Differential Flatness of Quadrotor Dynamics Subject to Rotor Drag for Accurate Tracking of High-Speed Trajectories

Matthias Faessler*, Antonio Franchi, Davide Scaramuzza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this letter, we prove that the dynamical model of a quadrotor subject to linear rotor drag effects is differentially flat in its position and heading. We use this property to compute feedforward control terms directly from a reference trajectory to be tracked. The obtained feedforward terms are then used in a cascaded, nonlinear feedback control law that enables accurate agile flight with quadrotors. Compared to the state-of-the-art control methods, which treat the rotor drag as an unknown disturbance, our method reduces the trajectory tracking error significantly. Finally, we present a method based on a gradient-free optimization to identify the rotor drag coefficients, which are required to compute the feedforward control terms. The new theoretical results are thoroughly validated trough extensive comparative experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8118153
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aerial systems
  • Differential flatness
  • Dynamics
  • Mechanics and control
  • Quadrotor control

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