Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 538901, 10 pages
Research Article

Projection-Based Adaptive Backstepping Control of a Transport Aircraft for Heavyweight Airdrop

Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering College, Air Force Engineering University, Xi’an 710038, China

Received 27 July 2015; Accepted 10 December 2015

Academic Editor: Christopher J. Damaren

Copyright © 2015 Ri Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An autopilot inner loop that combines backstepping control with adaptive function approximation is developed for airdrop operations. The complex nonlinear uncertainty of the aircraft-cargo model is factorized into a known matrix and an uncertainty function, and a projection-based adaptive approach is proposed to estimate this function. Using projection in the adaptation law bounds the estimated function and guarantees the robustness of the controller against time-varying external disturbances and uncertainties. The convergence properties and robustness of the control method are proved via Lyapunov theory. Simulations are conducted under the condition that one transport aircraft performs a maximum load airdrop task at a height of 82 ft, using single row single platform mode. The results show good performance and robust operation of the controller, and the airdrop mission performance indexes are satisfied, even in the presence of ±15% uncertainty in the aerodynamic coefficients, ±0.01 rad/s pitch rate disturbance, and 20% actuators faults.