Successful validation of the AST-FCS for the ATLANTE UAS

In News — March 30 2012

An adaptive flight control system designed by ADEX for the ATLANTE UAS has been successfully validated in simulation.

The first phase of a project entitled “Development of an Adaptive Flight control system for the UAS ATLANTE”, CDTI project nº IDI-20091238, has been successfully finalized. In effect, the Adaptive Self-Tuning Flight Control System, AST-FCS developed by ADEX S.L. and based on adaptive predictive expert control methodology, has been applied with excellent results to the ATLANTE UAS (unmanned aerial system) simulation developed by the Flight Dynamics & Control Laws Department of Airbus Military.

The UAS simulation under FST-FCS has been subjected to continuous severe turbulence, significant measurement errors in critical variable of the aircraft, and discontinuous changes in the actuators dynamics. Under these conditions, the performance obtained has approached, in a stable, robust and satisfactory manner under the circumstances, the one achieved under ideal flight conditions i.e. with no perturbations, measurement noise or changes within the dynamics of the aircraft.

Under ideal flight conditions, the AST-FCS has been able to guide critical variables with great precision and a desired dynamic towards their required values under various flight scenarios, albeit within the physical limits of the aircraft and its aerodynamic characteristics.

The main feature of the AST-FCS is its capability for adaptation to different flight context and conditions, which improves the robustness and reliability of the flight control system, without the design requiring precise knowledge of the complex, nonlinear and multivariable dynamics normally associated with aircrafts.
These results will in a near future allow undertaking the second phase of the project. As the first phase, it will be accomplished collaboration with EADS-CASA and GMV, and include the application of the developed AST-FCS to the test bench and flight tests. ADEX S.L. is grateful for the valuable assistance provided by EADS-CASA for this first phase of the project.

ATLANTE is a tactical, heavy, long distance UAV (unmanned airborne vehicle) currently being designed as a strategic project financed by CDTI, and will be used by the military to assist in target identification, aim correction, damage evaluation, and among other things, intelligence missions, monitoring, target acquisition and reconnaissance.