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Design and Stability Analysis of an Integrated Controller for Highly Flexible Advanced Aircraft Utilizing the Novel Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion


Gregory, Irene Michelle (2005) Design and Stability Analysis of an Integrated Controller for Highly Flexible Advanced Aircraft Utilizing the Novel Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Y6B1-ZZ55.


High performance aircraft of the future will be designed to be lighter, more maneuverable, and operate over an ever expanding flight envelope. This set of conditions will necessarily mean highly flexible vehicles operating in nonlinear regimes. A methodology proposed to better optimize their responses to both pilot input and external disturbances, as well as to decrease the cost of vehicle design is the novel dynamic inversion. The attractiveness of this methodology lies in the fact that the inherent nonlinearities of the problem and the coupled nature of flexible dynamics are explicitly considered.

The contribution of this work to the state of the art is predicated on the development and application of the novel dynamic inversion methodology to handle highly flexible aircraft in an integrated flight/structural mode control manner. The unprecedented small separation between rigid body and flexible dynamics as well as the reciprocal interaction between them due to flight control action are the key elements of the aircraft model. The novel approach to the nonlinear dynamic inversion allows the methodology to more intelligently handle flexible dynamics in the context of the dual objectives of integrated flight/SMC control by altering flexible mode damping without cancellation; thus, improving disturbance response and avoiding the potentially destabilizing effect of pole cancellation close to the j-omega-axis in case of modeling uncertainty. The necessary level of model complexity for design has been established with particular attention given to understanding physics. The effect of uncertainty in the structural mode dynamics has been addressed.

Further contribution of this work addresses the issue of stability of the dynamic systems driven by nonlinear controllers. One result shows how assessing stability of an n-dimensional system can be reduced to checking stability of a two-dimensional one using algebraic expressions that are based on the vehicle characteristics such as aerodynamic coefficients. This reduces a complicated dynamical problem to something purely algebraic and manageably complex. Another approach is based on algorithmically finding a local Lyapunov function using sum of squares. The presented results are the first to address the question of stability for the nonlinear dynamic inversion in the presence of flexible dynamics.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:dynamic inversion; flexible aircraft control; flight/structural mode control
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Control and Dynamical Systems
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Doyle, John Comstock
Thesis Committee:
  • Doyle, John Comstock (chair)
  • Marsden, Jerrold E.
  • Davidson, John B.
  • Murray, Richard M.
Defense Date:July 2004
Non-Caltech Author Email:Irene.M.Gregory (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07232004-075729
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2968
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:26 Jul 2004
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 01:55

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