Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Mario G Perhinschi

Committee Co-Chair

Larry E Banta

Committee Member

Mirdul Gautam

Committee Member

Jennifer Wilburn


Trajectory tracking is a critical element for the better functionality of autonomous vehicles. The main objective of this research study was to implement and analyze L1 adaptive control laws for autonomous flight under normal and upset flight conditions. The West Virginia University (WVU) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flight simulation environment was used for this purpose. A comparison study between the L1 adaptive controller and a baseline conventional controller, which relies on position, proportional, and integral compensation, has been performed for a reduced size jet aircraft, the WVU YF-22. Special attention was given to the performance of the proposed control laws in the presence of abnormal conditions. The abnormal conditions considered are locked actuators (stabilator, aileron, and rudder) and excessive turbulence. Several levels of abnormal condition severity have been considered. The performance of the control laws was assessed over different-shape commanded trajectories. A set of comprehensive evaluation metrics was defined and used to analyze the performance of autonomous flight control laws in terms of control activity and trajectory tracking errors. The developed L1 adaptive control laws are supported by theoretical stability guarantees. The simulation results show that L1 adaptive output feedback controller achieves better trajectory tracking with lower level of control actuation as compared to the baseline linear controller under nominal and abnormal conditions.