Arizona State University Armando A. Rodriguez
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Robust Control of Aerospace Systems

The focus of this research is on the development of robust control system design methodologies for aerospace systems.

Application Areas
Relevant application areas include:

  • Aero-thermo-elastic-propulsion effects for air-breathing hypersonic aircraft e.g. X-43A, SOAREX, X-51A
  • Powered and unpowered hypersonic gliders/waveriders
  • Fixed-wing aircraft
  • Rotary-aircraft
  • Tilt-wing rotorcraft (TWRC)
  • Multi-Lift helicopter applications; e.g. twin-lift helicopter system (TLHS)
  • Missile Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Systems
  • Satellite systems
  • GNC for unpiloted air vehicles (UAVs)
  • Autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles
  • Coordination of multiple cooperating vehicles
Special focus has been placed on hypersonic application for which aero-thermo-elastic-propulsion interactions are particularly significant.

Relevant Control Challenges
Relevant control challenges include:
  • uncertain nonlinearities (e.g. aero-thermo-elastic-propulsion),
  • hard nonlinearities (e.g. control position and rate saturation nonlinearities),
  • uncertain (typically high-frequency) dynamics; i.e. unmodeled differential equations, 
  • parametric uncertainty,
  • uncertain actuator and sensor dynamics,
  • MIMO dynamical coupling/interactions (e.g. aero-thermo-elastic-propulsion),
  • satisfying multivariable decoupling specifications,
  • satisfying channel-specific bandwidth specifications,
  • satisfying MIMO directionality specifications,
  • controller complexity and implementation issues,
  • digital, sample-data, and multi-rate embedded system implementation issues,
  • uncertain actuator and sensor dynamics,
  • aero-servo-elastic issues, aero-servo control reversal, aero-servo control flutter,
  • selection of weighting function parameters for dynamical optimization,
  • assessment of fundamental performance limitations and tradeoffs,
  • stabilization,
  • following of varying (typically low frequency) reference commands,
  • attenuation of (stochastic, typically low frequency) disturbances,
  • attenuation of (stochastic, typically high frequency) measurement noise,
  • control law adaptation and scheduling; e.g. on angle-of-attack (AOA), side-slip-angle (SSA), Mach number, control surface deflection, propulsion setting,
  • aero data reduction, interpolation, extrapolation,
  • constraint enforcement e.g. AOA, SSA, Mach number, acceleration, aeroservo control deflection,
  • state estimation,
  • model validation via wind tunnel and flight test data,
  • control law tuning from wind tunnel testing and flight test,
  • parameter and uncertainty estimation (system identification),
  • actuator and sensor degradation,
  • structural degradation,
  • fault tolerance.
Objectives and Goals
The main objective of this research is to develop a systematic design methodology which addresses each of the above control system design challenges. A major goal here is the development of tools that can be used by practicing engineers to design "full envelop" MIMO control systems.

Collaborators and Sponsors
Collaborators include:
  • Professor Petros Voulgaris (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Aerospace Engineering)
  • Dr. Brett Ridgely (Raytheon Missile Systems, Sr Department Manager, Autopilot Design Department, GNC Technology Director, Tucson, AZ)
  • Professor Jeff Shamma (UCLA; Mechanical Engineering)
  • Valana Wells (ASU, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
This work has been sponsored by the following organizations:
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), the Consortium for Embedded and Inter-Networking  Technologies (CEINT), AFOSR,  Eglin AFB, Honeywell,  Boeing, NASA.


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