Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kimon P. Valavanis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew J. Rutherford, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Margareta Stefanovic

Fourth Advisor

Mohammad Mahoor

Fifth Advisor

Konstantinos Kanistras


Circulation control, Flight testing, Modeling, Simulation, System identification, UAV, Unmanned aerial vehicles


The advancement in automation and sensory systems in recent years has led to an increase the demand of UAV missions. Due to this increase in demand, the research community has gained interest in investigating UAV performance enhancing systems. Circulation Control (CC), which is an active control flow method used to enhance UAV lift, is a performance enhancing system currently studied. In prior research, experimental studies have shown that Circulation Control wings (CCW) implemented on class-I UAVs can reduce take-off distance by 54%. Wind tunnel tests reveal that CC improves aircraft payload capabilities through lift enhancement. Increasing aircraft payload capabilities causes an increase in UAV applications. Design and implementation of autopilot algorithms making the CC-based UAV capable af autonomous flight increases the number of applications for which it is suited. In this thesis, mathematical models of a CC-based UAV are derived and validated. The mathematical models are used to determine the effects of CC on the stability properties of the UAV. Capturing the dynamics of a CC-based UAV paves the way for designing autopilot algorithms for autonomous flights. Verification experiments demonstrate a good match between the model and UAV (RMS error < 2.5) and good model predictive ability (Theil inequality coefficient is < 0.19). Flight tests reveal the introduction of a nose down pitching moment effect due to CC which changes the trim flight values. Parameter estimation is performed to derive stability derivatives that capture the stability properties of the CC UAV.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Mohammed Agha


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

151 p.


Engineering, Robotics, Aerospace engineering