Immersion and invariance control for Euler angles of a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle

Fırat Aslan, Yaprak Yalçın*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, an asymptotically stabilizing, nonlinear flight controller design via immersion and invariance (I&I) approach for a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle is presented. The objective is to adjust pitch, roll, and yaw angles with the control inputs aileron, elevator, and rudder deflections. The important issues in designing a controller for fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are to cope with its nonlinear dynamics and to obtain a controller that can deal with various disturbances. Existing linear controllers cannot deal well with the nonlinear dynamics of the UAVs and that can not guarantee stability outside of the considered operating point. On the other hand, widely used nonlinear controllers have some weaknesses. Such as sliding mode controllers are robust to disturbances but suffer from the chattering phenomenon, and the backstepping controllers are not very robust to disturbances. The proposed controller ensures global stability with smooth and precise reference tracking and also yields significant disturbance attenuation without the chattering phenomenon. I&I approach also enables us to directly assign closed-loop dynamics. Thus, tuning of the proposed controller is straightforward. Most of the other nonlinear methods do not have straightforward tuning of control parameters to assign desired dynamics to a closed-loop system. The superior performance of the proposed controller is shown via simulations for various disturbances in comparison with the sliding mode controllers; the one with standard control law and the one with modified control law that eliminate the chattering phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1596
Number of pages12
JournalAsian Journal of Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Chinese Automatic Control Society and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


  • immersion and invariance
  • nonlinear flight control
  • stabilizing control
  • unmanned aerial vehicle


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