Adaptive Control, Model Reference Control, Launch Vehicles, Control Systems
This study investigates the use of a Model Reference Adaptive Control (MRAC) direct approach to solve the attitude control problem of an Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) during its boost phase of flight. The adaptive autopilot design is based on Lyapunov Stability Theory and provides a useful means for controlling the ELV in the presence of environmental and dynamical uncertainties. Several different basis functions are employed to approximate the nonlinear parametric uncertainties in the system dynamics. The control system is designed so that the desire dresponse to a reference model would be tracked by the closed-loop system. The reference model is obtained via the feedback linearization technique applied to the nonlinear ELV dynamics. The adaptive control method is then applied to a representative ELV longitudinal motion, specifically the 6th flight of Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle (AC-6) in 1965. The simulation results presented are compared to that of the actual AC-6 post-flight trajectory reconstruction. Recommendations are made for modification and future applications of the method for several other ELV dynamics issues, such as control saturation, engine inertia, flexible body dynamics, and sloshing of liquid fuels.
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Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Plaisted, Clinton, "Design Of An Adaptive Autopilot For An Expendable Launch Vehicle" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 3434.