Controlling a highly gyroscopic VTOL mav

Lee Whitcher, Manan Gandhi, Eric Johnson, Evangelos Theodorou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents a detailed formulation and implementation for dealing with coupled motion of highly gyroscopic vertical take-off and landing micro air vehicles. From existing literature, this paper applies various forms of control augmentation ranging from kinematics-based feed-forward decoupling, PID control, static decoupling and dynamic inversion in an effort to improve the transient performance characteristics of a given aircraft. We motivate the necessity of decoupling based on the theoretical response to an impulse and step input into the system, formulate the appropriate automatic controllers, provide a workflow for identifying necessary system parameters and control forces and moments, then finally implement and evaluate each controller on the Coanda Effect Micro Air Vehicle (CEMAV). The results demonstrate that naively-implemented feedback-control with integral action can eliminate steady state error, but it does not eradicate transient off-axis motion. Decoupling the transient response requires very accurate system level knowledge of the mode parameters and aerodynamic forces and moments. Robustness to changes in motor speed requires dynamic decoupling based on various parameter estimates, or heuristically-determined gain scheduling. Overall this paper presents a framework with which any VTOL MAV that exhibits gyroscopic motion can be decoupled effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventVertical Flight Society's 75th Annual Forum and Technology Display - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: May 13 2019May 16 2019


ConferenceVertical Flight Society's 75th Annual Forum and Technology Display
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlling a highly gyroscopic VTOL mav'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this