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Title: Development of model predictive controller for a tail-sitter VTOL UAV in hover flight
Authors: Li B 
Zhou W 
Sun, J 
Wen, CY 
Chen, CK
Keywords: Flight experiment
Hardware-in-loop (HIL) simulation
Model predictive control (MPC)
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Source: Sensors (Switzerland), 2018, v. 18, no. 9, 2859, p. 1-21 How to cite?
Journal: Sensors (Switzerland) 
Abstract: This paper presents a model predictive controller (MPC) for position control of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) tail-sitter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in hover flight. A ‘cross’ configuration quad-rotor tail-sitter UAV is designed with the capabilities for both hover and high efficiency level flight. The six-degree-of-freedom (DOF) nonlinear dynamic model of the UAV is built based on aerodynamic data obtained from wind tunnel experiments. The model predictive position controller is then developed with the augmented linearized state-space model. Measured and unmeasured disturbance model are introduced into the modeling and optimization process to improve disturbance rejection ability. The MPC controller is first verified and tuned in the hardware-in-loop (HIL) simulation environment and then implemented in an on-board flight computer for real-time indoor experiments. The simulation and experimental results show that the proposed MPC position controller has good trajectory tracking performance and robust position holding capability under the conditions of prevailing and gusty winds.
ISSN: 1424-8220
DOI: 10.3390/s18092859
Rights: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Li, B., Zhou, W., Sun, J., Wen, C. -., & Chen, C. -. (2018). Development of model predictive controller for a tail-sitter VTOL UAV in hover flight. Sensors (Switzerland), 18(9), 2859, 1-21 is available at
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