Scaled experiments in flight control design for autonomous landing in high sea states

Christopher M. Hendrick, Duncan J. Nicholson, Emma R. Jaques, Joseph Francis Horn, Jack W. Langelaan, Anish J. Sydney

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

4 Scopus citations


An autonomous ship landing controller was designed and implemented on two unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms, which are used in scaled experiments. For scaled experiments to have meaningful carryover to full scale test cases, it is necessary that both vehicle response bandwidth and the frequency content and amplitude of ship motion be scaled appropriately. Easily customized vehicle response was therefore one of the driving requirements during control design. As a first step toward achieving this, system models were obtained for both UAVs via frequency domain system identification using the CIFER® software package. These models were then used in conjunction with the Explicit Model Following (EMF) control architecture, allowing for vehicle response bandwidth to be tailored via a specified ideal response model. In order to test the controller in initial scaled landing experiments, a simple trajectory generation algorithm was developed to guide the vehicle to touchdown on a moving deck. Ten landings were then performed in the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK), located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD). The results showed the EMF control design to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106354
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2022Jul 1 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum


ConferenceAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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