Journal of Systems Engineering and Electronics ›› 2021, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 1477-1489.doi: 10.23919/JSEE.2021.000125

• CONTROL THEORY AND APPLICATION • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Trajectory tracking of tail-sitter aircraft by $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive fault tolerant control

Zhaoying LI(), Shuai SHI(), Hao LIU*()   

  1. 1 School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
  • Received:2020-07-06 Online:2022-01-05 Published:2022-01-05
  • Contact: Hao LIU;;
  • About author:|LI Zhaoying was born in 1983. She received her B.E. and M.E. degrees in guidance navigation and control from Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2005, Ph.D. degree in spacecraft design from Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2011. Since 2011, she has been with the School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China, where she is currently an assistant professor. Her research interests include hypervelocity flight vehicle control, unmanned aerial vehicle control, and intelligent path planning. E-mail:||SHI Shuai was born in 1996. She received her B.E. and M.S. degrees is in guidance navigation and control from Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2014 and 2020, respectively. Her research interests include fault tolerant control theory, unmanned tail-sitter aircrafts control, and hypersonic flight vehicle control. E-mail:||LIU Hao was born in 1985. He received his B.E. degree in control science and engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China, in 2008, Ph.D. degree in automatic control from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2013. Since 2013, he has been with the School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China, where he is currently an associate professor. From 2017 to 2018, he was a visiting scholar at University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, Fort Worth, USA. He received the best paper award on IEEE ICCA 2018. His research interests include formation control, reinforcement learning, robust control, nonlinear control, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, and multiagent systems. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61873012)


This paper proposes an $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive fault tolerant control method for trajectory tracking of tail-sitter aircraft in the state of motor loss fault. The tail-sitter model considers the uncertainties produced by the features of nonlinearities and couplings which cause difficulties in control. An $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive controller is designed to reduce the position and attitude error when actuators have faults. A reference trajectory containing large maneuver flight transitions is designed, which makes it even harder for the $ {\cal{L}}_1$ controller to track accurately. Compensators are designed to assist $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive controller tracking of the reference trajectory. The stability of the $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive controller including compensators is proved. Finally, the simulation results are used to analyse the effectiveness of the proposed controller. Compared to the ${H_\infty }$ controller, the $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive controller with compensators has better performance in position control and attitude control under fault tolerance state even when the aircraft conducts large maneuver. Besides, as the $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive control method separates feedback control and adaptive law design, the response speed of the whole system is improved.

Key words: tail-sitter aircraft, fault tolerance, trajectory tracking, $ {\cal{L}}_1$ adaptive controller