Automatic control of VTOL micro air vehicle during transition maneuver

Diyang Chu, Jonathan Sprinkle, Ryan Randall, Sergey Shkarayev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


The present work presents the development of an automatic control system and the investigation of the flight dynamics of fixed-wing micro air vehicles (MAVs) with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Specifically, the flight transition maneuver in the vertical plane (vertical-horizontal and horizontal-vertical) is studied in detail. The problem of transition between horizontal and hover modes is discussed. The development and evaluation of a VTOL MAV called Mini-Vertigo 2 (MV2) is presented. A non-linear longitudinal dynamic model of MV2 flight is derived. Semi-empirical aerodynamic formulas for thrust, lift, drag and pitching moment based on wind tunnel testing are applied to the dynamic model. Nonlinearities during transition to/from hover are addressed. Using the developed dynamic model a numerical vehicle dynamic simulator is developed. Simulations are performed to investigate MAV design tradeoffs. Tradeoffs between a piecewise hybrid controller, a strictly open-loop controller and a nontraditional feed-forward controller are each considered. A newer feature of the MV2 autopilot is discussed and flight test data is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479786
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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