Vehicle Dynamics and Controls
Modern aircraft are complex and must perform a diverse range of challenging missions in an increasingly congested airspace. In addition, novel aircraft configurations are being introduced, ranging from micro air vehicles to 600 ton air transport aircraft. In order for us to continue to safely and efficiently operate aircraft in this environment, there is a demand for enhanced flight control systems, increased autonomy, better training systems, and improved human-machine interface.
Flight dynamics and control addresses the practical issues of modeling an aircraft’s motion and controlling its motion to achieve desired objectives. Penn State faculty members and student researchers are working on a variety of topics related to this field such as modeling and simulation, guidance and control, path planning, state estimation, autonomous systems, aircraft handling qualities, and more.
Penn State has a particularly strong focus on rotorcraft applications (helicopters, tilt-rotors, and other rotary-wing aircraft).
Research Focus Areas:
- Simulation and control design for helicopter shipboard recovery
- Simulations with coupled flight dynamics and CFD
- Modeling and simulation of high speed compound rotorcraft
- Control allocation for enhanced performance, structural load alleviation, and improved handling qualities on high speed rotorcraft
- Rotorcraft handling qualities requirements for future configurations and missions
- Path planning and autonomous control of rotorcraft autorotation and fixed-wing power-off recovery
- UAV path planning and localization in GPS-denied environments
- Load alleviation control design and carefree maneuvering for rotorcraft
- Modeling and simulation of helicopter external loads and helicopter multi-lift systems
- Control design for helicopter external load stabilization
- Autonomous control of multi-lift systems
- Simulation and control of VTOL ducted fan aircraft