AME 427

AME427: Stability and Control of Aerospace Vehicles

SCOPE: Static and dynamic stability of rigid and non-rigid vehicles; automatic control of aircraft, missiles and spacecraft.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of this course, the student should be able to

  • Manipulate vectors and rotation matrices in different coordinate systems and attitude representations.
  • Formulate a mathematical model of the dynamics of a rigid body.
  • Formulate nonlinear and linearized mathematical models of aircrafts.
  • Analyze the stability of an aircraft.
  • Express aircraft model in state-space form.
  • Develop a computer model using MATLAB for aircraft simulation.
  • Describe the basic principles in aircraft feedback control.

CLASS MATERIAL: The course will closely follow notes by the instructor and chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook “Aircraft Control and Simulation” by Brian L. Stevens and Frank L. Lewis, Second Edition, Wiley, 2003. Class notes will also include material from other textbooks and be integral part of instruction.


EMAIL: My email will be the preferred way to communicate. Please check your email frequently for announcements. An immediate response is not guaranteed, but you should expect to get one within 24hs when your email arrives to the instructor’s email inbox Monday to Friday before class time.

HOMEWORK: Homework will be assigned on Wednesday right after class and will bedue in class Friday of the following week (~1.3 week work time). Homework assignments and corresponding solutions will be available at D2L within a week of their due date. Tentative schedule:

September 7, 2012: Homework 1 due (posted on August 29)
September 21, 2012: Homework 2 due (posted on September 12)
October 5, 2012: Homework 3 due (posted on September 26)
November 2, 2012: Homework 4 due (posted on October 24)
November 16, 2012: Homework 5 due (posted on November 7)

Extra homework may be assigned if needed.

EXAMS: There will be one written midterm exam and one written final comprehensive exam. There will be no make-ups for any exam. If you are unable to take a scheduled exam due to health reasons, you must notify the Instructor prior to the beginning of the exam. If you will be absent due to a death (or life-threatening illness) in your family, similar advance notification and subsequent documentation will be required. Students absent from exams for one of the above reasons will be assigned a grade reflecting performance on another examination. Students missing exams under conditions not discussed above will normally be awarded a zero. Tentative schedule:

October 12, 2012, in class: Special review for Midterm Exam
October 17, 2012, in class: Midterm Exam
December 3, 2012, place TBD: Special review for Final Exam
December 12, 2012, 1-3pm, place TBD: Final Exam

Exams will be closed book and notes.

FINAL PROJECT: A project incorporating material covered in the course is required. The project is to be proposed by a team of 3-5 students and should consist of symbolic, simulation, or experimental analysis/design. Project topics will be proposed during the lectures. The teams are encouraged to propose a topic of their own interest on the subject. Tentative schedule:

October 19, 2012, in class: Project proposal (5 minutes oral presentation and 1 page team proposal due)
November 16, 2012, in class: Progress report (5 minutes oral presentation and 3-5 pages team progress report due)
November 28 and November 30, 2012, in class: Final Report (10 minutes oral presentation)
December 14, 2012, in class: Final report for project due.

If you already have project ideas, please contact me.

NEW PROJECT for FALL 2011Modeling and Control the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System with Wind Turbine

This purpose of this project is to develop a rigid body model of the fully actuated pan/tilt device shown in Figure 1 and to study the aerodynamic forces upon a small wind turbine attached to its moving arm. To derive the rigid model, a 6 DOF model tailored to the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System is to be developed. The aerodynamic model is to be obtained using basic aerodynamic principles and CFD tools. A practical use of the results consist of distributed wind farms in which the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System will efficiently capture energy from the wind by autonomously adjusting the angle of the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System according to the wind direction and strength. Slides introducing the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System are available here.

Student reports are available upon request.

The development of the Pan/Tilt Motion Control System and related curriculum material has been funded by Mathworks.

Pan/Tilt Motion Control System website:

GRADING: The course grades will be posted at d2l and determined using the following percentages:

Homework 20%
Midterm Exam 25%
Final Exam 30%
Final Project 25%

(10% oral presentations, 15% written reports)

The “break points” dividing letter grades will be determined by the Instructor at the end of the semester, based on the overall performance of the class and other relevant factors. Class participation will be taken into consideration when determining boundary cases.

Grading exam papers is a difficult task, and errors or misjudgments occasionally occur. Any student who feels that his or her paper has not been graded properly may request that the paper be re-graded. However, all such requests must be made to the TA no later than one week after the assignment has been returned. The complete paper will be reexamined, and the student’s grade may change in either direction.

Date Topics Events
Week 1

L1: Introduction

L2: Properties of vectors (notes and §1.1, §1.2)
Week 2

L3: Derivative of a vector (notes and §1.3)

L4: Quaternions (notes and §1.3)
08/29: HW1 posted
Week 3

L5: Matrix analysis of kinematics (notes and §1.3)

L6: Rotations (notes and §1.3)
09/07: HW1 due
Week 4

L7: Rotations (notes and §1.3)

L8: Coordinate systems (notes and §1.4)
09/12: HW2 posted
Week 5

L9: Coordinate systems (notes and §1.4)

L10: Rigid body dynamics (notes and §1.5)
09/21: HW2 due
Week 6

L11: Rigid body dynamics (notes and §1.5)

L12: Rigid body dynamics (notes and §1.5)
09/26: HW3 posted
Week 7

L13: Project ideas

L14: Modeling of various vehicles
10/05: HW3 due
Week 8

L15: Modeling of various vehicles

10/12: Midterm Review
10/12: Midterm Review
Week 9

10/17: Midterm Exam

10/19: Project Proposal Due and Presentations
10/19: Proj. Prop. due and Presentations
Week 10

L16: Modeling of various vehicles

L17: Stability analysis (notes)
10/24: HW4 posted
Week 11

L18: Stability analysis (notes)

L19: Stability analysis (notes)
11/04: HW4 due
Week 12

L20: Static analysis (notes)

11/09: Project Progress Report Due and Present
11/07: HW5 posted

11/09: Prog. Report due
Week 13

L21: Linearization and feedback control introd. (notes)

L22: Linearization and feedback control introd. (notes)
11/16: HW5 due
Week 14

L23: Linearization and feedback control introd. (notes)

11/23: Thanksgiving break
Week 15

Project Report Oral Presentations (all week)  
Week 16

12/03: Final Review  
Finals week

12/12/12: Final Exam

12/14: Final Report due