Practical Design Methods for Aircraft and Rotorcraft Flight Control for Conventional Civil/Military, UAV, and AAM Applications with Hands-on Training using CONDUIT®
Dr. Mark Tischler and Dr. Tom Berger present a single comprehensive and practical course, including the latest technical results on high-speed rotorcraft, UAV, and eVTOL for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and package delivery.
The course utilizes a combination of lectures, interspersed with associated hands-on lab exercises (aircraft and rotorcraft) to be completed by the students on their own computers using a 2-month trial of the CONDUIT® Pro version, provided with the course.
Based on the instructors’ AIAA textbook Practical Methods for Aircraft and Rotorcraft Flight Control Design: An Optimization Based Approach (Tischler et al., AIAA, 2017).
All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course
The course will be a combination of lectures, interspersed with associated hands-on lab exercises (aircraft and rotorcraft) to be completed by the students on their own computers using CONDUIT® Professional version (2 month trial provided with course). While our design approach is based on multi-objective parametric optimization, we intend that course attendees who use a different design method will still find the course a useful and comprehensive presentation of well validated flight-control principles and rules of thumb. This course should challenge the practicing engineer to consider where their flight-control processes can be improved or augmented. The many examples from recent piloted and UAV aircraft programs illustrate the effectiveness of this technology for rapidly solving difficult integration problems. Also, while we refer to the basic tenants of feedback control theory, our focus in this course is on reducing the theoretical methods of aircraft and rotorcraft flight control to design practice for students and working-level engineers.
Key Course Topics
- Present our extensive experience and lessons learned into a single comprehensive and practical short course for academia and working-level flight control engineers.
- Review of best practices in selection of handling qualities and flight control specifications, simulation modeling and fidelity assessment, and flight control design and analysis methods.
- Demonstrate how flight dynamics and control theory is brought to practice by reviewing many historical aircraft and rotorcraft piloted and UAV flight control design case studies and lessons learned.
- Step-by-step presentation of multi-objective parametric optimization design using Feasible Sequential Quadratic Programming (FSQP), with a focus on how to apply this method to real-world flight control design problems.
- Special challenges, methods, and recent results for military high-speed rotorcraft, UAV, and eVTOL applications to AAM and package delivery.
- Demonstrate the optimization of a wide range of classical and modern control design methods (PID, model following, dynamic inverse, LQR, H-infinity) to meet a common set of design requirements using the multi-objective parametric optimization method and compare the resulting performance and robustness.
- Hands-on exercises by the students on aircraft and rotorcraft flight control examples using CONDUIT® to reinforce methods and get real-time experience with software and see the results.
- See detailed outline below
Who Should Attend: This course is intended for aerospace engineering faculty, students, and for practicing aircraft and rotorcraft flight dynamics and control system engineers. A basic knowledge of flight dynamics and control fundamentals, methods, and flight control concepts is assumed. However, the attendee is not expected to be an expert, and course will not contain advanced mathematics. This course should challenge the practicing engineer to consider where their flight-control processes can be improved or augmented with the design requirements and methods of simulation, design, and analysis as presented and illustrated herein.
Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Length: 3-4 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes
- Section 1. Introduction: The Flight Control Problem and Our Approach
- Roles of Flight Control System and the Development Process
- Flight Control System Design Challenges and Reference Material–Seven Key Do’s
- Flight Control System Design Using Multi-Objective Parametric Optimization: Why is this a Good Approach?
