Trajectory planning and trajectory tracking for a small-scale helicopter in autorotation

Skander Taamallah, Xavier Bombois, Paul M.J. Van den Hof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The design of a high-performance guidance and control system for a small-scale helicopterUnmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), with an engine OFF flight condition (i.e. autorotation), is known to be a challenging task. It is the purpose of this paper to present a Trajectory Planning (TP) and Trajectory Tracking (TT) system, having onlinecomputational tractability. The presented Flight Control System (FCS) is anchored within the aggregated paradigms of differential flatness based optimal planning, and robust control based tracking. In particular the first real-time feasible, model-based TP and model-based TT, for a small-scale helicopter in autorotation is being demonstrated using a high-fidelity, high-order, nonlinear helicopter simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-106
Number of pages19
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Differential flatness
  • Robust control
  • Small-scale helicopter autorotation
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle


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