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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Embedded Control by Rogelio Lozano

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Chapter 5

Modeling and Control of a Convertible Plane UAV 1

5.1. Introduction

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developments have made significant operational and technological progress over the recent years. Those developments include a wide variety of applications which involve civilian and military roles. Environmental control, homeland security and agriculture monitoring are of concern to civilian UAV missions, whereas armed reconnaissance, battle group surveillance, intelligence and target acquisition are related to military UAV missions.

Due to their operational flexibility, tail-sitter UAVs can take off and land like helicopters and fly horizontally with the same effectiveness as a conventional airplane. Tail-sitter vehicles do not require runways for launch and recovery but can operate from small sites or unprepared spaces. In addition, these vehicles have the advantage of not requiring variable mechanisms such as tilt-rotor and tilt-wing configurations. The T-Wing and V-Bat are tail-sitter UAVs that can perform the complete transition from hover to forward flight and back [MLB, STO 02].

The main contribution of this chapter is focused on the modeling and control of the convertible plane UAV (C-Plane), whose main objective is to operate hover mode for both recovery and launch and horizontal mode during cruise. The dynamic model obtained for the three modes is based on the Newton-Euler equations and includes aerodynamic terms. Moreover, the flight stability is guaranteed for ...

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