Robust Integral Sliding Mode Control Design for Stability Enhancement of Under-actuated Quadcopter


In this paper, a robust backstepping integral sliding mode control (RBISMC) technique is designed for the flight control of a quadcopter, which is an under-actuated nonlinear system. First, the mathematical model of this highly coupled and under-actuated system is described in the presence of dissipative drag forces. Second, a robust control algorithm is designed for the derived model to accurately track the desired outputs while ensuring the stability of attitude, altitude and position of the quadcopter. A step by step mathematical analysis, based on the Lyapunov stability theory, is performed that endorses the stability of both the fully-actuated and under-actuated subsystems of the aforementioned model. The comparison of proposed RBISMC control algorithm, with fraction order integral sliding mode control (FOISMC), affirms the enhanced performance in terms of faster states convergence, improved chattering free tracking and more robustness against uncertainties in the system.

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Correspondence to Jamshed Iqbal.

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Safeer Ullah received his B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering from International Islamic University, Islamabad in 2012 and an M.S. Electrical Engineering from COMSATS University, Islamabad in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in COMSATS University, Islamabad. His research interests are in analysis, observation and control of under-actuated nonlinear systems using advanced nonlinear control approaches.

Adeel Mehmood holds a Ph.D. degree in Nonlinear Control from the Technical University of Belfort-Montbeliard, France. He completed the M.S. in robotics and embedded systems from the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France, in 2008, and B.S. in Mechatron-ics engineering from the National University of Science and Technology, Pakistan, in 2006. He also worked as a Post-doctoral Researcher with the University of Haute-Alsace, France. He is currently working as an assistant professor at COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan. His research interests include robotics, robust and nonlinear control of servo systems.

Qudrat Khan received his B.Sc. degree in mathematics from the University of Peshawar in 2003, an M.Sc. and M.Phil, degrees in mathematics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, in 2006 and 2008, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in nonlinear control systems from Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad, in 2012. He was a Post-doctoral Fellow at International Islamic University, Malaysia, for one year. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Center for Advanced Studies in Telecommunications, COMSATS University, Islamabad. His research interests include robust nonlinear control, observers/estimators design, and fault diagnosis of dynamic systems via sliding mode and its variants.

Sakhi Rehman received his B.Sc. Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar in 2010, and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from CECOS University of IT & ES, Peshawar, in 2015. He is currently serving as a Lecturer at University of Science & Technology, Bannu, KP, Pakistan. His research interests include linear and nonlinear control system design.

Jamshed Iqbal holds Ph.D. in Robotics from Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and three Master degrees in various fields of Engineering from Finland, Sweden and Pakistan. He is currently working as a Research Associate Professor in University of Jeddah, KSA. With more than 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience in industry & academia, his research interests include robot analysis and design. He has more than 60 journal papers on his credit with H-index of 26. He is a senior member of IEEE USA.

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Ullah, S., Mehmood, A., Khan, Q. et al. Robust Integral Sliding Mode Control Design for Stability Enhancement of Under-actuated Quadcopter. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 18, 1671–1678 (2020).

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  • Backstepping
  • integral sliding mode control
  • quadcopter
  • under-actuated
  • unmanned aerial vehicle