System Identification-Based Sliding Mode Control for Small-Scaled Autonomous Aerial Vehicles With Unknown Aerodynamics Derivatives

Man Ho Choi, Bijan Shirinzadeh, Robert Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes an autonomous system identification methodology for fixed wing autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) and implementation with a robust control technique. This system identification methodology does not require the user to provide any knowledge of the aerodynamic derivatives of the AAV. Hence, this control methodology is applicable to a wide range of fixed-wing AAVs. Since the system identification process generates errors due to the measurement noise and external disturbances, a robust control methodology, sliding mode control (SMC), is proposed to control the AAV based on the system identification results. To characterize the capability of the control methodology, experiments have been conducted on commercially available fixed-wing aircraft platforms using low-cost sensing equipment. Experimental results demonstrate that the autonomous system identification-based SMC enables the AAV to follow the desired trajectory without prior knowledge of the aerial vehicle or manual tuning of control system parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7487010
Pages (from-to)2944-2952
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV)
  • fixedwing aircraft
  • sliding mode control (SMC)
  • system identification

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