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Concept: Sideslip angle


Motivated by the lack of research in tailless morphing aircraft in addition to the current inability to measure the resultant aerodynamic forces and moments of bird control maneuvers, this work aims to develop and test a multi-functional morphing control surface based on the horizontal tail of birds for a low-radar-signature UAV. Customized Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) actuators were designed to achieve yaw control across a range of sideslip angles by inducing three dimensional curvature as a result of bending-twisting coupling, a well-known phenomenon in classical fiber composite theory. This allows for yaw control, pitch control, and limited air break control. The structural response of the customized actuators was determined numerically using both a piezoelectric and an equivalent thermal model in order to optimize the fiber direction to allow for maximized deflection in both the vertical and lateral directions. In total, three control configurations were tested experimentally: symmetric deflection for pitch control, single-sided deflection for yaw control, and antisymmetric deflection for air brake control. A Reynolds-averaged-Navier-Stokes (RANS) fluid simulation was also developed to compare with the experimental results for the unactuated baseline configuration. The actuator was shown to provide better yaw control than traditional split aileron methods, remain effective in larger sideslip angles, and provide directional yaw stability when unactuated. Furthermore, it was shown to provide adequate pitch control in sideslip in addition to limited air brake capabilities. This design is proposed to provide complete aircraft control in concert with spanwise morphing wings.

Concepts: Aerodynamics, Fixed-wing aircraft, Configuration management, Aviation terminology, Aerospace engineering, Sideslip angle, Empennage


In this article, a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) lateral stability and rollover controller has been developed including as the main novelty taking into account the road bank angle and using exclusively active suspension for both lateral stability and rollover control. The main problem regarding the road bank is that it cannot be measured by means of on-board sensors. The solution proposed in this article is performing an estimation of this variable using a Kalman filter. In this way, it is possible to distinguish between the road disturbance component and the vehicle’s roll angle. The controller’s effectiveness has been tested by means of simulations carried out in TruckSim, using an experimentally-validated vehicle model. Lateral load transfer, roll angle, yaw rate and sideslip angle have been analyzed in order to quantify the improvements achieved on the behavior of the vehicle. For that purpose, these variables have been compared with the results obtained from both a vehicle that uses passive suspension and a vehicle using a fuzzy logic controller.

Concepts: Signal processing, Control theory, Angle, Fuzzy logic, Flight dynamics, Aerospace engineering, Autopilot, Sideslip angle


Active front steering (AFS) is an emerging technology to improve the vehicle cornering stability by introducing an additional small steering angle to the driver’s input. This paper proposes an AFS system with a variable gear ratio steering (VGRS) actuator which is controlled by using the sliding mode control (SMC) strategy to improve the cornering stability of vehicles. In the design of an AFS system, different sensors are considered to measure the vehicle state, and the mechanism of the AFS system is also modelled in detail. Moreover, in order to improve the cornering stability of vehicles, two dependent objectives, namely sideslip angle and yaw rate, are considered together in the design of SMC strategy. By evaluating the cornering performance, Sine with Dwell and accident avoidance tests are conducted, and the simulation results indicate that the proposed SMC strategy is capable of improving the cornering stability of vehicles in practice.

Concepts: Control theory, Angle, Sliding mode control, Steering, Flight dynamics, Vehicle dynamics, Aerospace engineering, Sideslip angle


This paper investigates the coordinated path following problem for a fleet of underactuated marine surface vehicles (MSVs) along one curve. The dedicated control design is divided into two tasks. One is to steer individual underactuated MSV to track the given spatial path, and the other is to force the vehicles dispersed on a parameterized path subject to the constraints of a communication network. Specifically, a robust individual path following controller is developed based on a line-of-sight (LOS) guidance law and a reduced-order extended state observer (ESO). The vehicle sideslip angle due to environmental disturbances can be exactly identified. Then, the vehicle coordination is achieved by a path variable containment approach, under which the path variables are evenly dispersed between two virtual leaders. Another reduced-order ESO is developed to identify the composite disturbance related to the speed of virtual leaders and neighboring vehicles. The proposed coordination design is distributed since the reference speed does not need to be known by all vehicles as a priori. The input-to-state stability of the closed-loop network system is established via cascade theory. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed design method.

Concepts: Control theory, Angle, Controller, Automobile, Rocket, Flight dynamics, Aerospace engineering, Sideslip angle