- Section 2. Fundamentals of Control System Design Methodology Based on Multi-Objective Parametric Optimization
- Roadmap of Multi-Objective Parametric Optimization Design Methodology
- Typical Results Based on XV-15 Hover Case Study
- Typical Results Based on XV-15 Forward Flight Case Study
- Section 3. Overview of CONDUIT® Software
- The CONDUIT® Interface, Overview of CONDUIT® Workflow
- Problem Setup, Modes of Operation, and Integration with Other Tools
- Section 4. Description of XV-15 Design Case Studies
- XV-15 Hover and Forward Flight Case Studies
- Section 5. Quantitative Design Requirements for Flight Control
- Importance and Sources of Design Requirements and the Cooper-Harper Scale
- Specifications: Generic, Rotorcraft, Fixed-Wing, User Defined, and Performance Metrics
- Flight control criteria for next generation high-speed military rotorcraft
- Criteria Sets for XV-15 Hover and Forward Flight Case Studies
- Section 6. Simulation Requirements for Flight Control Design
- Modeling Fidelity Requirements and Use of a Simplified Block Diagram
- Linear Bare-Airframe Models, Additional Components, Nonlinearities and Analysis Validation
- Section 7. Conceptual and Preliminary Design of Flight Control Systems
- Control Law Architectures
- Preliminary Design of Feedback Compensation
- Section 8. Design Optimization
- Need and Challenge of Numerical Optimization of Flight Control Design
- Numerical Scores for the Specifications and Numerical Optimization of the Design
- Guidelines for Flight Control Optimization Results for the XV-15 Hover and Forward Flight Case Studies
- Section 9. Sensitivity and Robustness Analyses
- Sensitivity Analysis of the Design Solution and results for XV-15 Hover and Forward Flight
- Assessing Robustness to Modeling Uncertainty
- Section 10. Design Trade-offs
- Design Margin Optimization (DMO)
- Nested-Loop Design Margin Optimization Strategy for the XV-15 Hover and Forward Flight
- Section 11. UH-60 FBW Flight Control Design Case Study using CONDUIT®: design and flight test results
- Description of explicit model follow control system and design
- Flight test validation of analysis model
- Inner-Loop and Outer Loop Design Margin Optimization and flight test results
- Section 12. Optimization and Piloted Simulation Evaluation of Full-Flight Envelope Longitudinal Control Laws for a Business Jet
- Aircraft Model, Control Laws, Specifications
- Optimization Strategy and Results, Handling-Qualities Evaluation
- Section 13. CONDUIT® Case Studies of UAV based on legacy rotorcraft, and eCTOL and eVTOL applications to surveillance, AAM, package delivery
- Fixed wing case studies: design specifications, flight test validation, flight test results and comparison with legacy controller, design specification guidance.
- Rotorcraft case studies: Full scale and small multi-copter configurations, design specifications, flight test validation, flight test results and comparison with legacy controller, design specification guidance.
- Section 14. Alternative Design Methods using CONDUIT®
- Overview of Design methods and results: Linear-Quadratic Design, Explicit Model Following Design, Dynamic Inversion Design, H∞ Mixed-Sensitivity Design
- Design Comparison
- Section 15. Research Directions and Upcoming CONDUIT® release features
- Ongoing and Future Flight Control Research
- CONDUIT® Upcoming Release Key Features
- Course Materials: Includes over 500 pages of course slides, six hands-on CONDUIT® lab exercises, and additional references.
- CONDUIT® Software: In order to receive the CONDUIT® software, students should register with their institutional email address (e.g., company, research lab, academic) and not a personal email. The software administrator will only distribute the CONDUIT® software to students' institutional email addresses for the student to install and validate. A 2-month Professional version of the CONDUIT® software will be provided for use.
- No part of these materials may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted, unless for course participants. All rights reserved.
Textbook: This course is based on the instructors’ AIAA textbook Practical Methods for Aircraft and Rotorcraft Flight Control Design: An Optimization Based Approach(Tischler et al., AIAA, 2017). The book is a highly recommended resource for more in-depth treatment of the course material. While recommended, this book is not required to take the course. The textbook is available for purchase.
Dr. Tom Berger leads the Flight Control Group at TDD where he manages U.S. Army research on aircraft and rotorcraft system identification, flight control, and handling qualities. Dr. Berger previously worked at Boeing (Huntington Beach, CA) on evaluating the handling qualities of the 777. His primary current research interest is in the emerging field of high-speed handling qualities and requirements for advanced rotorcraft configurations and system identification for over-actuated configurations. He is a coauthor of Practical Methods for Aircraft and Rotorcraft Flight Control Design: An Optimization Based Approach (AIAA, 2017). He received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA, his MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.