

Meeting Name

23rd Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 2004


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cessna 150; Crossbow Inertial Measurement Unit; Adaptive Control; Aircraft Control; Airplane; Angle of Attack; Control System Synthesis; Hardware in the Loop Testing; Identification; Learning (Artificial Intelligence); Neural Network; Neurocontrollers; Nonlinear Control Systems; Nonlinear Flight Control System; Online Learning; Optimal Control; Optimal Controller; Pitch Acceleration; Reconfigurable Controller Design; Reconfigurable Flight Control Method; Remotely Operated Vehicles; Roll Acceleration; Single Network Adaptive Critic; Spaceage Control; Stability; System Identification; Unmanned Aircraft; Yaw Accelerations

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2004 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004