Heading hold autopilot design for fixed wing aircraft
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Interest for autopilot design has become a rich subject in light of recent developments. There may be mixed use of the so-called modern and classical control strategies as to the design of an autopilot for any specific mission. In this study, a heading hold controller system is targeted. Our present approach is to build the system with PID controller in the outer, heading mode, due to its simplicity, and loop shaping controller in the inner, stabilizer mode, in order to accommodate its fast dynamics. Computer application of the mixed controller is first developed for a model aircraft in order to suit for a series of future flight experimentation. To obtain the moments of inertia of the model aircraft, bifilar pendulum experiment is performed for accurate dynamic modeling. Simulation results show robust response to autopilot commands that justifies the use of mixed control approach in the inner and outer loops. © 2018, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.