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Control of a Laboratory 3-DOF Helicopter: Explicit Model Predictive Approach

Ju Zhang*, Xinyan Cheng, and Jiaqi Zhu
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp.389-399, 2016

Abstract : A helicopter flight control system is a typical multi-input, multi-output system with strong channel coupling and nonlinear characteristics. This paper presents an explicit model predictive control (EMPC) for attitude regulation and tracking of a 3-Degree-of-Freedom (3-DOF) helicopter. A state-space representation of the system is established according to the characteristics of each degree-of-freedom motion. Multi-Parametric Quadratic Programming (MPQP) and online computation processes for explicit model predictive control and controller design for a 3-DOF helicopter are discussed. The controller design for set-point regulation and tracking time-varying reference signals of a 3-DOF helicopter are presented respectively. Numerical study of explicit model predictive control for attitude regulation and tracking of a 3-DOF helicopter are conducted. A hardware-in-the-loop experimental study of explicit model predictive control of a 3-DOF helicopter is made. To analyze the performances of an EMPC controlled helicopter system, an Active Mass Disturbance System and manual interference are considered in comparison with PID scheme. Numerical simulation and HIL experimental studies show that explicit model predictive control is valid and has satisfactory performance for a 3-DOF helicopter.

Keyword : Explicit model predictive control, hardware in the loop, regulation, tracking, 3-DOF helicopter.

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