Degree Granting Department
Kimon Valavanis, Ph.D.
Unmanned systems, SIMULINK, Microcontroller, Autopilot, Automation
Unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles, or UAVs and UGVs respectively, currently perform a large variety of missions usually centered around reconnaissance. Because the platforms may vary for a particular type of mission--everything from small unmanned airplanes and remote control vehicles to large vehicles such as the Yamaha R-MAX helicopter and Hummer--flight and navigation controllers must be changed to allow proper control of the selected platform. Currently, controllers are designed and tested in MATLAB/SIMULINK, but then rewritten in C or Assembly for a specific target platform. When designing controllers in a programming language, changes are often tedious, so producing a working controller takes considerable time. MATLAB/SIMULINK provides a GUI interface and SIMULINK provides excellent testing capabilities, so changes may be quick and easy. However, no automated method for converting a simple controller, such as a PID for example, from MATLAB to implementation on a microcontroller has been presented in literature. To implement current in-house controllers designed in MATLAB/SIMULINK, a system consisting of Real-Time Workshop and a C compiler has been used to produce assembly code for a target microcontroller. To aid in verification of the controllers and C code produced by Real-Time Workshop targeted toward aerial platforms, an interface for the controllers in SIMULINK and a flight simulator (X-Plane) has been created. Thus the overall system allows for rapid changes and implementation on a variety of platforms as well as plug-in/plug-out capabilities in the field for diverse missions. Functionality and diversity of the system is demonstrated through testing of PID VTOL controllers in SIMULINK with X-Plane as well as implementation of UGV controllers onboard a small radio controlled truck.
Scholar Commons Citation
Ernst, Daniel, "Development of research platform for unmanned vehicle controller design, evaluation, and implementation system: From MATLAB to hardware based embedded system" (2007). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.