Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
A nonlinear model predictive control strategy is developed and subsequently specialized to autonomous aircraft that can be adequately modeled with a rigid 6-degrees-of-freedom representation. Whereas the general air vehicle dynamic equations are nonlinear and nonaffine in control, a closed-form solution for the optimal control input is enabled by expanding both the output and control in a truncated Taylor series. The closed-form solution for control is relatively simple to calculate and well suited to the real time embedded computing environment. An interesting feature of this control law is that the number of Taylor series expansion terms can be used to indirectly penalize control action. Also, ill conditioning in the optimal control gain equation limits practical selection of the number of Taylor series expansion terms. These claims are substantiated through simulation by application of the method to a parafoil and payload aircraft as well as a glider.
Slegers, Nathan; Kyle, Jason; and Costello, Mark, "Nonlinear Model Predictive Control Technique for Unmanned Air Vehicles" (2006). Faculty Publications - Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. 5.