CE150 - Experiment


A multi-dimensional naturally unstable model helicopter system with three manipulated inputs and two measured outputs to be controlled from within a MATLAB/Simulink environment.

PDF datasheet

The model simulates a helicopter with horizontal and tail rotors to give pitch and yaw control. Sensors measure the yaw and pitch angles. This gives a two-input and two output system, with cross-coupling. Students use the educational manual (supplied) to help identify plant dynamics and create a control system. The control system must keep the helicopter stable and allow for a change in the centre of gravity. When operating near the steady state, the electromechanical system can be linearized to a six-order model. 

The equipment includes:

  • The model helicopter on a stand
  • An interface unit
  • A data acquisition board for your computer
  • A protective steel cage to put around the helicopter for safety 

The Data Acquisition board fits into a suitable computer to link with the interface and control the motors of the helicopter, and accept inputs from the sensors. 

The software (supplied) includes:

  • Demonstration program with PID controllers
  • Interface library for programming at the system level
  • Example Simulink® models for real-time control experiments.
  • Direct derivation of a general mathematical model of a helicopter using Lagrange equations, linearisation and simplification.
  • On-line identification of parameters of a linear model. Direct and indirect (closed loop response analysis) methods should be used.
  • System decoupling techniques, diagonalisation of system transfer matrix and state space methods.
  • Stabilisation and tracking tasks formulation
  • State feedback design, observer design
  • Robust and adaptive controller design for changing parameters system due to moving centre of gravity, LQ/LQG and H∞ controller design.
  • Comparison of an analogue and digital controller design. Selection of a correct sampling frequency.