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Small Unmanned Aircraft by Timothy W. McLain, Randal W. Beard

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6

Autopilot Design Using Successive Loop Closure

In general terms, an autopilot is a system used to guide an aircraft without the assistance of a pilot. For manned aircraft, the autopilot can be as simple as a single-axis wing-leveling autopilot, or as complicated as a full flight control system that controls position (altitude, latitude, longitude) and attitude (roll, pitch, yaw) during the various phases of flight (e.g., take-off, ascent, level flight, descent, approach, landing). For MAVs, the autopilot is in complete control of the aircraft during all phases of flight. While some control functions may reside in the ground control station, the autopilot portion of the MAV control system resides on board the MAV.

This chapter presents an autopilot ...

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