Predictive Control of Multibody Systems for the Simulation of Maneuvering Rotorcraft

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Sumer, Yalcin Faik
Bottasso, Carlo
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Simulation of maneuvers with multibody models of rotorcraft vehicles is an important research area due to its complexity. During the maneuvering flight, some important design limitations are encountered such as maximum loads and maximum turning rates near the proximity of the flight envelope. This increases the demand on high fidelity models in order to define appropriate controls to steer the model close to the desired trajectory while staying inside the boundaries. A framework based on the hierarchical decomposition of the problem is used for this study. The system should be capable of generating the track by itself based on the given criteria and also capable of piloting the model of the vehicle along this track. The generated track must be compatible with the dynamic characteristics of the vehicle. Defining the constraints for the maneuver is of crucial importance when the vehicle is operating close to its performance boundaries. In order to make the problem computationally feasible, two models of the same vehicle are used where the reduced model captures the coarse level flight dynamics, while the fine scale comprehensive model represents the plant. The problem is defined by introducing planning layer and control layer strategies. The planning layer stands for solving the optimal control problem for a specific maneuver of a reduced vehicle model. The control layer takes the resulting optimal trajectory as an optimal reference path, then tracks it by using a non-linear model predictive formulation and accordingly steers the multibody model. Reduced models for the planning and tracking layers are adapted by using neural network approach online to optimize the predictive capabilities of planner and tracker. Optimal neural network architecture is obtained to augment the reduced model in the best way. The methodology of adaptive learning rate is experimented with different strategies. Some useful training modes and algorithms are proposed for these type of applications. It is observed that the neural network increased the predictive capabilities of the reduced model in a robust way. The proposed framework is demonstrated on a maneuvering problem by studying an obstacle avoidance example with violent pull-up and pull-down.
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