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Quaternion Feedback Based Autonomous Control of a Quadcopter UAV with Thrust Vectoring Rotors

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Document pages: 6 pages

Abstract: In this paper, we present an autonomous flight controller for a quadcopterwith thrust vectoring capabilities. This UAV falls in the category ofmultirotors with tilt-motion enabled rotors. Since the vehicle considered isover-actuated in nature, the dynamics and control allocation have to beanalysed carefully. Moreover, the possibility of hovering at large attitudemaneuvers of this novel vehicle requires singularity-free attitude control.Hence, quaternion state feedback is utilized to compute the control commandsfor the UAV motors while avoiding the gimbal lock condition experienced byEuler angle based controllers. The quaternion implementation also reduces theoverall complexity of state estimation due to absence of trigonometricparameters. The quadcopter dynamic model and state space is utilized to designthe attitude controller and control allocation for the UAV. The controlallocation, in particular, is derived by linearizing the system about hovercondition. This mathematical method renders the control allocation moreaccurate than existing approaches. Lyapunov stability analysis of the attitudecontroller is shown to prove global stability. The quaternion feedback attitudecontroller is commanded by an outer position controller loop which generatesrotor-tilt and desired quaternions commands for the system. The performance ofthe UAV is evaluated by numerical simulations for tracking attitude stepcommands and for following a way-point navigation mission.

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