Author

Caleb M. Rice

Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MS

College

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Yu Gu

Committee Member

Marcello Napolitano

Committee Member

Mario Perhinschi

Abstract

Autonomous Formation Flight is a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing traffic in future high density airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) have made it possible for the physical demonstration and validation of autonomous formation flight concepts inexpensively and eliminates the flight risk to human pilots. This thesis discusses the design, implementation, and flight testing of three different formation flight control methods, Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID); Fuzzy Logic (FL); and NonLinear Dynamic Inversion (NLDI), and their respective performance behavior. Experimental results show achievable autonomous formation flight and performance quality with a pair of low-cost unmanned research fixed wing aircraft and also with a solo vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) quadrotor.

Share

COinS