Modeling, control, and flight testing of a small ducted-fan aircraft

Eric N. Johnson, Michael A. Turbe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Small ducted-fan autonomous vehicles have potential for several applications, especially for missions in urban environments. This paper discusses the use of dynamic inversion with neural-network adaptation to provide an adaptive controller for the GTSpy, a small ducted-fan autonomous vehicle based on the Micro Autonomous Systems' Helispy. This approach allows utilization of the entire low-speed flight envelope with a relatively poorly understood vehicle. A simulator model is constructed from a force and moment analysis of the vehicle, allowing for a validation of the controller in preparation for flight testing. Data from flight testing of the system are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-779
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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