Rapid automated slung load operations with conventional helicopters

Stephen Haviland, Dmitry Bershadsky, Eric N. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Slung-load operations often involve conservative flight paths in order to prevent unwanted swing of the load. However, doing so often limits the maneuvering capability of the system and increases the time to complete trajectories. This work investigates methods to rapidly move a slung load with a helicopter with the intent to deliver it quickly and precisely to a fixed point. Inspired by prior work utilizing differential flatness, the controller developed does not require instrumentation of the load or the ability to estimate the state of the load but does not preclude it. A feedforward and feedback controller was developed that modifies the helicopter commands based on the desired load path. The controller is simplified by neglecting selected higher order terms. An adaptive dynamic inversion controller is used to control the helicopter. Simulation and flight test results are shown to validate the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - 2018
Event74th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum and Technology Display 2018: The Future of Vertical Flight - Phoenix, United States
Duration: May 14 2018May 17 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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