In-flight multi-variable optimization of redundant controls on a compound rotorcraft

Gurbuz T. Ozdemir, Joseph Francis Horn, Adam T. Thorsen

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

28 Scopus citations


A flight control system is designed to perform in-flight optimization of redundant control effectors on a compound rotorcraft in order to minimize power required and extend range. This "Fly to Optimal" (FTO) control law is tested in simulation using the GENHEL model. A model of a compound version of the UH-60A with lifting wing and propeller was developed. A dynamic inversion controller is implemented for inner loop control of roll, pitch, yaw, heave, and rotor RPM. An outer loop controller regulates airspeed and flight path during optimization. The FTO builds off of the Adaptive Performance Optimization (APO) method of Gilyard by performing low frequency sweeps on the redundant controls. The method has been expanded to search a two-dimensional control space. Simulation results demonstrate the ability to maximize range by optimizing stabilator deflection and an airspeed set point. A second set of results minimize power required in high speed flight by optimizing collective pitch and stabiliator deflection. Results show that the control laws effectively hold the flight condition while the FTO method is effective at improving performance. High speed optimizations show there can be issues when the control laws regulating altitude push the collective control towards it limits. So a modification was made to the control law to regulate airspeed and altitude using propeller pitch and angle of attack while the collective is held fixed or used as an optimization variable. A dynamic trim limit avoidance algorithm is applied to avoid control saturation in other axes during optimization maneuvers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Conference
StatePublished - 2013
EventAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Conference - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Aug 19 2013Aug 22 2013


OtherAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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