Date of Award


Document Type


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.


Flight control, Model uncertainty, Robust control, Unmanned aerial vehicles


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are here and they are here to stay. Unmanned Aviation has expanded significantly in recent years and research and development in the field of navigation and control have advanced beyond expectations. UAVs are currently being used for defense programs around the world but the range of applications is expected to grow in the near future, with civilian applications such as environmental and aerial monitoring, aerial surveillance and homeland security being some representative examples. Conventional and commercially available small-scale UAVs have limited utilization and applicability to executing specific short-duration missions because of limitations in size, payload, power supply and endurance. This fact has already marked the dawn of a new era of more powerful and versatile UAVs (e.g. morphing aircraft), able to perform a variety of missions. This dissertation presents a novel, comprehensive, step-by-step, nonlinear controller design framework for new generation, non-conventional UAVs with time-varying aerodynamic characteristics during flight. Controller design for such UAVs is a challenging task mainly due to uncertain aerodynamic parameters in the UAV mathematical model. This challenge is tackled by using and implementing μ-analysis and additive uncertainty weighting functions. The technique described herein can be generalized and applied to the class of non-conventional UAVs, seeking to address uncertainty challenges regarding the aircraft's aerodynamic coefficients.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Michail G. Michailidis


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

139 p.


Applied mathematics, Electrical engineering, Engineering