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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 464938, 9 pages
Research Article

Disturbance Observer Based Control of Small Unmanned Aerial Rotorcraft

1Science and Technology on Inertial Laboratory, Beijing 100191, China
2Department of Electrical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119613

Received 27 February 2013; Accepted 31 March 2013

Academic Editor: Zheng-Guang Wu

Copyright © 2013 Xusheng Lei 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.


As a complex system, the control performance of small unmanned aerial rotorcraft is easily affected by the dynamic model errors, measurement errors, and environment disturbances. This paper proposes a disturbance observer based control method to improve performance. The disturbance observer based control is constructed by the feedback control and a series of integral filters. The system stability can be guaranteed by the feedback control method. Furthermore, the disturbances can be estimated and eliminated quickly by the integral filters. Therefore, the control performance can be improved effectively. The control performance of the disturbance observer based control has been validated by a series of flight tests. Compared with feedback control, the disturbance observer based control yields a better tracking performance in the presence of disturbances.