A Master of Science Thesis in Mechatronics Submitted by Amer Al-Radaideh Entitled, "Guidance, Control and Trajectory Tracking of Small Fixed Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's)," April 2009. Available are both Soft and Hard Copies of the Thesis.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) have gained increasing considerations due to their low cost and increased autonomy. A large number of applications in the military and civilian fields. The present work considers a low level flight control algorithms (auto-pilot) to improve the guidance, path following and trajectory tracking capabilities of the low speed fixed wing AUS-UAV. In addition, this investigation aims the development and building of fully functioning test-bed UAV platform. The test-bed includes an enhanced hardware in the loop simulation "HILS" system to facilitate the development and evaluation of the ability of the flight control systems (FCS) of the AUS-UAV to follow prescribed trajectories. At the end of this thesis, the AUS-UAV was modelled using ground based numerical modelling for the aerodynamic coefficients in the early phases. Then, the aerodynamic coefficients estimation was enhanced using flight test based identification. The engine and actuator were also identified. Furthermore, a trajectory tracking algorithm was designed, implemented and evaluated using HILS. The avionics unit was also designed, calibrated and tested. Finally, flight test were conducted using Krestal autopilot to experiment with flight testing and compare the performance with our avionics unit HILS results.