Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Kimon P. Valavanis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew J. Rutherford, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kyoung-Dae Kim

Fourth Advisor

Konstantinos Kanistras

Fifth Advisor

Mark Siemens


Circulation control, Fuzzy logic, Proportional-integral-derivative, Power optimization, UAV, Unmanned aerial vehicle


The expanded prevalence of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in recent years has created many opportunities to research novel applications for their use, enabled by the reduced cost, mission flexibility, and reduced risk that small-scale unmanned platforms provide in comparison to larger aircraft. Despite the versatility of unmanned aviation, limitations on payload size and weight, fuel and power capacity, and takeoff and landing infrastructure can restrict UAV applications, and have created a need for lift augmenting technologies that can reduce the impact of these limitations. Circulation Control (CC) is an active flow technique that has been proven as a method for augmenting the lift of fixed-wing aircraft. To enhance the performance and reduce the energy impact of a CC system on a UAV, a control system is required. This thesis summarizes research to develop, implement, and test both a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller and a Fuzzy Logic (FL) controller to regulate the behavior of the CC system on the Unmanned Circulation Control Aerial Vehicle (UC2AV). Time domain frequency data in conjunction with system identification techniques are applied to model the dynamics of the system. A mathematical plant consisting of a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) input and RPM, air velocity (Vj), and power consumption outputs is presented as a framework for controller development and testing prior to implementation on the physical CC system. Performance evaluation of the PID and FL controllers is conducted throughout a simulated flight envelope consisting of takeoff, cruise, and landing phases. Response characteristics and power consumption during each phase is evaluated. Results obtained from experimentation validate the applicability of both PID and FL control for regulating the behavior of the CC system, and aid in providing a power planning flowchart for optimizing the energy consumption of the augmented lift system. The results indicate that the behavior of both controllers exhibits a correlation to the simulation data above 67%. Additionally, both controllers present similar energy usage characteristics, when applied throughout a simulated flight envelope. Results also show that PID control displays a faster rise time and less overshoot than FL control in most cases, but also a longer settling time. Overall the PID controller displays better regulation of the dynamics of the CC system's behavior. The use of the active CC regulation systems described in this study provide opportunities for application to real-life UAV technology, providing important advances to this rapidly growing technology.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Cameron Rosen


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

119 p.


Robotics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science