The hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HILS) is an indispensable tool for rapid certification of both the flight computer hardware and its control software, while performing simulated flight tests with minimal cost and effort. This project constructs and tests HILS of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) using a commercial software simulation package and a custom-designed simulation. The simulation imitates the dynamics of UAV, incorporates high-fidelity sensor and actuator models, and is integrated with a flight computer that implements linear and non-linear control algorithms. Basic evaluations and comparisons between various control algorithms are made through HILS and extensive comparisons are also performed on the real flight system to guarantee the robustness and the maturity of UAV development. Further development of the virtual test-bed and the control system will be discussed to increase their fidelity at the end of the project.
A primary focus of this research includes dynamic analysis of UAV and the development of HILS. The students will analyze and program UAV dynamics, develop MATLAB/Simulink simulation, and mount the flight computer on the embedded system. The flight computer gathers the virtual sensor data from the simulation, executes estimation and the control algorithms, and delivers the control output to the simulation. The simulation updates dynamics status of UAV based on the received control input and displays with graphic user interface (GUI) that exploits external stick commands and 3-D visualization, which are also developed by the students. The students will use virtual flight test data to identify the stability and control derivatives of the UAV.
Project Mentor: Dr. Dae Young Lee