Design and Control of UAV Systems: A Tri-Rotor UAV Case Study

  • Mohamed Kara Mohamed

Student thesis: Phd


The field of UAV systems is an active research area with potential for development and enhancement in various perspectives. This thesis investigates different issues related to the design, operation and control of UAV systems with a focus on the application side of each proposed solution where the implementation side and applicability of the proposed solutions are always considered with high priority. The thesis discusses unmodeled actuator dynamics and their effect on UAV systems when using feedback linearisation to linearize nonlinear models of UAVs. The analysis shows potential risk when implementing feedback linearisation and neglecting actuator dynamics even for first order actuator system. A solution algorithm of two stage feedback linearisation is proposed to handle actuator dynamics and linearize the main dynamics of the system. In the field of design and operation of UAVs, this thesis proposes a systematic design procedure for electric propulsion systems that are widely used in UAVs. The design procedure guides the designer step by step to achieve minimum propulsion system weight or maximum flight time or a trade off between the two factors from the supplied solution sets. On the navigation side, the thesis proposes a new indoor navigation system that is easy to implement and less costly compared with other indoor navigation systems. The proposed system can be classified under computer-vision based navigation systems, however, it needs less information and less computational capacity. The thesis also contributes to the structure design of UAV systems by producing a novel tri-rotor UAV platform. The proposed UAV is novel in structure and design and has a centralized control system that stabilizes and tracks both rotational and transitional motion of the vehicle simultaneously.
Date of Award31 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAlexander Lanzon (Supervisor)


  • UAV, Control, Design, Tri-rotor

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