Flatness-Based Control in Successive Loops for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Micro-Satellites

Gerasimos Rigatos*, Masoud Abbaszadeh, Krishna Busawon, Laurent Dala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The control problem for the multivariable and nonlinear dynamics of unmanned aerial vehicles and micro-satellites is solved with the use of a flatness-based control approach which is implemented in successive loops. The state-space model of (i) unmanned aerial vehicles and (ii) micro-satellites is separated into two subsystems, which are connected between them in cascading loops. Each one of these subsystems can be viewed independently as a differentially flat system and control about it can be performed with inversion of its dynamics as in the case of input–output linearized flat systems. The state variables of the second subsystem become virtual control inputs for the first subsystem. In turn, exogenous control inputs are applied to the first subsystem. The whole control method is implemented in two successive loops and its global stability properties are also proven through Lyapunov stability analysis. The validity of the control method is confirmed in two case studies: (a) control and trajectories tracking for the autonomous octocopter, (ii) control of the attitude dynamics of micro-satellites.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2350026
Number of pages32
JournalGuidance, Navigation and Control
Issue number4
Early online date7 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2024

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