Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Rajnikant Sharma

Abstract

Quadrotors, being more agile than fixed-wing vehicles, are the ideal candidates for autonomous missions in small, compact spaces. The immense challenge to navigate such environments is fulfilled by the concept of path following. Path following is the method of tracking/tracing a fixed, pre-defined path with minimum position error while exerting the lowest possible control effort.

In this work, the missile guidance technique of pure pursuit is adopted and modified for a 3D quadrotor model to follow fixed, compact trajectories. A specialized hardware testing platform is developed to test this algorithm. The results obtained from simulation and flight tests are compared to results from another technique called differential flatness. A small part of this thesis also deals with the stability analysis of the modified 3D pure pursuit algorithm to track trajectories expending lower control effort.

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